Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Sim Racing

Over the last few months I've been dealing with a nerve issue in my left shoulder. There were a bunch of things that led to this, too many pull ups, not enough push ups, bad ergonomics at my work desk, and the thing that triggered the pain the most; sim racing.

The fact is that my body is adapting to the fact that I've lost ~20kg over the last 18 months and am trying to be an active 43 year old dude and the repetitive rotation of my shoulder was painful.

I made some changes to the setup I have, raising my seat and most importantly; switching to a larger diameter steering wheel. I also obviously had to cut back on the amount of seat time. This sort of aligned with a dip in my interest, especially in racing official series on iRacing, so it was ok. Except for a single week off I have managed to continue racing in the wonderful Thursday night league that over the last 5 years has become a cornerstone of my week. I had to accept that I would be running in the mid field and I can't expect to be at the same pace as I was when I wasn't dealing with shoulder woes and had all that seat time. 

I've worn the livery of shame more often than I'd like to admit, after making mistakes or poor choices that impacted my league mates' races. Still, it remains a solid source of laughs and great racing.

Last Thursday was the first time that I hadn't felt any pain during the session in the sim rig. Which was very nice. It was also great because I had some fantasic close battles and decent banter.

I'm actively working on tamping down my desire to purchase one of these ridiculous things...

It's 308 mm diameter is for my health!

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Bad Robot

Disc Golf

 The disc golf hobby really dug it's claws in. I play in the local social league that runs once a month and have been lucky enough to be battling for the handicap honours. The bit of structured competition has really raised my enjoyment as it's given me some goals to work on. The first is simply to beat my handicap each outing, something that I've managed to do most months. The more specific things have been putting in focus practice with the sorts of shots I find myself commonly making.

I've definitely found a few moulds and plastic types that I really like, and I've built up quite a collection of discs. Here's a few that I have duplicates of because practicing a shot with a handful of the same disc helps work on the key ingredient; consistency.

Deputy from Dynamic Discs - my putting putters.

Berg from Kastaplast - approach disc that will fade and get to the ground, also fun to fly flex lines. Also great for many emergencies using rollers, flicks, and thumbers.

Fierce from Discraft - when I need to fly a tunnel.

Thrasher from Discraft - I'm learning to shape this in a range of ways.

Monday, October 16, 2023

Finger Nail Cadence

When you clip your finger nails is a pretty good time to do all those "seldom but required" tasks that you've been putting off.

I've come to realise that unless I build a habit that is daily, I struggle to continue with it. This blog is a prime example. When I was in the habit of posting most days it was a vibrant way for me to exercise the skills around maintaining a blog. When I aimed to update it "every month or so" it quickly turns into "every year or so when I finally carve out some time".

I had this idea years ago, but never actually actually followed through with it. This time, after I've just clipped my nails I'm here posting. Let's see if it continues next time.

Thursday, September 02, 2021

A New Hobby: Disc Golf

Last year while visiting family in Ballarat and taking the kids to the playground we drove past the Victoria Park Disc Golf Course. I spotted the baskets and somehow registered what they were and googled to find more information about the course.

Of course this triggered something in the google algo and I then started to get disc golf content showing up in my youtube. After watching a few JomezPro videos I was hooked.

I did a bunch of research and decided to dive in by buying two Innova Disc Golf Beginner Sets and a MVP Black Hole Pro Basket. I think that two days after these arrived I declared that disc golf was my new obsession and ordered a bunch of discs, including a Dynamic Discs Judge Disc Golf Putter Five Pack so I could get in more efficient putting practice in the backyard.

My wife and kids are also showing an interest, so it's been pretty easy to allow myself to really dive into the sport and invest in getting the gear I require to fully enjoy it.

This weekend I'm going to finally head over to the Poimena Reserve Disc Golf Course to play my first round with the Hobart Disc Golf crew. They play off the short tees which I'm very happy about, as it'll allow me to focus on throwing my Zone, Shark, Piwakawaka, Tui, and Pig. I just hope that all my putting practice saves me a few strokes to make up for being totally novice when it comes to teeing off and throwing upshots.

My short term goal is to get enough practice in to feel comfortable in the Novice section of Tassie Open in October, which I've signed up for.

I'll close out with a chart showing the flight ratings of the discs I'm bagging:

Sunday, May 16, 2021

I'm 42; I'm going to start blogging again

So it's been close to two and a half years since I could be bothered to click the "new post" button here.

Some of the cause of this has been busy with far more important things like family, purchasing and moving into a new house, doing DIY projects around said new house, working my day job, sim racing, working on projects related to sim racing, board gaming, and frankly... not feeling like I've got much worth blogging about.

Lets step through some of the above:

My kids are turning into real people. They're 7 and 5 now. I think I'm teaching them important things. I hope I am, because they've started to teach me some important things. Number 1 is that sleep is important for general life happiness. Number 2 is that I've neglected my fitness for too long. I'm going to work on this every day from here on out.

