Sunday, September 25, 2011

balls up

That’s what the tennis instructor always says at the end of our tennis aerobics session . . . and yeah, I laugh inside each time I hear it.

Still 12 years old I guess.

So, I’ve been playing tennis 4, 5 times a week now for a bit and starting to feel like I can hit a few shots the way I used to.

My old racquet is performing well and my wrist injury is pretty much gone. I did hurt my left knee a bit, but it’s more a slight annoyance than a hindrance. I should watch that I don’t do myself some serious injury though. Still I can’t help but get out on the court and try somewhere close to 100%.

But, us old guys can still move on the court despite the advancing age thing. Case in point, take a boo at This Video.

Mac is 48, and Edberg is like 41. Watching this I was like - holy crap can these two still play the game even in their forties.

So, there is still hope for me as I’m about that age. Main point is, I still enjoy it and watching these two has inspired me.

And speaking of Steam . . . oh, sorry you can’t read my mind . . .

Anyhoo, I upgraded my high-speed to the next level which is 4 times faster than the light high speed we’ve had for the last month. So, bottom line now is instead of 12 times faster than my old dial-up connection I’m now clocking in at 48 times the old speed.

That, to me, is how it should be. Let’s me watch the tennis videos I want, when I want.

But back to Steam. Got all the Company of Heroes games for under 10 bucks. And, with the new improved suck down speed I was able to play them pretty much same day I sucked them down.

Even on the old high-speed it would have taken like 36 hours to download instead of 9.

I know I keep going on about this, and now I’ll shut up about it already.

And I’ve been slowly developing a short story of creepiness which I really hope to have ready for or next reading night gathering.

Well, I must go watch some paint dry and get the lawn mowed before the week of rain heading our way.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, September 18, 2011

new elbows

For those of us, including myself, that have had to suffer with leaking elbows, there is an easy and simple fix for the problem.

Oh, I should clarify which elbows I’m talking about; they’re not the ones on my body, but the ones in the basement of my house that seem to spring a leak on average about once per year.

The plumber that came over to do the job of repair was extremely helpful and clued me in to a little secret - well secret to me anyhow - of what to do when those pesky leaks appear.

His solution for me?

Go to Canadian Tire or Home Hardware and buy “LynCar Easygrip Push Fit Fittings.” These simple push fit fittings are easy to install (as he showed me) and good to 200psi and 93 degrees Celcius. All you need do is remove the offending leaking elbows and push on these handy little guys and voila - instant leak fix. And the added benefit is - no soldering at all!

They come in a wide variety of configurations too, not just elbows.

Very cool and fast and inexpensive - five bucks a fitting. The next time I get a leak which will, given this house, be about a year from now I’m getting myself a pipe cutter and these fittings.

And I’ve pretty much decided that I’m sticking with my old Max 200G racquets from now on.

I had an awful day playing doubles with my new Maxply Friday and am pretty much giving up on them. They are hard on the elbow (too much shock transfer) and hard to control. Another player at the club has the same racquet and was experiencing the same frustrations with it as me.

It's also pretty hard to generate topspin with the Maxply, unless you wind up like Nadal to hit the ball. I've always played a flat, hard, low ball (like Conners) and this racquet has just too much power for me to keep it under control - ala needing much topspin to keep the ball in court without flying long.

So, it’s back to my less powerful, but much easier to control, Max 200G.

But the trouble is the Max 200G is pretty hard to find anymore at a decent price. I have two, which is good, but I want to get another one or two more. Seems the going price for this antique racquet is anywhere from 150 to 300 bucks a racquet.

Holy overpriced Batman!

I mean, this racquet is 30 years old and there were about 2 to 3 million of them produced! Should be getting them for a dime a dozen. Just goes to show you how popular they still are I guess. Or people have a far too nostalgic connection to this racquet that McEnroe and Graff made into legend.

