Monday, January 23, 2012

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Bounty Hunter Hаhz and his wife Mako.I just want to make a short post and offer a small explanation for the lack of posting lately. Blame BioWare, the studio that made Star Wars: The Old Republic — a massively multiplayer online role playing game. RPG is the only type of game that I enjoy playing and I haven’t touched anything way back since the time when we left World of Warcraft several years ago.

Sith Marauder Zhаh and his companion Jaesa.We tried playing different RPGs, but nothing really stuck as they tried to invent their own formula and always fell short of WoW, no pun intended. This one however takes exactly what WoW was and improves several annoying parts of it. Everyone has a companion, normal groups are limited to 4 people and companions count. They are not as good as real players, but we’ve been able to do pretty much all content together with Eldar to this point.

Hаhz and Mako.Anyhow, it’s been eating up all of my free time and a lot of my sleep time. I have two characters that I enjoy very much. One is a Sith Warrior Marauder named Zhаh — a character that specializes in dual-wielding lightsabers. He is a melee DPS guy who I’ve been leveling together with one of Eldar’s characters. Another one is a Bounty Hunter Mercenary that is a ranged DPS dealer.

Game UI. Running.Both play very differently and have a different story that spans through all 50 levels. Role playing gets to the point of characters being able to romance and marry their companions — that’s what Hаhz (my bounty hunter) did. It’s been a lot of fun to this point, but I think it won’t be as much fun once we reach level 50. Same thing as with WoW, only I’m not raiding this time around.
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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Machinarium

MachinariumI started seeing the game named Machinarium get mentioned on multiple blogs that I read. I looked at it, but tried not to be temped and just moved on. But it kept coming up in various places and eventually ended up on number 1 spot in the App Store.

Getting the police robot to drop the bridge.So I bought it. Turned out to be a lot of fun. Probably the first adventure game that I finished. Made by a small independent studio the game is very well drawn and is filled with clever puzzles for the player to solve. I just couldn’t stop. It’s not very long. I finished it in two nights. But it was great while it lasted. Five bucks well spent.

Getting the robo-cat.
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Friday, December 31, 2010

Cycling 2010

Cycling clothing.The cycling year is over and since I’m not planning to cycle in the last 8 hours of this year I decided to calculate and post the final stats. There are many valid excuses I can come up with for such unimpressive results, but it’s better than nothing.

In the last months the weather got really cold and I had no proper clothing. However a week ago I finally bought a couple of items that allowed me to put some miles in without freezing to death. I had the long pants from the last year and my helmet came with a winter insert which I installed.

I bought a thermal layer that goes under a jersey (basically a t-shirt with long sleves that soaks up sweat) and a really nice cycling jacket. I’m thinking that I should’ve gotten it one size smaller since the rubber strip on the bottom doesn’t prevent it from sliding up. Otherwise it’s water and wind proof, has a lot of convient pockets and a long back.

I think what I need to get is a long sleeved jersey to replace my summer one, get some thermal layer on the head to cover the ears, get a pair of booties that go over the cycling shoes, some real gloves and it should make cycling comfortable during winter.

Here are the final numbers:
MonthRidesTotal DistanceOverall Time
8 months34707.0453:54:54
April10160.2412:21:29
May596.8207:17:42
June6116.9908:12:32
July115.5001:10:50
August131.1102:40:17
September366.7306:11:19
October6185.6713:24:11
December233.9802:36:34

So there you have it. Total of 707 miles and almost 54 hours on a bike. The fastest speed was 32.8 MPH and the biggest single time distance is 51.16 miles. By my standards (they are pretty low ones) that’s not too shabby. Hopefully next year will be better and even more hopefully Alena will join in. Arosha will probably have to wait a year or two.
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Monday, October 11, 2010

Queens Loop

Here’s a map1 of what we’ve been doing with Mike on weekends from the time when he got his new bike.

Our overall ride length varies from 25 to 32 miles per run and it takes us from hour and a half to 2 hours depending on the detours and stops that we choose to make.