The new house is amazing. It's on a flat block, compared to the very steep land of the previous place. It's got more space for the kids to have their area, a room that my wife can call her own, and a converted garage where my office / man cave is located. Gigabit fiber to the house. Honestly, it's incredible. I've thoroughly enjoyed building the massive garden bed with built in seating. Planting out the front lawn with native plants has been a recent accomplishment. We've still got a list of projects, but that's great. It's fun being a house proud person.

Day job is stimulating and challenging and my co-workers are incredible. It's been over 4 years now and I still gush like a paid shill whenever I talk to people about my job. I do feel like I need to step up and engage in a bit of "career building" ambitious effort. As I've found myself stuck in a "cruise mode" rut that I'm sure is being noticed. I'm going to work on that every day too.

Sim racing is really just iRacing, and while it's still my go-to entertainment I've sort of been in a lull for the last few months. I had been competiting at the tippy top of the Formula Renault 3.5 series, getting some good results in the "high strength of field" broadcast race that runs on our Sunday mornings. Alas, with the end of daylight savings this race time slot become too early for me. Since dropping out of that series I've been enjoying being very average in GT3 cars. The highlight of my week's racing continues to be our Thursday night open wheeler league, where this season we're running the Lotus 79. Good bunch of guys, and some great racing.

A fair chunk of the time I used to dedicate to actually sim racing, has now been spent working on projects related to sim racing. The big one is the iRacing Stats Discord Bot. I'd hacked this together as a simple way to allow my friends and team mates to access the race results database that I've been collecting over the last few years. Previously I'd utilised this to share end of season stats on the iRacing forums and my (also pretty dead) iRacing Blog, and scratch my own statistical itches when I've pondered such things as "who does the most races", "who has the best results", etc. After some very kind words from the small circle of people who were using the intial version of the bot, I was convinced that it was worth taking a bit more seriously and opening it up to a wider audience. The bot's home discord server now has over 2,000 members and I've got a good count of teams chipping in some money to cover the hosting costs involved with running the bot. I've learned a huge amount while working on it, and am really proud of the big push I've recently made to get what I'm calling "version 2" out into production.

A while back my wife and I decided that we'd try hosting some boardgaming nights. Initially this started with getting a group of 8 together roughly once a month to play through Pandemic: Season 2. It was a huge success and these sorts of nights have become a huge part of our schedule. My collection of games has grown and grown, edging into the "I think you have a problem" teritory. Luckily my kids are also into baordgames now and I'm sure that my investment into all these games will pay off over the years to come.

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Welcome to 2019

2018 is done and dusted and I've spent some time over the last couple of weeks pondering things that I want to achieve in 2019.

I turn 40 in May and I want to have shed the spare tyre I've been building up on my waistline. I'm cutting down on my caloric intake and getting back into the habit of intermittent fasting, aiming for two days a week where I don't eat for 36 hours.

I also need to improve my general fitness, so I'm going to get back into the habit of doing the 7 minute workout 5 days a week, and swimming 500m+ once a week.

We have a few home improvement style projects around the house:

The most crucial one is dealing with the increase of ground water that has been seeping down the hill and onto our property. We've already dug 3 trenches to install ag pipe and drainage pits that have improved the situation somewhat, and yesterday I planted 4 Man Ferns which I hope drink up a portion of the water. I think we'll need to dig in another couple of runs of ag pipe.

We've got a plan to set up an outdoor dining area in the backyard, including a pizza / bread oven and table. Much of the effort has already been completed, but there is another big push required to get it completed.

Under the house needs a better flooring solution, including a ramp to make getting the lawn mower in and out easier. I also want to improve the storage system and work bench space.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Oh hi there!

Had a spare moment to myself today and was trying to recall some tid bit and realised that the easiest place to dig it up was actually on my own site; — imagine my shock when I loaded the page to find that the latest content was from 4 months ago...

The whole point of the system I'd rigged up is that the site would magically contain all the content I'd posted on my other sites, added to my favourites on many other sites, or added to my "snippets" collection.... something which I just sort of continuously do.

A quick bit of troubleshooting later, it turns out that my exception handling for when one of these sources dies wasn't great. Soundcloud appears to have changed something and broken the way I was collecting favourited tracks and it was crashing the site updater. As I don't actually use Soundcloud to find new music any more, I've killed off the collector. Though, not before fixing my exception handling so that if another source has issues in the future it won't bring the whole show to an end.

Not that anyone cares, I'm pretty sure no one actually visits except for search engine bots.... right?

Oh, and me when my memory of where I saw something on the net fails.

As a side note, I no longer use Soundcloud because Drew tricked me into signing up for a 90 day free trial of Google Music and I found it so excellent that I've actually allowed them to direct debit me to continue using it. I could insert the "Fry shocked" gif again, but I'll spare you.

In other, other news... this is the first time I've "blogged" in nearly 2 years. More "Fry shocked" gif could be used. I sort of miss it as an outlet.... maybe I'll start again. Or maybe not. Come back in a month and check hey?