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Brad D
Works at Voicewalker Inc.
Attended Sandwich High School
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Brad D

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And the quote to wrap up Gencon weekend (without context) is:

"Alright, fine.  Then YOU get to deal with the three mad scientists in the Popemobile.  Good luck with that."
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Brad D

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Well that was a fun 1879 demo I just got through. Had two older gentlemen who were former military nuclear engineers, one playing a Byron and the other a Mage. The third player was a current army captain playing a Big Game Hunter who I swear looked like Steve Rogers. They managed to get through the scenario beautifully, had a blast playing, and are eager for the book to be out. The captain specifically noted that he wasn't a huge fan of most RPGs, but that this is one he would definitely play. He also seemed somewhat interested in the minis game, especially when I mentioned my work on the mechanics to convert characters between the two. Most people I've talked to this weekend seem particularly interested in that, so I'll need to find some time to actually play through it with our minis people to test and refine.
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Since I have the pictures on this one now, I can go ahead and post the update.  The boxes for the card project are DONE. This was a redesign request by the client midway, though it reduced the complexity, so I didn't really complain.

The core of the boxes are wood, high quality plywood with square dowel spacers to make the slots, and felt lined to protect the finish on the cards.  The exteriors are all covered with genuine leather, hardened and glued to the surface, with either upholstery or carpet tacks at the ends to further secure it (I used both types for different finish looks).  The top portion of the wood is painted with a simple black acrylic, and the curved tops are sewn with artificial sinew.  I left the closure portion of the boxes unfinished, as the client has specific clasps he plans to use that I do not have, and since leather won't heal itself like cloth, it can only be done once.

I am sooooooo glad to have this one off my docket.  Looking back, it was a fun project and I did learn a few things (as I do with every build), but it has been covering a large span of time with a lot of things thrown at me, so anything I can check off the list is a huge weight off my shoulders.
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With some concentrated effort and an all nighter (one which was due anyway since I waaaaay overslept yesterday), the photoshopping for the card project I was commissioned on is done.  I'm attaching one of the suites as an example; I've got one set for each mana color, one for artifacts, and two jokers.

The boxes are assembled, and just need some trimming and sanding to make the sides even, and then the leather added.  I've got a batch of leather for one of them soaking now, which I will bake to harden it once the boxes are ready for it.
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Brad D

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So I've been wanting to experiment with recycling HDPE for various crafting projects, since from what I've read it works at about the same consistency as wood, but is lighter weight and can be molded into shapes that aren't as easy to carve.  Up until now, though, I didn't think I had an abundant supply built up for viable material. 

With some experimenting today, I found that I can in fact get standard plastic shopping bags to work.  The trick appears to be that I have to go through a couple of heat - fold - compress - repeat cycles in order to get the air bubbles pressed out and to get the various layers meshed together.  I managed to get about six bags pressed into a flat piece about two inches in diameter and about a quarter of an inch thick, and it's definitely solid.  That may not be much in the scheme of things, but I've got a HUGE pile of the things saved up already, and I'm constantly getting more in.

I will probably need to refine my process a bit, but that can be handled with practice.  My compression today was just standing on the heated material compressing it between two pieces of scrap wood.  I already whipped up a small box that I can use for compression and to make actual block ingots.  I've got a small, crappy toaster oven that I'm using to heat them, though I may need to use an open flame for my initial heating, as it takes them a bit to shrink down from bag form when they're first put in.  I'll have to see what's most efficient and safe.
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Brad D

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The damn new bed broke last night; one of the metal side rails bent in the center.  I didn't like them to begin with, they weren't shaped right to hold the bed frame in correctly on their own in the first place, and even after I added cross support beams they wouldn't stay put right until I drilled holes and screwed them in place. 

So today I decided I'm done screwing around with the damn things and got some 2x4's.  I set up three length supports rather than just the two side rails, added feet to the center support, and then screwed my cross supports on top.  If this doesn't stay together, I'm building a solid frame myself from scratch.
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Your bed broke?  Oh my.
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Brad D

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All checked-in after my first day at Gencon.  Nothing too big for me today, since unfortunately I couldn't get through the traffic around Chicago with enough time to run the Earthdawn session that got rescheduled on us.  I did get some catch up time with people though, had a nice dinner, and actually got to lay eyes on the Earthdawn 4th edition Player's Guide and the 1879 Minis Corebook.  I'll have a lot more on my docket for tomorrow.
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Brad D

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Still have a decent stack of work to do this weekend, but so far I'm right on track.  I have four panels of leather glued on to each of the three remaining card boxes I'm making.  I should be able to put the bottom panels on tonight, leaving just the tops, the upholstery tacks, and the little bit of painting to be done tomorrow. 