Hopefully Alena will join us as soon as possible. And maybe even Alex will remember to bring his biking clothes back to Brooklyn and not have a hang over one day, but we’re not really counting on that. When Lenchik gets back to living in Brooklyn (if ever) we’ll just have him run with us. Anybody else wants to join? )

  1. Large map. Recorded with Cyclemeter for iPhone. []
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Sunday, July 18, 2010

StarCraft II Beta

Starcraft IISomehow a beta key from StarCraft II landed in my mailbox. I tried a couple of game and it feels pretty much like an old StarCraft with updated graphics. I’m not really a fan of this genre of games. Actually I’m not a fan of games at all.

StarCraft IIAnyhow, it’s been fun to play a couple of rounds for free. Too bad the beta is for multi-player only. I would’ve enjoyed a solo campaign more probably. Plus I tend to build a nice base and arrange my stuff and meantime a huge army invades and destroys everything — as I said, not my thing.
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Monday, May 31, 2010

May Cycling

HelmetHere is my May cycling report summed up in one word — pathetic. First we were on vacation, then I was sick, then we were shopping for furniture, then we were putting furniture together. You get the picture. Overall I managed to get out only 5 times during the whole month of May. Goes and hides in shame now.

Sasha and I did a pretty long loop throughout parts of Brooklyn, Rockaways and Queens though this time around — over 30 miles long, which makes it my longest ride yet.

DateTotal DistanceAverage SpeedOverall Time
5 days96.82max 15.807:18
5/08/201012.8012.801:14
5/14/201020.5415.801:19
5/15/201030.5614.102:23
5/29/201012.5015.200:50
5/31/201020.4214.601:30

However the weather wasn’t really cooperating this month — it was extremely windy very often. It’s not my favorite feeling when you’re going 20 MPH and then you’re standing still and feeling like you’re about to roll backwards. Today though was an exception. Even though the winds were pretty strong it felt really nice going against it — the day was very hot and wind would cool you down so quickly that I was almost feeling goose bumps and that seemed to give me more strength to go through it. I really enjoyed that for a change today.
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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

April Cycling

CyclingIf all goes as planned and we do go on our vacation this Saturday I’m not going to do any more cycling this month. Hence my mini report for this month. It certainly feels good to be riding again.

I use CatEye V3 to collect the following data — distance, average speed, average heart-rate, average cadence and maximum speed reached through out the ride.

At this point my average cadence has stayed pretty consistent which is 65-69 since the day I started recording it. My average heart-rate is at 150-164. The maximum speed that I was able to reach was 29.2 MPH, which I’m sure is pretty laughable by any standards, but it is what it is. And the more detailed break down follows:

DateTotal DistanceAverage SpeedOverall Time
10 days160.24max 15.213:21
04/02/201010.699.701:06
04/03/201011.630.001:00
04/04/201021.3912.402:10
04/05/201011.6313.300:57
04/07/201016.8214.101:23
04/09/201011.6813.900:52
04/10/201024.1313.501:56
04/14/201015.7914.801:05
04/16/201013.6115.200:55
04/17/201022.8712.801:56

I did put about 10 more miles on my parent’s fitness bike, but I’m not including those stats since it’s really hard to compare the machine to a real bike. I’m not really sure what’s harder to do.
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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Cannondale Synapse Carbon 5

Cannondale Synapse Carbon 5.After 4 weeks of waiting and almost a year long break I’m back on a bicycle. However everything worked out in an unexpected way as it often does.

Shimano 105 shifters.This time around I place an order for Cannondale CAAD9-4. Same bike as I had before, only instead of getting Shimano 105 components I decided to go with SRAM Rival. The problem was that our LBS didn’t have this particular bike in stock. They placed an order to Cannondale and Cannondale folks were dragging their feet.