Well, the clock on the wall informs me I’ve taken up enough of your time.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, September 11, 2011

hmm upgrades

Every time I blink it seems to me that the computer industry jumps ahead about ten steps - and yes, I am Mr. Dinosaur when it comes to keeping up with the latest tech.

My needs are not great when it comes to PC computing. As long as my rig can play games that are fairly recent (Fallout 3, etc), handle music creation programs and word processing, I’m pretty happy.

My wife needs a new device though and is going to get one of those fancy mobile units, laptops I think you call them, for her needs. My daughter will then inherit her old desktop and I’ll end up beefing up my current machine to handle the up-and-coming PC computer games which are not even going to support Windows XP.

Nuff said about techy toys and tools.

The water leak I’ve been dealing with was not solved with the wonder-tape repair. I kind of wondered how well that would work - and it just doesn’t. So, I’m going to have to break down and get the plumber in soon.


On the upside we had a fun game of Arkham yesterday against Yog-Sothoth. And we absolutely had our butts handed to us during the end battle against the bubble-bath-beast. It was not pretty, not pretty at all.

And I had an opportunity to help a fellow player close the final gate, which would have won the game for us, but I clued out and didn’t notice I had that particular spell at the time it was needed. I did get six spells at the same time during the turn before and, I admit, I didn’t really read them all too closely.

On the tennis front I’ve been at it four times again this week and feeling pretty good. My wrist seems to have finally sorted itself out and gives me almost no pain anymore. I’m on the courts again today and looking forward to the workout and smacking the fuzzies.

And with the coming of the new computing toys, I think I need to do a major de-clutter of the house. Our basement is filling up with stuff again and my lair seems to be almost bursting with accumulated things.

I have to get serious about getting rid of things and just let-then-go. I hang on to way too many things for way too long. This is not a good thing. I think this week I’m going to do a huge purge and take it all to sell at auction this coming Saturday.

Wish me luck.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, September 04, 2011

leaks and geeks

One drop of water every twenty seconds - not so bad, right?

Yes, I timed the latest pipe leak in the basement. I’ve removed the “stupid” drywall on the ceiling from the previous owners and found a very tiny drip coming from another 90 degree angle in the water pipes.

This would be leak number four in seven years - Five if you count the drip every minute from a 90 degree bend in a water pipe in the furnace room - which I don’t - yet.

I’m thinking of getting me some of that self-sealing leak tape and giving it a go. It costs about 8 bucks a roll as opposed to a 150 dollar plumber visit.

And to change the subject, because I’m now tired of it - man I wish I could be at DragonCon.

I am getting such good vibes from the pictures posted on Twitter and have seen many a cool pic of people going all out for their favourite shows/actors. Very inventive and very cool. But from the horrible experience I had a FanExpo in Toronto last year I’m staying clear of huge gatherings of geeks - perhaps for good.

Also on the 90's geek front - I downloaded my first Steam game (because now I can) and gave it a whorl. King’s Bounty: The Legend. And hey, what a fun game. It’s a combo of Heroes of Might and Magic and say Warcraft 3.

The best part of the game is the arena battles, ala Heroes, where you pit your units against the computer’s units on a hex grid and try to off each other. Very fun 3D kinda chess like in Star Wars . . .

And our family had one last kick at summer fun before school begins again. We went to Canada’s Wonderland.

My wife and I chaperoned so got to sit around for 8 hours looking at people (most wearing flip-flops) and being bored, and occasionally getting rained on. My daughter and her friend went on rides and then couldn’t decide on the same rides by mid-afternoon.

Yes, trouble.

My wife and I were getting irritable from the continuos crowds and the blasting music from the grounds speakers located, it seemed, every ten feet.

By five we’d had enough and called it quits. Not a great day, not a dud.

Next year I’m going with my daughter only to avoid the “friend” issues. I just hope I don’t have a heart attack, what with me getting up there in years. Have you seen some of those rides - holy heart attack batman.

Anyhow, the clock on the wall indicates that I’m through for this week, and so . . .

. . . until next Sunday.