End of an era

Jul. 25th, 2017 02:07 pm
forgotten_aria: (Cree Dance)
[personal profile] forgotten_aria
On Friday my world of warcraft account will lapse for the first time since November 2004, shortly after this post. a little over 12 years of playing the same video game. I had already started to fatigue, only logging into to do the group content, and then my group fell apart. I'm trying to figure out if there's anything I really want to do before my account stops. And really, I might like to poke at the chromie stuff, but I'm just super bored with WoW, which is understandable.

A few years back they sent statues to anyone who had had an account, continuously, since launch, so I'm putting myself out of the running for the 20th anniversary statue. ;)

This is unlikely to give me any more free time to play other things, since Overwatch is already taking up more video game time than I would really like in my life. I've been putting off making music and other things because of various other priorities. I'm hoping I can find a good balance soon.

Due to a personality conflict, I have to pull more out of taiko again. That's also feeling like a good thing. Hopefully when the dust settles I can make an effort to do the "hard" things of making music videos and putting myself out there again.

I also haven't been to School of Honk since January and miss that (and some of the fun gigs, like the Georges island gig.)

Microscope! The lost chapter

Jul. 25th, 2017 02:11 am
xiphmont: (Default)
[personal profile] xiphmont

I've set myself three requirements for the focus block graft:

  1. No modifications whatsoever to the original SZH microscope body
  2. End result has to work exactly as intended. No half-functional hacks.
  3. The end result must look professional, bordering on factory quality.

My original plan: Remove the microscope body mount from the block's dovetail, cut the ring part off, machine the remaining bit flat and add some additional bolt holes to secure it to the SZH.

And that kinda sorta works!

Unfortunately, the remaining block is not quite deep enough for the adjustment knobs to clear, nor is it tall enough to reach all four mounting holes on the back of the SZH body. That means I need to machine a spacer that would have to bolt to the mounting block, then those two pieces could mount to the dovetail and the scope.

Then I thought 'what am I doing?', chucked it, and grabbed a piece of aluminum that's actually the right size to start with.

So let's do this part again.

New art release, much done...

Jul. 24th, 2017 09:07 pm
ellenmillion: (Default)
[personal profile] ellenmillion
The tarot expo was really fun and inspiring. I have used it to kickstart my muse on the Sketch Tarot project I started a gazillion years ago, and used THAT to kickstart a workup of new rewards at my Patreon - there is now a $3 level that includes a sketch tarot file every month. And a $4 level that includes another extra coloring page every month. And there are higher levels that you'll have to click that link to see... *whistles innocently*

Today was a crazy day. I ordered lumber to complete the woodshed, and they surprised me by saying they could deliver it tomorrow. Which meant I needed to get some bags of gravel to level the pad for the steps. And I got new propane for the grill, and I took a flat tire in to get repaired (for free!), and I bought dog food and got replacement parts for a broken lamp and went to the post office and got water and wrote about a thousand words and added an epilogue to my not-a-book. I even spread out some of the gravel, though I had to stop before it was finished because that's hard work and I had to go to bellydance practice.

*lies on the floor*

Here's the last of the pieces I did for my feature in Color On! Magazine:



Now I'm going to go to bed and sleep the sleep of the just. Or the just tired, anyway.

MARKED - 9.4

Jul. 25th, 2017 03:44 am
aldersprig: (Marked)
[personal profile] aldersprig
MARKED - 9.4

Nilien glared at her textbook. “This doesn’t make any sense,” she complained. She slammed the book shut and shoved it aside.

Ember, who had been perched on Nilien’s desk in the place the book now occupied, danced aside and settled a bit further away. It is not the book’s fault if you do not understand, the fox pointed out primly. It may simply be your fault.

“Thanks. You’re so much help.” Her voice was dripping with sarcasm.
The fox didn’t appear to notice. It is my pleasure and my duty to help you. What is the problem?

read on...
aldersprig: (Side Quest)
[personal profile] aldersprig
Eleven: The Diamond Raven

Esteronzerai was the biggest town Raizel had been in yet, and it was where the carriage’s route diverged from Raizel’s, whether or not she had been stopping to lasso a wizard.  She bowed to the driver and, her grandfather’s words in her mind, tipped him, although she had not been responsible for the payment for this trip.

He bowed a little back to her, and did not seem offended by the amount.  “Good luck on your journeys, child.”

She had, at home, outgrown “child” when she was old enough to watch the next-youngest children.  It was strange to put it back on for this trip.

