My Flying Days…

I’ve been feeling nostalgic lately for my Younger Days of General Aviation Flying. (flying a lot in IL-2 Great Battles, and lots of the people I fly with are Real Life pilots, so I’ve been thinking a lot about it.) I dug out a few old pics. Then I remembered that I have X-Plane, and people make planes for it, so I found a PA-28-140! It’s an older model, 342 was a ’74, and this is modeled off a 1968 model. So it has the push/pull throttle and mixture, and the Trim Control is mounted up on the roof. But that’s okay, cause I flew a 68 or 69 140 as well! The plane is modeled very well, felt very real and accurate. Plus, the interior and the instrument panel are pretty much dead on to the ones I flew. The ‘world’ has Liberty and Excelsior airports in it. Excelsior didn’t look complete/accurate, but Liberty was done pretty well! And, landing on that skinny 20′ wide strip was about as hard as I remember it being IRL nearly 25 years ago. (The rest of the KC area didn’t have much, like…there was no downtown skyline, unless I just wasn’t close enough for it to render, not sure.) Game supports VR, and I tested that, it worked very well, and looks great, feels ‘right’ as far as scale and such goes.

1974 PA-28-140 Piper Cherokee. N42342. Sadly, it crashed in November 1998, killing a friend of mine.
I didn’t get lined up right, my rudder pedals need curve adjustments. But, there’s the maintenance hanger at Roosterville! The fuel pad is to the right, just out of the shot. It also looks fairly accurate.
Long final to Liberty/Roosterville for runway 36
Here’s the trim control, and the door latch/lock on the ceiling. I like how it even has a nice ‘well used’ dirty texture on everything. I can almost smell it. If you’ve been in an old rental GA craft, you know EXACTLY what they smell like!
This instrument panel! (All interactive, just click on the switches!) Very accurate, all the placards are there, it was very cool to be flying, and glance at X Instrument, and it was exactly where I expected it to be! Only thing different is the radio stack. Mine were ancient all analog ones. They were OLD even in the 90s! (You can actually switch that whole stack out for a modern setup with GPS navigation, fancier radios, autopilot, get a ‘iPad’ with all the new maps and such that these crazy kids use in the cockpit today.)
Here was the plane I started with and solo’ed in. 1970 C-150. This is at Excelsior, and very possibly on the day I solo’ed! Ol’ ’61Golf was an old pipeline patrol plane, so it had ‘extra’ flaps, and larger fuel tanks. It could fly low and slow for days! It also had a few shorts so often the battery was dead, so I learned how to ‘hand-prop-start’ on this plane. It also had a cracked exhaust header, so if you ran the cabin heat, you’d get Really Sleepy Really Fast, if you catch my drift. I ran a tail number search, and this plane is still out there and flying! Currently down in Texas, after spending a few years up in Montana!
Dunno why, and don’t know if it’s still a thing, but when you solo’ed they’d cut the tail of your shirt off, write your name and date of solo on it, and hang it up in the tower. Now, ladies, keep in mind I’m a young innocent high schooler in this photo, and I’m taken now! But, check it out: I was ‘Bootching’ long before Tyra!! LoL!!

New Accessories for my Dillon 550 reloading press!

Couple third party accessories for my old Dillon 550 reloading press. First up is the new Double Alpha Academy mini case feeder! I’ve been wanting the case feeder add-on forever, but the official Dillon powered one is over $400 now. But this one is only 150 bucks! It borrows heavily from the Lee Loadmaster setup. Pretty easy to install although if you have a ‘C’ model, or an old original 550 like mine, you have to modify one piece to fit properly. Easy job for a dremel. If you have a ‘B’ model press, the part snaps right on. The other accessory is one I had about a decade ago, but lost a few parts to, so I just ordered a new one. It’s the RCBS Bullet Feeder die! Pics below. I’ll make a short video in a day or two that shows off the parts working when running the press. The case feeder especially is fun to watch in a kind of Rube Goldberg Contraption kind of way!

Micro Four Thirds Lens Shootout!

Took my collection of lenses for my Panasonic Lumix G7 M4/3 camera out for a bit of a Shootout.

Lenses used were:

Olympus 9mm Fisheye fixed at f8, manual focus

Panasonic 14mm f2.5-f22

Panasonic 25mm f1.7-f22

Panasonic 14-140mm f4-5.8

Here’s a composition image of the various shots I took. Larger individual shots will be in the gallery for closer inspection. (I used a tripod, and just switched lenses as I shot. I wanted the camera position stable to show the ‘crop’ of each lens.)

Here is the 14mm and the 25mm at Max Settings. The 14mm @ f2.5 1/3200 and the 25mm @ f1.7 1/4000

The 14-140mm telephoto is a great lens, and is rarely off the camera. One day I might shell out to get the upgraded version of it, which has a bit more aperature range, and is all weathersealed.

The Main Event here was testing the 14mm vs the 25mm. I love that Big 1.7 Aperture of the 25, and it has some wonderful Bokeh, but it’s kind of hard to work with, just feels too close-in most times. Whereas the 14mm is pretty much the perfect street lens. Fast enough for most days and indoor shots, and has that magical 1:1 eyeball to reality ratio. I actually got the 25mm for video work indoors, and the 1.7 helps out on lighting, but again, hard to work with it in tight quarters. The 14 is perfect, other than occasionally needing additional light. The 9mm is an oddity, was originally purchased for the video (overhead view of a gaming table) but the fisheye and f8 make for difficult lighting and it’s not sharp enough to see details at close range. It is nice for landscape shots though, but so are the 14mm and the telephoto. Have to admit, the 9mm and 25mm might be on the chopping block…

IL-2 Ten Days of Autumn Stream!

