Monthly Archives: November 2013


Sometimes I think it is better to have been by myself and find a game to play with strangers than to be sitting with friends and have them start a game that has fewer players in it than are at the table. Rather than stand around and watching, I went back up to my room. Being alone when you are with friends is the worst feeling. It’s an order magnitude worse than being alone in a crowd of strangers.

And then not even a week later was one one of the worst nights I’ve had in recent memory. The room acoustics were bad enough such that I could not hear half of what was said, but I got the distinct feeling that I was a butt of a joke. I really had to force myself to not take it personally. Shouldn’t there be some feedback in a face-to-face relationship? If the person you are dealing with looks distinctly uncomfortable, shouldn’t you stop? It seems pretty one-sided to me…

And then it seems that I am no longer invited to games hosted by someone who I thought was a friend. Another friend told me he was still invited to games. And then I see four of them at a local game store during the usual game night. Sigh. At least there are still public game events out there…

Garbage disposal failure

Oh, the joys of home ownership. Somehow a hole was punched through the wall of the garbage disposal. There are now three holes in the side instead of two. Fortunately, it was relatively simple to replace it with a new one. The only problem was cleaning up the mess left by the containment breach.


A friend, Erin, won free tickets to Austin City Limit’s NIN taping. I lucked out in that no one else wanted to go by the time I saw it. So we get down to ACL and run into some problems. First, the close by parking garages were full. Then, we get to the building and they don’t have tickets. They tell us to wait for them to be printing. As 8:00pm comes around, they give us a wristbands and we walk in just before the show starts. Thankfully, there we still seats available and the tall dude in font of me (who stood during the entire tapping) noticed he was blocking me and moved over one seat (which was empty).

The theater is pretty small and most of the seats have great views as long as the camera crew is not in front of you. It definitely gives a very personal viewing. Highly recommended. The only disappointing thing was that they did not play Head Like A Hole.

Afterwards, I found this site with the setlist. And ACL reported that Nine Inch Nails concert exceeded expectations.

SuicideGirls Blackheart Burlesque

I arrived early and waiting in line for a bit. Once the doors opened, I was able to get to the front of the stage. However, there was a large table set up in the middle of the stage up against the front. Mel Suicide was standing behind it and playing music. As I waited for the show to start, I was wondering if they were really going to leave that table there. It was blocking most of the view and people were already standing on both sides where the view was unobstructed. Jon got there later and texted me that he had arrived. I motioned for him to come to the front, but he wouldn’t. Since I didn’t want to risk having a bad view, I went back to join him. And, once the show started, they moved the table off the stage. Sigh. I wish I had known there were going to do that. 🙁

Katherine Suicide then gave an introduction and told everyone that they specifically encouraged people to take pictures during the show and post them online. While I thought that was a cool policy in theory, in practice, it completely ruined the show for me. I was standing about halfway in the crowd. I am pretty tall, so I had a clear view over everyone’s heads. However that view was now obstructed by people holding their camera phones constantly over their heads and taking pictures and recording video. In a dark environment, these bright displays made it really hard to watch the performers. And, for all of that recording going on, I bet that 99% of the pictures and video turned out really crappy. Ugh.

I guess the only thing that could save this night would be to find some professionally recorded video sold by the Suicide Girls of their traveling show. Here is an interesting review of the show. Although he did not mention anything about people taking pictures.

Breaking down a butterfly valve

I switched from using a ball valve to a butterfly value on my conical due to problems inherit in the ball valve design. It was impossible to get a leak-proof seal with the o-ring. Fortunately, Stout Tanks gladly replaced my ball valves and I paid the difference in price.

It was easier (in theory) to disassemble the ball valve. All you needed was two big wrenches on either end and twist them open. But, in practice, the shoddy build quality meant I had to use two slightly different wrench sizes. While I worked around this problem, I could not get around the o-ring problem.

The butterfly value is a little harder to break down and put together. First, you have to use a tiny allen wrench (number 3 metric size) to separate the handle. There is a hole below middle one of the three stops which reveals the screw. When it is unscrewed, you can pull off the handle and cylindrical guard.

Next, you have to unscrew the four bolts. I use a number 5 metric size allen wrench on the bolt and hold the nut underneath it with a 10mm wrench. Once all four are off, you can remove the large rubber o-ring.

Then you can squeeze the two sides of the o-ring and remove the butterfly valve and also the two plastic guards? on both ends.

I clean everything well and put it back together in reverse order. I also use some vasoline to lubricate the butterfly valve. (I don’t know if that is official though).

It takes longer to clean, but it is a really solid and sturdy product!