She smiled at the carriage driver anyway, because she thought he meant to be kind, and then turned her attention to Nadya.  “Where do I find your Diamond Raven?”

read on…

A New World (continuation): Touring

Jul. 24th, 2017 01:58 pm
aldersprig: (kai-sky)
[personal profile] aldersprig
First: A New World

Kael did not sit for long. It was not in her nature to just sit - or she probably would have had far less trouble with heroes and the like. Instead she stood again and brewed several potions in quick succession.
Her ingredient stores were a bit low. She was going to have to venture out into - into that - and see what she could do about it. But first, first she needed a few things.
A potion of Cloak of the Road coated her in clothing appropriate to her station in this place. She looked down at the sleek, snug clothing and approved. This world, whatever it was, had nice clothes. Better than robes, she thought, or the things that people had worn when she’d first reached adulthood.

Her stairs were covered with dust, too. The whole tower looked as if nobody had touched it in - no. No, there in the dust were footprints. They were covered with their own layer of dust - not new, but not all that old, either.

Interesting. Perhaps the spell had been weakening. Perhaps someone had wanted a potion.
Read more... )

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aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
[personal profile] aldersprig
Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V
Part VI
Part VII
Part VIII
Part IX

🏬🛍️

It turned out that plastic versions of their high school crushes did not run all that fast. That was quite a relief, because the real Greg was on the track team and the real Kevin was on swim team.

The problem, however, was that there were other people in the mall - other plastic people, smiling and fake and too-well-dressed - and they didn’t seem to like the idea of a disturbance.

Say, the sort of disturbance caused by two mussed-up, not-plastic girls running through the mall.

Soon they were being chased by fifteen of the things - Abigail refused to think of them as people - their feet moving almost-silently and none of them making a sound. Nobody grunted or panted or, well, anything.
“Did we land in the Stepford Mall?” she couldn’t help but ask.

“Less talking more running - here!” Liv dragged Abigail towards the escalators.

“This is no time for being lazy, Liv!”
Read more... )

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Word of the Day

Jul. 24th, 2017 10:08 am
mathhobbit: (Default)
[personal profile] mathhobbit
Tack

So many meanings!  Two noun, two (or three?) verb.
xiphmont: (Default)
[personal profile] xiphmont

Sadly, no Chinese manufacturer to date has cloned an SZH, but there are clones of other Olympus focus blocks.

None of these will fit as-is of course, the SZH is weird. But several look to be moddable with a little effort. So I chose a clone of a nicer Olympus coarse/fine assembly.

And now, a review of the FYSCOPE STEREO ZOOM MICROSCOPE COARSE AND FINE FOCUS ARM A4 76mm Size! Read more... )

xiphmont: (Default)
[personal profile] xiphmont

The SZH is not without its faults.

This is the focus block for an original Olympus SZH. It moves the microscope body up and down to focus on the work surface.

Read more... )

Microscope! So why an SZH?

Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:14 pm
xiphmont: (Default)
[personal profile] xiphmont

I actually like my AmScope. It's not exactly precision-manufacture and god only knows what glass it uses, but it's durably made, fairly ergonomic, and works well for the price. Only one regret: The camera port is damned near useless.

For some reason, Chinese stereo scopes mostly appear to be clones of old, low- and mid-range Olympus designs. That planted the Olympus bee in my bonnet.

You've probably heard that Nikon is a world-class optics manufacturer that just happens to make cameras. Well, Olympus is a world-class optics manufacturer that just happens to make microscopes.

Looking for no-holds-barred top shelf stereo optics, the current top of the Olympus stereo line is the SZX12. Which is awesome and even broken surplus parts are so far out of budget it's not funny. Mostly the same for the SZX10, its slightly less featureful little brother.

But it turns out the very top of the discontinued predecessor line, the SZH10, is similar enough that it takes many of the same accessories and was every bit as good a scope. And the SZH10 was just a minor feature tweak of the earlier SZH.

And the SZH line is so gloriously 1980s. I mean, just look at this ad. It's not a stereo zoom. No, it's a *super* stereo zoom. And raytracing is involved somehow. And lightning. This here 'scope is obviously real wrath-of-god stuff.

Anyway, the rest is serendipity: There just happened to be enough cheap-ish parts on eBay to hopefully piece together a complete SZH with no major flaws.

Parts have arrived, so here we go...

New Information - More Beauty-Beast

Jul. 23rd, 2017 04:54 pm
aldersprig: (lock and key)
[personal profile] aldersprig
First: M/m Keeper/Kept
Previous: Change of Pace


Fuck. Did everyone know Ctirad was the boss’s idiot leashed pet?

“Easy, easy. Come on, man.” Shel ran a hand in front of his face; when he dropped his hand, his skin was nut-brown and his ears were pointed. He looked a bit spindly around the joints and he was about half a foot shorter. “Easy. We’re all fae here. That means we all know what a collar means, okay?”

