Glad I was prepared to help out

flatheadscrewdriverSo yesterday I made sure to be all set up to leave work right on time. As I got out to the parking lot, I saw a coworker trying desperately to get her car to work. There was another coworker using her phone, trying to read over some directions to fix things. I decided to help out also. Apparently the gear shifter was stuck. After checking a few things we ended up deciding it was the brake shift interlock that was the problem. Luckily I like to be prepared. In my trunk I had a flat head screw driver that made it easy to depress the manual release for the  brake shift interlock. I let her borrow my screw driver in case she needed it driving home. Today she returned the screw driver with a thank you note and gift card. The gift card was actually unnecessary but appreciated. I was just glad to help out.



Who is Paul Darr?

Paul Darr has spent 28 years of his life in the Inland Empire region of California, two years in Oregon, two years in Colorado and has recently moved to San Antonio, Texas. Paul is also an US Army Veteran, who has deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. On the political spectrum Paul is a Libertarian that advocates fiscal responsibility and social tolerance. Paul is currently employed as a Librarian and is a father of one handsome baby boy. In his free time Paul enjoys reading, using and modifying open source software, gaming and several other geeky pursuits.

You can follow Paul on: Google+Facebook and Twitter.

Game Summary For August 23rd

The “Free Sons of Nerath” have been living the life of regular garrison duty while in Winterhaven. The small village has reached the size of a town due to refugees fleeing the Troll Wars to the south. Surrounding the dragonimagevillage walls thatch roofed homes have sprung up and an outer earth and wood palisade acts as an outer barrier to protect against raids from Orcs, Ogres and Goblins coming from the Cairngorm Mountains or from the Stonemarch beyond that. Luckily the Orcs haven’t entered the Nentir Vale in the numbers that once decimated the Vale since the day the a dragon moved into the mountain and effectively stopped their pillaging in large numbers around one hundred years ago. The dragon is still rumored to be sleeping in the mountain resting on a pile of treasure or at least that is how the story goes.

muleWhile on garrison duty the company has been assisting in building the palisade, digging ditches and going on patrol for raiding parties. You have even had the chance to find a new recruit. The patrols have taken the company several miles outside of Winterhaven and you all have become familiar with the rangers who patrol the foothills on the Cairngorm Montains and others who live outside of the village proper in their own steadings. The company has also been rewarded with “War Mules” that they can use as mounts or pack animals as they wish. In my setting a War Mule is a Draft Mule (combination of a large horse and donkey) that has been exposed to blood and load noises so that it will not spook in a battle. War Mules are known for strength, endurance and being easy to care for.

You have settled into life in the village. Work has become routine and regular pay and ale are nice. The company lives in an old thatched barn has small rooms partitioned off for each of you and your animals live on the other end. You wake one morning to find that Claw has been murdered in a very odd way. Someone has performed a ritual to cut off his bodies connection to the Raven Queen which has ended his ability to reanimate it. No one crosses the company and lives. After some investigation you find some kobold tracks and follow them back to the foothills but lose them along the way. You send back a message to Lord  Padraig of where you are looking and then head out to see if some of the rangers have any information to lead you in the right direction.

After heading to the nearest ranger outpost you find a young ranger named Will. Will has tells you about some kobolds they have been tracking and the potential site of the lair. The rangers have been tracking them but they haven’t had a chance to call for assistance in clearing out the cave.

So you of course charge off to kill them yourselves. The cave was easy to find you have killed the first two groups in a small grouping of caves. There are a few more caves to go before you believe your revenge is complete but after interrogating a kobold you find that they were hired by a goblin named Iron Tooth who has taken up residence in Shadowfell Keep. When you tried to question him further about the other kobolds he started biting at your ankles, at which time you stomped his head in.



Who is Paul Darr?

Paul Darr has spent 28 years of his life in the Inland Empire region of California, two years in Oregon, two years in Colorado and has recently moved to San Antonio, Texas. Paul is also an US Army Veteran, who has deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. On the political spectrum Paul is a Libertarian that advocates fiscal responsibility and social tolerance. Paul is currently employed as a Librarian and is a father of one handsome baby boy. In his free time Paul enjoys reading, using and modifying open source software, gaming and several other geeky pursuits.

You can follow Paul on: Google+Facebook and Twitter.

Building a table

I wasn’t quite happy with our old table so I decided to build a new one. I looked around and decided to build a “farmhouse table”.

Step 1. Research.

I looked at over a dozen designs and tutorials from websites like Ana-White.com and YouTube.

Step 2. Draw up a plan.

So I didn’t go with a pre-made plan but bits and pieces of other plans make up what mine ended up being.

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3. Buy the lumber. I went to Lowes for the lumber and had them cut all the lumber. I had the number of pieces and lengths planed ahead to make the task easy. One Newb mistake I made was not realizing that they did not cut 4×4’s. I ended up going over budget by choosing turned legs as replacements but I have to admit they do look better.

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4. I laid all the lumber out in the kitchen to build the table. It’s hot in Texas this time of year. I wasn’t going to hang out in the garage that long. Sarah took Joseph to the zoo and then the mall so that I could have the space to myself.

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I also turned on Patton to have playing in the background. It helped make sure the requisite testosterone level was met in the house. I’ll also note here that those beautiful table legs were a pain in the butt to drill in and place screws. I’m not sure what wood they are but it’s much harder than the white pine I used in the rest of this project. Here are a couple more in progress pictures:

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5. After building the frame of the table I turned it upright and placed the boards for the top on. I just screwed the boards down and made sure to countersink the screws. I then placed wood filler in the holes and let that dry for a few hours.

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6. Later in the evening I painted the legs white and stained the table top. I turned on some fans to help get some air movement to dry out the project.

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Friday night I called about some wood chairs advertised on Craigslist. I ran out to Boerne on Saturday morning to pick them up. I also placed our old dining table on Craigslist and had a buyer by Saturday morning. They stopped by Saturday evening to pick it up. It can be a little weird buying/selling something to a complete stranger on Craigslist. Luckily this is Texas so I was discreetly armed and aware each time and luckily the weapon wasn’t needed. They were really nice each time. I’ve had a few people that seemed pretty sketchy in the past.

Overall I’m pretty happy with how the table turned out. My next big project will be sanding and painting the chairs. We are planning on painting them green to be a bright match to an accent color that is in our downstairs area.



Who is Paul Darr?

Paul Darr has spent 28 years of his life in the Inland Empire region of California, two years in Oregon, two years in Colorado and has recently moved to San Antonio, Texas. Paul is also an US Army Veteran, who has deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. On the political spectrum Paul is a Libertarian that advocates fiscal responsibility and social tolerance. Paul is currently employed as a Librarian and is a father of one handsome baby boy. In his free time Paul enjoys reading, using and modifying open source software, gaming and several other geeky pursuits.

You can follow Paul on: Google+Facebook and Twitter.