Friday, June 27, 2008

Time to go?

I’ve been playing around with the deathclock a bit - see . It’s been on the web for years - I’ve known about it for a while but like to check back every now and then. It came up the other day while I was explaining actuarial tables.

Even if you’re not interested in finding out statistically how long you have left, there is also a BMI or Body Mass Indicator function on the page to let you know your BMI. For my height of 6’2” and weight of 235, I have a BMI of 30 – which puts me in the obese range. If I drop a few pounds down to 225, I drop in to the prone-to-health-risks range with a BMI of 29. I stay in this range until I drop down to 190, at which point I get into the desirable range with a BMI of 24. Considering that I was 180 back when I was in university, it’s unlikely that I’ll be able to drop that much.

On the bright side, the BMI seems to have a minimal effect on the actual life expectancy. On normal level, it gives me a death date of Monday, April 8, 2041. Even by dropping down to 200 lbs, it only gives me an extra year with a date of April 8 2042. This date doesn’t change further with any change in BMI.
It also gives you the option for optimistic, pessimistic, and sadistic. With sadistic I’m already on borrowed time, pessimistic has me going on Jan 20 2019 if I keep my BMI at 30 or on Feb 3 2026 with a BMI of 25.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


It was a busy weekend. I actually managed to get a few of the summer chores crossed off of my list.

- I changed the drain in the kitchen sink to fix the leak. I had fixed both of them before but one side started leaking because the two drains had different sized bottoms. This caused the connecting drain pipe to not make a proper seal. This was hard to take off – had to resort to the dremel to cut the locking ring.

- We got the pool inflated, filled, and the filter ready for a new season.

- I tried to fix the handle on the stove but was only able to remove 2 of the 5 screws on the inside of the door. The other two were completely stripped. After fiddling with trying to tighten the screws through the gap available, Shan just said to remove it. We need to update it anyways – it has the wired elements and the one large one is only half working.

- I fixed the hinge on the back gate, and changed the diagonal brace. Since finding out we had put the brace on the wrong way (thanks to watching the Handyman Challenge), it had been bothering me. Changing the brace means we now have to paint the gate again though so that still leaves another on the list.

- I also changed the screen in the side door. I had the screen, spline, and roller tool for a while but finally had the time to do it. This should help before the mosquitoes get too bad. I still have a few windows to fix before I can cross this off completely but the side door was ripped the worst.

Monday, June 23, 2008

passing - George Carlin

On June 22, at age 71, we lost the wit and musings of George Carlin. I remember listening to his Wonderful WINO Radio on a cassette of classic comedy when I was a child. Recently, I had read some of his books. He always had an interesting view on life. I will miss his observations and word analysis. We will have to pick up some of his albums to share with the kids – when they’re a bit older.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

missing Stan Winston

Another one of the f/x legends has died. Stan Winston passed away on June 15. He was responsible for many of the iconic films of my generation – The Thing, Aliens, the Terminator films, the Predator films, the Jurassic Park films, up to Iron Man. His bio also lists him as designing the Mr Roboto mask for Styx and making the Wookie costumes for the Star Wars Holiday special. His innovation and creativity will be deeply missed.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The economics of Warhammer 40K
Robert Van Pelt offers up a breakdown of the costs involved in producing a Land Raider model and why GW may not be gouging us as much as they seem to be. It is fairly informative for anyone who might not have a handle on how retail actually works.

It still doesn’t really help with being able to afford one. But it does explain why the price is so much higher than it once was. Especially for those of us who have been around long enough to remember the old Rhino 3-packs and Land Raider 2-packs.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

un-stuck on a horse?

I haven’t yet been to Michaels but did pop into Toad Hall Toys and picked up some 1/72 Airfix figures – cowboys and a wagon train. The figures are just shy of 25mm so would work with the Whitewash City buildings available from and would be easier to store than the 1/35 buildings would.

They are proving difficult to glue though. On models, I normally use liquid glue – either Testors or Plastruct, but neither seems to work on this. From the web, it seems that they are made from polyethylene. Other people seem to recommend using hot glue.

These are also supposed to be tricky to paint due to the paint flaking off the bendy plastic. Recommendations are to use a basecoat of gesso or acrylic paint. These don’t stick any better but rather form a seal around the figure that can then be painted.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Some Random Guy

In trying to see some of the brilliant Mac / PC ads, I came across this set of parodies with Marvel / DC. He’s using action figures but it’s quite well written. The only thing is the sound is a bit uneven – the Goblin’s voice is very loud compared to everyone else. Still, wicked funny.

Monday, June 2, 2008


Walmart has some of the small Magnetix sets (20 pieces) on clearance for $1.96. With a few kids swallowing the magnets they have reworked the connectors. I bought a bunch of the sets and have removed the magnets from 3 sets – giving me 72 of the mini NIB magnets (Neodymium Iron Boron).

This wasn’t an easy task. To remove these took 4 hours of work with a pair of pliers while watching TV.

However, now that they are out, I can use them for models. A number of people use them for attaching the various weapon variations to 40K tank models. These should prove to be helpful. Since the other magnets I can get are 8 for about $2-$3 they work out to about 25-38 cents each while these work out to about 8 cents each. Of course, I don’t have to remove those first.

Should I get around to making the Warhound or get into 40K tanks, these should prove invaluable for modding and make it easier to transport them.