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.
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.
I'm taking a little bit of a hobby break. After wrapping up the gas station, and it taking as long as it did, I just haven't had the gumption to finish up, well, anything. I could force it, but a hobby is supposed to be something for fun, not because I have to.
I've been catching up on watching TV, which for me is Netflix and Amazon Prime. The great thing here is that I no longer feel guilty when I start to watch something and don't finish, after deciding I don't like it. On the other hand, I'm more likely to watch something I'm iffy about in case I like it. After wrapping up season 5 of Agents of SHIELD, I was in the mood to watch some movies. While this may not make sense to common folk, there are times I want to watch something that's a story encapsulated within 2 hours, and other time I'd prefer the serialized adventures of a TV show to develop characters and story. Also, there's a fresh batch of DC and Marvel shows on Netflix (7 shows, I think) to watch, and I while I don't binge I like to keep a steady trend of watching so I don't forget what's going on. I've taken breaks from Game of Thrones and Walking Dead to where I don't know if I could remember what's going on or who's doing what at the point I left off without going back and re-watching more than I really want to.
So with that, here's some of what I've seen recently.
I'm not just vegging out in front of the TV. Hard to tell with that list, I know. I'm reading Crucial Conversations in an effort to better myself while not biting the heads off people I think are trying to sass me. It's a good book, but I'm rueing my slow reading speed on getting through the 240 pages because I can really use this stuff at work!
This weekend also sees Dr Blondie turn 50. The first of my "school friends" to hit 50. I have to push down urges to give her hard time about her elderly status. Mainly because it's my turn in March.
After the picture-fest of the last post of the Walking Dead game, I feel obligated to balance it out with a non-gaming photo-free post. So with that...
Stupid Netgear NAS enclosures!
In 2009, I bought a 4 bay NAS to use random hard drives I just couldn't find myself willing to part with. I set up whichever RAID level maximizes disk space and enjoyed the thrills of having too much disk space. 2½ years later the enclosure died, and I learned that the RAID striping used was somehow proprietary to where only another ReadyGear NAS would read the drives I had RAIDed. Like everybody else, I don't back anything up. So I got 4-bay enclosure by the same company. Once I got the drives accessible again, I set up the NAS to RAID things differently. The 1st 2 drives were mirrored with stuff that's just a pin to track down again but seldom used, the next 2 drives were mirrored with important, day-to-day stuff. Last year I moved to laptop(s) only at home, so having networked drives for the important stuff was actually kind of handy. Plus, they're mirrored! If 1 drive goes bad I can always stick in another. Right?
Last week, during tornadic activity where I got a little rain, there was enough of a brownout to flip the house GFI circuits. In a coincidence, RAID-1 drive #2 (with the unimportant, just hard to track down again data), was flashing a warning. Looks like I have a drive going bad. I'll order a replacement as it is unimportant. Being trained in the ways of PCs since the 90's (fine, 80's), I decided to reboot the NAS just in case that would magically fix it - maybe the brownout just skewed a sensor setting. Reboot away! After reboot, I found that my problem of 1 bad drive of unimportant data...
... had just gotten a lot worse. Now the 2, extremely important, mirror RAIDed drives (because what are the chances 2 drives will go bad) were showing up as dead.
I removed the drives from the NAS and rebooted it again. I felt a little better (just stay with me) since after reboot the NAS system was still reporting 3 bad drives, yet only 1 drive was plugged in. Odds are good my data was still in there. With my 1 (unimportant) drive still recognized, I started transferring the data off to one of the bajillion USB hard drives I've got laying around. What followed for the next 3 hours was trying, very unsuccessfully, to get data off the other drives without using the NAS. Things I learned include, but are not limited to:
That last bullet was Plan D, or whatever next-to-the-last plan letter I needed. Once the unimportant drive was copied off, I was going to try switching an important disk to the 1 recognized
functioning bay. The plan after that would be to order another ReadyGear NAS from Amazon, copy my crap off, and then return it and never buy anything with "Ready"Anything in the name. Luckily,
the plan of using the 1 working bay worked. Over the course of 2 days, data got copied off. Right now, I have a NAS with 1 functioning bay, 9 hard drives of 1.5-2.0 TB (that's a story for another
time), and a USB hard drive cradle sitting in a box "in case I need any of it". All of the important data is spread among 3 USB hard drive + my most used laptop.
I still have a NAS drive. I got a Seagate drive (which they no longer sell the 8TB version I picked up) 2 years ago. I was using this to store media files. Files I don't really access that often. Of the important files that were rescued, a handful truly are important but only updated every once in a while (budget files, tax stuff, etc). While Googling "how to get data off a RAID disk on Windows" I came across some pretty good instructions for backing up modified files on Windows. Every other time I've made Windows backups I could never get the file to restore. After my adventure over the past week, I think it's time to try again. If I use a NAS to store the backup, and the backup can be restored, that should cover my Important Files scenario. Hopefully.
I like the "here's what I painted" posts better. Keeps my blood pressure from racing.
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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