It’s a Beautiful Thing

Feel every ache and every joy.
Every sweet word and every subtle touch.
Forego possession and obsession.
Love with soul and wisdom.
A delicate thing, love in its infancy.
Nurture her nature.
It’s a Beautiful Thing

Recovering from Injuries – part 3

New maximum of 6 chin-ups. Decided against a power tower because don’t have enough room and have ordered a doorway chin up bar. Have had a niggling pain in the shoulder so had to back off and missed goals for the month of September. I really don’t want to have to do another 6 months or more of physiotherapy.

Pushups were likewise stymied so I’ve focused on intensity instead of reps with the method: down slow, count 2, up; for each rep. This is helping and I’d say it’s probably better than just chasing high rep-count for me.

Recovering from Injuries – part 3

Lugs, wool, belt-drive and disc brakes

Often I have conflicting tastes. In bicycle chic there seems to be the old-school camp. Steel, lugs, merino, leather and canvas. Hipsters are a subset of this with steel, fixed/single, and tiny little handlebars. Then there’s the mountain bikers. Lycra, fat tyres, shocks, lots of gears, big straight handlebars. Roadies: lycra, carbon, weight-weenies, etc.

I swing between them all. I guess more like commuter-grognards. Wool works, steel is as real as carbon and aluminium, lots of gears is nice for lots of hills, and leather looks cool but ain’t that water-resistant. I like disc brakes, carbon blade forks, trekking bars, belt-drives, rohloff gear hubs and dura-ace groupsets. I’d love a Rohloff in a Trek District Carbon with Avid Juicy road brakes and a rapid-fire type shifter (don’t exist, yet). For the saddle a Selle Anatomica would be fine but the problem is the carbon can’t hold racks and has no eyelets for mudguards. So I’d be quite happy with a lovely lugged frame with all the eyelets and braze-ons you can think of. I’d use’em. One bike to rule them all (roads, trails and tracks). I think Rivendell are close to the point but they don’t like discs or internal gear hubs (from what I’ve read which is most of the site). Their frames are as beautiful as they are overpriced (about the same as a titanium frame).

Guess I’m in the too small a market-niche to exploit category… and that’s okay with me. I can’t afford it anyway.


Lugs, wool, belt-drive and disc brakes

Recovering from Injuries – part 2

Recovering from rotator-cuff tendon injuries I’m working on strength through basic body-weight exercises. At this stage just push-ups and chin-ups.

What’s the difference between a chin-up and a pull-up? Is it just hand-grip? I do them knuckles towards my chin and close-grip – hands only two hand-widths apart.

Progress since last post. These are my new maximums.
Push-ups: 20
Chin-ups: 4

This is quite disappointing since I’ve previously been up to 105 push-ups and 18 chin-ups. In 5 weeks I have quite a way to go and if I fail then I will keep going anyway until it is achieved. It may not mean much to you if you are already in decent shape yet to me it is proving that I have recovered and can become strong again.

What about cardio, you might think? I still cycle 50kms a week so my cardio is better than the average office-potato. Still, it can be improved and that is on the cards once I’m sure my shoulder is recovered and strong again. I do have a persistent knee problem and even cycling can aggravate it so another injury that prevents fitness. Persistent effort over time and diligent recovery will overcome these issues.

When the chin-ups are achieved I will purchase a power-tower, dip-belt, and move to weighted chin-ups and add L-sit dips to the routine. My son will love the power tower, too.

Recovering from Injuries – part 2

Recovering from Injuries

A while ago I tore my rotator cuff tendons and could not put on a shirt without great pain and awkwardness. After 8 months of rehab I can finally train again. Push-ups and now chin-ups are within scope to attempt. I’ve lost a great deal of strength and can barely do one chin-up or fifteen push-ups. My plan is to do push-ups each morning and chin-ups each lunch time (whether my chin gets all the way up or not). I expect that in 8 weeks I’ll be doing 8 chin-ups and 40 push-ups.

Chin-up muscle groups
Recovering from Injuries

Game design and player agency

Player agency, the ability to execute will, is key to game experiences. When a game forces something upon you, particularly something you can reasonably expect to be easily rid of, then it lessens the experience.

Some examples:
If you are forced to keep a bag of bait that you never want to use then it constantly gets in the way via your user-interface (UI). So a good game would allow the player to drop all pieces of the inventory. Removing gear ought not be done via standard play mode, eg. first-person shooting view. It is better done through an inventory screen so it’s not accidentally done in combat.

Control is agency

Automatic use of cover. I understand that this is a console gaming issue mostly but considering how console-ports retain this feature on PC it seems pertinent. Just put in the lean keys and let the player use cover.

Backpacks that you cannot drop. This is an old one. Sure you might lose your entire inventory yet it’s what soldiers do if they’re ambushed. Backpack can get you killed if it slows you down.

Unavailable items that show up all over fallen foes yet are not lootable. You’d just take it off the fallen and fix it, or cobble it together from the other fallen that have the same gear.

Over riding animations, uninterruptable effects, can sometimes be in games specifically to prevent player agency. A stun effect doesn’t need to lock out control when it could make your vision monochromatic and randomly skew your control sensitivity for a time.

There are methods to put in effects without removing player agency. Designers take heed.

Game design and player agency

Sound Recording and Guitar

The oft-neglected equalizer is the secret of tone. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen friends, journalists and reviewers talk about finding tone with a specific stompbox, amp, or other signal processor. Once the signal has left your guitar the first thing you ought to do is equalize it for the environment, be it recording or performing. EQ is the first thing that should happen to a guitar signal and also the last (if you want) to take care of unforeseen frequency introductions along the signal chain – also to manage the acoustics of the environment.

In recording mixes EQ is what will sort out your takes and make them sound great. Mid-scooping for metal rhythms, mid-boosting for lead breaks, and cutting annoying ‘not quite right’ resonances. Quite frankly I’m amazed that EQ is not talked about more, until I think, “Cui bono”. Who benefits?

All the businesses that sell magic-tone-oil devices benefit from the market ignoring EQ. It’s a cheap (enough) way to alter your tone to get what you find the sweet spot. Even 31-band parametric EQ’s can be had for under $300 if you look hard enough, and parametric are the better devices.

So all you tone-freaks, here’s the unvarnished truth. You want tone? Control it with an equalizer.

Sound Recording and Guitar