Shimano 105 derailleurs, FSA Gossamer BB30 Compact crank.This past Wednesday Sasha asked if I wanted to stop by the store, see if he’ll pick anything out. The owner wasn’t supposed to be there on Wednesday, but there he was. He explained to me that Cannondale was expecting to ship the bikes next week and that he would’ve called me if anything changed, but I told him that I’m here with a friend to show him around.

Cannondale logo on the frame, Control Tech handlebar.We went to look at bikes and I suggested Alex test drives a CAAD9 bike and a Synapse. CAAD9 is a great crit bike and is great for racing, or anything else for that matter, but since we’re not really planning to race an endurance bike could be a better choice, and Synapse is exactly that. Synapse comes in alloy and carbon.

Prologo Kappa Pas saddle.Sasha ended up liking Synapse more. We were told that it was a 2009 (last year) carbon model with Shimano 105 stuff. The price tag was $1400, which is a bit crazy, knowing that 2010 model goes for $2150. When Alex agreed to buy it, the owner started checking books and discovered that they, as he eloquently put it, fucked up. The bike was aluminum alloy, not carbon.

Shimano RS10 wheels and hubs.Allen (the owner) apologized for the screw up and said to correct the situation he’s going to give him a very good price — $1100 for aluminum and if he still wants carbon he’ll give him 2010 model for $1550, which is off the hook. I started feeling that my $1500 for $1800 wasn’t as great of a deal compared to this one — although it still was a hell of a deal, judging by the info on the forums.

Carbon frame, carbon fork. BPA-Free Camelbak Podium bottle.Alex took a bike for a test drive and Allen said to me that since I was his customer it would not be right if he wouldn’t offer me the same deal. After a short test drive it didn’t take long for me to change my mind. Although CAAD9 is an awesome bike I figured that for me endurance bike probably makes more sense than a crit bike, since I’m not really all that great of a cyclist at this point. Plus this way I could pick up my new bike right away, instead of waiting. Alex did the same.

Shimano A520 SPD pedals.We picked them up on Friday. I put a little bit over 40 miles up to this point on my bike and I like it a lot. First day I wasn’t sure about my switch, but now I’m just happy to be riding again. We picked up a bunch of other gear which was given to us at a great price as well. I said this before, and I will say this again — THE BEST customer service and shopping experience, only at Sheepshead Cycle Shop. Allen is great to do business with, and I’m one of many very satisfied customers.
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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cycling in Colorado

One and only photo of me on my bike.A bit of exciting news for us with regards to cycling — yesterday, with Eldar’s help, I made a reservation for a pair of road bikes at a local to Eldar store.

If we can’t have our cycling in this city at least we’ll enjoy some of it during our trip next month. And not only we’ll do some cycling, but we’ll do it in the heart of cycling country. I think everyone in Boulder owns a road bike.

We’ll be renting a pair of Specialized Roubaix road bikes for $50 a day.

P.S. This is the only photo of me on my bike in existence.
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Saturday, February 2, 2008

Dreadsteeds

DreadsteedYesterday night my warlock hit level 60. Maruk has one that is 65 and he pretty much gathered all the materials for the 2 of us to do our Dreadsteed quest.

Eldar and Alena helped us complete the last part tonight. Thanks to them gratz to both of us. mrgreen
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Friday, January 25, 2008

Warrior and Warlock

Hahz, Undead WarlockIt’s time to confess. I have reactivated WoW again on December 2. That thing just keeps pulling me back in. Alena has reactivated her account as well.

We’ve been doing a lot of heroic instances with friends, something that we haven’t done before and I find those a lot of fun. They present a nice challenge and offer some upgrades in gear, even though very minimal.

I have also brought up The UGH site back up and we’ve got some activity there. We actually have our first Karazhan raid scheduled for tomorrow. I don’t know how it will go, or if everyone will show up, but it looks promising. It’s going to be great to run things again with good in game friends and Eldar.

Another fun thing for me is my warlock that I made, named Hahz. He is level 54 now and the play style is completely different from a tanking warrior. I’m enjoying it a lot. I’m planning to do some PvPing with him and he’s going to be my farming machine.
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