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Various Updates

April 21, 2014

Dear Reader,

It’s been a busy week and busy weekend.  Well, I say, “busy,” but I really just mean “full,” since what I was doing was largely voluntary, fun activities.

One wasn’t, though, but it was the activity that made me the most proud.  I fixed my riding lawn mower, mostly on my own.  Last fall, right before the “last mow” of the year, my mower died.  It did so dramatically, not just failing to start, but by actually melting the positive terminal of the battery to a pool of liquid metal.  I, of course, know nothing about these sort of things; they’re as mysterious to me as computers are to many of my non-traditional students.

So when I went to buy a new battery, I described the problem to the lawn mower guy, who immediately told me I had a shorted wire.  He asked about my make and model, which I barely knew, but he was positive that with that information I could order replacements for my mower and install them myself.  I was following along with what he was saying, nodding politely, but thinking that there was no way in hell I would be able to replace these parts.  “It’s just cutting and splicing,” he said, but even that was beyond what I’m capable of.

So I bought the battery and went home to look at the wires.  I noticed a fair share of corrosion on the mower’s terminal wire, and I thought “Hmm… maybe it’s just that the corrosion was preventing a good connection, and since it was cold, too little juice was flowing to turn over the engine but enough was flowing to make it hot enough to melt.”  I had a battery problem in a very old Mazda I bought as a kid that was similar to this; I had, in fact, a special brush to deal with terminal and wire corrosion which I plucked from my toolbox and got to work with.

Whatever I did, it worked.  The mower turned right over.  I felt like a man, which I realize is a terribly sexist thing to say, but I so rarely feel like that or make those kind of sentiments that I hope you will forgive me.

Once that was done, I mostly had the weekend to just laze around.  My buddy was in town after PAX from NY, so we watched the second season of The Walking Dead, watched the first two seasons of Sherlock, and played a lot of FTL.  For whatever reason, he took a HUGE liking to FTL; he normally abhors space games, particularly space ship games, but this one he liked the rogue-like aspect of.

We also got him started on Mass Effect 3, which my other buddy, my NWN buddy, pointed out was on sale right after I’d mentioned that my buddy wouldn’t buy it unless it was on sale.  It makes me a little suspicious of my NWN buddy; he loves Bioware, makes mods for NWN, and seems to immediately notice when a game that I just mentioned needed to be on sale goes on sale.  Secret EA/Bioware worker?  Maybe.  Self-aware rogue AI capable of hacking EA servers?  Just as likely.

On much grander note, my buddy also reupped his WoW account and started playing again.  I have no idea whether this is a good or bad thing, to be honest.  A lot of the details are too small for his eyesight, but I’m going to investigate addons that can increase the size of the minimap and quest text.  If any of you already know of some, please let me know, though I assume Curse will be easy enough to navigate.  He restarted his horde warrior, Erawan, his old main, and a tank.  We finished all of Jade Forest and about half of Valley of Four Winds, and we’re already breathing down 88; I don’t remember leveling being that fast before.

Regardless, a shadow priest and a prot warrior make a good leveling team; we’re able to pull about 10 mobs at level and not get into the danger zone.  My dots + shields + a little Hot made it so both of us could easily deal with huge packs, which made farming certain quests really easy.

So that’s where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to.


Stubborn (and lazy)

One Comment leave one →
  1. ellie permalink
    April 28, 2014 3:52 am


    Late reply here: I use the addon to change all the font in WoW to a very readable Calibri. Might work for your friend?

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