I decided I would try to stream more. So my plan is to stream while playing the Official scripted campaigns in IL-2 Great Battles. I know it’s not as glamorous as PvP against other players, but…I like flying missions!

I’m going to start with Ten Days of Autumn, from Battle of Moscow, flying in a bf109F-2.
I’m thinking of Sunday Mornings, 8:30ish Central. More cause that’s a time I shouldn’t have much in the way of other commitments to interfer with flying. The videos will be archived on my youtube channel later in the day. I’ll probably do 1-2 missions, at least to start, just an hour or two to get the day started! Links in the image, but in case you don’t see that, or need a clickable link:

Anyway, join me and together we can rule the Eastern Front!

Roll Player Adventures!!!

One of my highly anticipated kickstarters arrived: the next game in the Roll Player series, from Thunderworks Games! This is Adventures! (and with a Day One Expansion which has it’s own 300 page book!) The shipped weight was 22.8 pounds. Almost TWENTY THREE pounds!!! It’s basically the Gloomhaven of Dice Manipulation games. It is stand alone, but you can import characters made with the Roll Player games. It’s also a Solo or multiplayer game. My favorite component are the individual storybooks that evoke strong inspiration from the Old D&D modules. I am super excited about it! It’s been a long almost year and a half of avoiding spoilers and even a Demo of it on Tabletop Simulator! I shot an unboxing video, of course, that will be up later tonight, I’ll post a link here when it’s live. I’ll have to get my Streaming Stuff setup again and stream some game play of it this weekend. So excited for it!

SNAFU Dragon Hunt

Sit right back and hear a tale, a tale of a mighty SNAFU!

(Beware! SPOILERS for Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous video game ahead!!)

Quest is hunting a dragon that’s been harrassing the AO. I had to take this Dragon Hunter Assassin into my party. Not only that, but I had to PAY for his services?!

So we fight this dragon two times and eventually track it to it’s lair after it flies off after a few turns of combat. There’s a scripted story scene where you have to pass some checks to make it down a cliff, which so far in my many attempts I always manage to fail (even though my scout’s skills are much higher than the paid doofus’ are).

Now, you land all beat up (like nearly half HP gone), fatigued (-2 to str and dex, plus other issues) from the journey to get there (game doesn’t let you rest), and right at the dragon’s feet, so no time to buff up, or even get strategically placed for the fight. Total Dick DM BS move! So, first fight goes badly, obviously. Reload. Set up spells for my casters, equip meleers with potions and such to help them out. Do it again. Game glitches a couple times in various ways. Reload Again. Now, this time I have the Plan Down. But, as they say, “a plan is a list of things that don’t happen”!

The people that I didn’t expect to fail Will Saves fail Will Saves and run off scared before they can get thier Will Buffing, Protection From, and other buff spells up. Zan throws out a Dispel Magic to drop the effect on the dragon that is giving it Concealment, which combined with it’s artifically high AC, means nobody in the party can hit it. Much to Zan’s rising dismay, she doesn’t overcome the Dragon’s caster skill check, so the spell doesn’t work. By this time nearly everyone is down or hiding in a corner pissing their pants. The only things working are Zan’s various nasty Necromantic spells so she is standing there throwing down dragon-e-elf (with a pigmentation problem since Drow aren’t a playable race option in WotR).

I think it’s all done when the weapons get sheathed and the little Combat Over Ding Dong tone plays. But no…dragon friggin’ flies off again!!!

And then, Mr Profeshunol Dragon Hunter says this crap:


Zan is standing there looking like this:

You see this glowing? Not everybody can do this…

Do you know what happens when you say shit like that to the Commander of the Fifth Crusade, Liberator of Drezen and Kenabres, Legendary Spellcaster and Apprentice Lich?

Violence. Violence Happens.

Best part was Zan didn’t even raise a Finger (of Death) against him! Zan’s girlfriend Wendi took care of the d-bag for her! (While boyfriend Daeran looked on, probably still working up a snappy response to the jerkwad’s rude statement) Muhahahahahaha!

So now he’s dead, I have his stuff, and I am debating if I continue at this state, or try it all again…tempted to leave it as is. Zan (and I) really did not like Mister Hired Gun.

New series on youtube & podcast!

I have begun my new series on youtube. And, I’ll be posting the audio as a podcast! There’ll be links below.

The series is going to be a Retrospective Look Back at the Pathfinder Role Playing Game. The first episode is an Intro video where I’ll tell you a bit about my plans for this series. What it is about, what it won’t be about, and there’s a bit of history about paizo and Pathfinder and how the game came about.

I plan on covering each of the hardback books, 31 in all! I’ll be doing them in published order so we can explore the development of the game over it’s 10 year life cycle.

And, being me, there will be some rambling about my experiences with the books in both home games and Organized Play game sessions.

Plan is to put up a new video every other Sunday! That should work out to a whole year of Pathfinder goodness!

Here’s the Intro Video: