Monday, January 18, 2010

The Editing continues...


Another late-ass blog entry, I’m afraid. But you showed up, so here we go. BTW, I are currently listening to Cascada’s ‘Evacuate the Dance Floor’. It will show up shortly on the music list for this blog. Oh hell yes. You should like it – it has a solid dance beat, tasteful vocal distortion, a short bit of good rap and it’s only three and a half minutes long. The club remix is probably a lot longer, but I have the radio edit and that will have to do for now.

It reminds me of my youth, spent as a Navy lad touring all the dance clubs the Pacific Rim had to offer (Hong Kong was the best) and picking up on personable young women by simply being less afraid to shake it than the other white boys.

If you don’t like it, you have my sympathies – just click on another song, there are several from which to choose. And I can understand if some of you have heard this one too much. I get some kinds of music rammed down my throat day after day by the radio at work. It gets to the point where I might have liked a particular song or artist at first but can no longer stand to hear them anymore. (Nickelback comes to mind).

I have finished doing pen-and-ink changes to the 107 writeups and introductions. I am now finished with entering the changes to text on the computer for ‘Mechs. And I was shocked. What was shocking? Not the time it took (plenty) or the amount of errors I found with pen in hand. Those were factored in. No, I lost my poise for a moment because I had been through each writeup at least a dozen times and was now doing simple data entry – and I was still finding stuff that needed minor rewriting. Again.

Now some of my associates assure me this is due to a perfectionism streak, or simply that when presented with text, I automatically change stuff. Neither really holds water in this case. The things I found were in serious need of repair and I did not see them until I began doing the data entry. So, you know, weird. Right? I wonder if all writers go though this sort of thing. Not much needed that additional touch, but brother, when it did, it did in spades.

Anyway, I am now onto the vehicles. I have not received word from James yet concerning the changes suggested for the layout backgrounds. This is irritating – at first I thought I sent him the information, but it developed that I had not, so I sent it, then I sent it again and asked for confirmation. Haven’t gotten it yet. Now you know why I am trying to run all the bugs out before sending everything off.

Payments are slow, as we are recovering from the spate of gift-giving (and purchasing) over the holidays like everyone else. I am going to send the next available funds to David Dryburgh, as I owe him the most money (about $105). Thanks again to those of you who are donating through the PayPal button – I am saving your emails to a special folder so I know who gave what and who gets a book. David does not have PayPal, so I have to send his moolah via money order.

What’s left? Well, that ‘dirty’ art still remains to be cleaned up, a very time-consuming process. I will get to it after I have seen to the wordage. I have commissioned Ian to re-do another tank, as the art is blah and he seems to have a good eye for CAD-produced tanks. Lee Madison is still plugging away at adding background for some of the CAD pieces – I should have his models off in the mail by Friday, with a few extra thrown in because he has been so patient.

I gave him a hard time (sorry Lee!) about one model he requested – it’s an original Aurora production of the AH-65 Cheyenne, an experimental job which, despite missing the main rotors (!) is still as hard to find as hen’s teeth. But I have an additional helicopter model whose rotors will do just fine as replacements (there is a fellow online who did the conversion, so I know it will work). I will send all of it just because Lee is so kind, hard-working and patient with me. And because I do not want a visit from a pissed-off Texas wolf… ;)

Airsoft and like that…

I got a chance to do some Airsofting (is that a word? Am I verbing again?) this weekend with my son and his friends. We gamed between the rain showers over at a local school. My modified M-14 with .30 pellets worked very well, picking opponents off left and right. My son doubted that I would be able to ‘keep up’, but I reminded him that age and treachery will always trump youthful vigor. He didn’t believe my practice with iron sights was of any use either, until I aced two of our foes from the cover of a small strip of woods over to one side of our playing area.

Of course, the youngsters were quick to try that new tactic, but my son soon found that working your way through the woods was a task left to more patient players. One fellow (Spencer) tried it to get the drop on me, but did not realize until too late that just because he could see me did not mean he had a clear shot. Spencer stood in the woods, frustrated, while I schlepped about untouched. After the match I pointed out that he had to use the clearings around bigger trees to line up on other players. You can’t shoot through brush, after all.

That said, my nine-pound M-14 got to be pretty heavy after a few hours of play. I was almost (almost!) relieved when the battery finally died and I had to stand down. I went home and contacted another BattleTech friend, Bill Burt, telling him what good exercise the game was. He is overweight too, but was once a crack paintball player and was so interested in getting out to, as he puts it, ‘shoot people in the ass’ that he came over the next day and we spent hours drooling over guns on the Internet.

There’s a nice little number down at the local shop, a SIG –550 something which has autofire and a nice long barrel for sniping. It also has a bipod, something we oldsters will appreciate late in the game. They want $238 for it, but we found several on the Web for about $125. I am all about supporting my local business, but not with that kind of markup. I will probably set aside $138 for that gun soon. Looks like it will use .25 pellets, and at least the local shop doesn’t charge too much for them. Not yet, anyway. The P-90 they have is nice, too. A great little backup gun, effectively a very high-powered machine pistol. The magazine is rather small, though they have bigger magazines available for it.

It is a very good sign that Bill’s wife has not said no, probably as she wants him to get back in shape. Meanwhile, I am wondering how long we will be welcome at the school with all those pellets lying about after our games. However, there is a place down behind the local hardware store which is mostly heavy pine forest and intermittent brush with lots of open ground and fallen trees. Paintballers used to go up there and blast away, and I spent several hours playing Lasertag in that location, so I may ferry the boys over there one day soon to see what it looks like.

One more word.

I was taking my son and his friend Nate down to the mall after the game. They’d had a chance to clean up and put on some stylin’ clothes, and I called Nate’s mother to let her know where her son would be. She was surprised to hear I had been running with the boys, and said that Nate often wished his dad (divorced) would go out with him like that. Appears I am on the right track, so long as I don’t succumb to technolust.

See, the other boys were also equipped with autofire Airsoft guns that day. However, it seems my range and speed apparently exceeded what they were used to, mostly Thompson submachine guns. They could not believe how long the M-14 rifle was compared to their own weapons, and combined with a slower rate of fire, is possibly why they didn’t make too much of a fuss. I’ve been warned by this, though. It is very easy to get gear that is too good for the local players, so I am backing off and working with stock equipment in the future.

I want to be welcome when they play again. I am their guest, after all.

Thanks for stopping by.



Doug said...

Sounds cool, how far do the Airsoft gun shoot? Do they run on compressed air like paintball guns?

...and remember, you can not teach experience.

Steven Satak said...

They shoot accurately out to about 200 feet. The pellets are plastic, the gun uses either a spring or electric motor to drive a piston which shoots the pellet. Some (the handguns) also use CO2.

Yes, I can. The teaching itself is experience. Silly Doug!


Britait said...

Hello Steven, I love your drawings!!!

You work for oficial TRO? I view most mech fanpics anywhere, and your are the best! Even better than most oficial art.

I send you my congratulations for your work. Good Work!!

Sorry for my weird english.