I also reassembled a broken table that I salvaged last week.  It's antique or very close to it, just a simple affair with two fold up sides, spindle legs with wheels that are held together at the bottom with a shelf.  The wood pegs attaching the legs and shelf had come apart, leaving nothing securing the legs at the bottom, so they fell right out of their holes in the top.  I drilled out new holes in the wood that remained of the old pegs, inserted new dowels with glue and clamped all four legs to the shelf with a ratchet strap, glued the tops of the spindles back into the top, and have it flipped upside down with some stacks of scrap wood serving as a press.  I will probably need to make new supports for the fold up sides; one is missing and the other is not in the best of shape, but that won't be too hard.  I haven't decided how I'm going to finish it off; it's got a dark walnut stain on it now that isn't terrible but also isn't in the best of shape, so I don't really want to leave it as is.  I could sand and re-stain it, but the wood is so old I'm worried it's going to have a really tough time staining evenly.  I'm thinking I might just paint it, though I'll need to give some thought to how I want to do it.  I'll post pictures once the glue is set.

Finally, I've got office supplies to whip up some guides for myself for the games to run at Gencon.  I've already reviewed them, but making the guides will help cement it in my memory, and give me reminders in case that's not enough.  That will probably roll over to tomorrow though.
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Brad D

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I just came to a realization with regards to same-sex marriage and government employees refusing to issue marriage licenses on religious grounds.

The First Amendment grants the rights to free choice and expression of religion for each individual citizen.  It does not, however, guarantee that a citizen cannot be relieved of duties from their job if those choices and expressions make them unfit for their job.  Look at all the cases where someone has been fired over a post made in social media; this sets clear legal precedent.  It's also clear that being unable follow government law and policy based on your religion makes you unfit for that position.

The only law (that I am aware of, at least) that could in any way grant an unfit person employment is through the Americans with Disabilities Act.

So in order for the religious to argue that they should be allowed to refuse marriage licenses to same-sex couples AND keep their jobs, they must accept that religion is a mental disability.
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Brad D

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My car is now at least reasonably clean inside, which I haven't been able to say truthfully for about two years.  I have leather baking in my oven to harden, and probably about two hours before I need to start dinner to have it done in time for when my fiancee comes home.  I still have lots to do, but I finally feel like I'm starting to get some pressure release.
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Brad D

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The next time anyone says that comic books are a bad influence, show them this.
 
Real life superhero Zavi Ahmed swooped to the rescue after police were unable to free the trapped tot from the Volkswagen Beetle
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Brad D

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Well, small piece of good news when I got home.  Looks like the arborists were back through the neighborhood today, and the city property tree in front of my house is marked for removal.  Most of the trees around aren't doing well, with half the foliage gone and the rest attempting to grow out of the trunk, mine being no exception.  I'm also fairly sure that's the tree that was causing problems with my plumbing before, so knocking it down should help clear that out.  Even aside from those problems, once it's gone it will open up my front yard and really let the crab apple tree show much better.
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People
Have him in circles
106 people
Jesse Butler's profile photo
David Davenport's profile photo
roman hactor's profile photo
Arlo Barnes's profile photo
Matthew Shogren's profile photo
Cassandra Marshall's profile photo
Elke Neher's profile photo
Stan Shinn's profile photo
Chris Dunn's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Maille Maker, Customer Service/Tech, and Game Developer
Skills
Borderline OCD attention to detail, Work regularly on Asterisk PBX's, The go-to guy for Polycom Soundpoint IP phones, Recreational mathematics, General badassery
Employment
  • Voicewalker Inc.
    Tech/Customer Service, 2012 - present
  • Self Employed Maille Maker
    present
  • Fox Valley YMCA
    Head Lifeguard, 2005 - 2011
  • Waubonsee Community College Bookstore
    2005 - 2007
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Relationship
Engaged
Other names
Urahara (urahara1001 or some alteration for most things online), Kasbak (EarthDawn character name), Freeload Master (alternate online name)
Story
Tagline
The kind of nerd that makes the stuff other nerds fawn over
Introduction
I was born in Florida, grew up in Bumblefuck Illinois, and bought my own house at 25 in Bolingbrook (which has a HELL of a lot more going for it).  I'm a major nerd, and I'm damn proud of it.
Bragging rights
Have Divine Parking Powers, Bought a house at the age of 25, Game Developer with FASA for 1879
Education
  • Sandwich High School
  • Waubonsee Community College
    Computer Science