Ctirad touched the collar with both hands and tried to ignore the feeling in the pit of his stomach. “It means I’m his bitch.” That’s what Ermenrich had told him. “But that was… That was Ermenrich.”

“No, Ermenrich is just an asshole.” Shel sat down a few feet away from Ctirad. “Look. Belonging isn’t something Ermenrich made up for you, okay? It’s not something that he did because he’s clever or because he knows how to use people. You didn’t know?”

Ctirad shook his head, not trusting himself to words.

“Damnit, and I bet you act so… Well, self-confident isn’t the word, but you act like you know everything that’s going on. So the boss wouldn’t know, just think you were, uh. Abused. Which you were - sorry, but it’s true.” Shel leaned back. “Damn. Okay. You had a Mentor, you were trained?”
Read more... )

Funeral: Mutual Interest

Jul. 23rd, 2017 04:41 pm
aldersprig: drawing of the author (LynLyn)
[personal profile] aldersprig
First: Funeral
Previous: Funeral: Shower Negotiations


There was an ancient fae assassin in Senga’s bathroom, and she had her hands in his pants.

“I’m capable of taking care of myself,” he pointed out.

“Yes. But you’re my responsibility now.” She peeled his pants slowly off. He went commando; she was going to get the full show all in one go.

“You have other responsibilities. Besides, you gave me something to do.” He stretched back a little bit, consciously or unconsciously showing off. Flat stomach, muscular chest and arms: he didn’t work out so much as he kept his body in perfect fighting condition. Senga didn’t try to stop herself from licking her lips. He was kind of scrumptious, in a way that wasn’t normally her style.

“You liked it?” She looked up to his face, to find his eyes half-lidded like he wasn’t sure he wanted to see her reaction. “Being given something to do?”

“Yeah. I.” He shifted into something she thought was close to a parade rest and studied her. “Yeah.” He swallowed and considered that. “I didn’t think I would,” he admitted. “I don’t like orders.”
Read more... )

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aldersprig: (Side Quest)
[personal profile] aldersprig
Ten: The Perils of One’s Past

She should have thought of it before she agreed, she supposed.  She might be stepping into some long-held family feud — their mountain had several of those — or maybe into the sort of thing where the city wanted to move someone whose home had stood in the same place for three hundred years.  Their town had dealt with that, too.  She might be running into another conspiracy sort like Trinner Tralen, who thought, perhaps, that the city or the empire or this architect were out to get him.

And maybe they were.  She thought about Trinner Traln and the spectre sliding into him.  She didn’t even know if she’d done the right thing there.

The architect’s nervous cough interrupted Raizel’s train of thought.

read on…

Word of the Day

Jul. 23rd, 2017 07:00 am
mathhobbit: (Default)
[personal profile] mathhobbit
Supernumerary

Not to be confused with superluminary.

Progress On Several Fronts

Jul. 23rd, 2017 03:47 pm
rix_scaedu: (Default)
[personal profile] rix_scaedu
This follows on from A Full Afternoon and runs for 2,543 words.

I liked Gai Qiu. I suspected that she might have a crush on Zhang Wong, but as that was his intention, with the way he presented himself I can’t say I blamed her. Zhang Wong’s long-term aim was probably a film or entertainment career so having female fans fall in love with him was probably part of his game plan. I hoped he would be kind to them.
Read more... )
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
Every. single. time. my shell hosting company announces a planned outage for an upgrade for something having to do with email, and they assure me that it won't impact me at all and I won't have any email outage, every single time they've wrong.

I'm not going to embarrass them in public because they do try so hard and are quick to fix broken things when I bring them to their attention.

It's just that, by now, I'd hope they'd just email me, "Hey, Siderea, we'll be fucking up your email at this future date and time. We'll be around on Twitter until this subsequent date and time. Please be available during this window to exercise your account and let us know what we've broken this time."

Instead, I email them in response to the planned outage announcement and say, "Hey, what can we do in advance to make this work?" and they're like "nothing, it's all going to go perfectly!" and I'm like, "ooookay, when exactly will you be flipping the switch, (so I know when to check on you, but I don't say this part)?" and they're like, "oh, sometime on that weekend." *throws hands in the air*

(I miss nyip.net so hard.)

MARKED - 9.3

Jul. 22nd, 2017 04:02 am
aldersprig: (Marked)
[personal profile] aldersprig
MARKED - 9.3

“All right,” Riva decided, “now that that’s settled.”

Nilien wasn’t sure anything at all was settled, but she was willing to pretend it was if Riva and the rest wanted to. They weren’t going to get anywhere but deeper into holes, she was pretty sure, if they kept going.

read on...
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