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[personal profile] angharad_gam
 Is why, in RPGs, you can usually only wear two magic rings at the same time. I wear eight rings as a matter of course, and could wear more, except I have never found any small enough to fit my pinky fingers (leaving aside plastic kiddie rings). And that's without getting into the mediaeval practice of wearing rings on the first finger joint as well as on the knuckle. Why would an adventurer not want to maximise their advantage by piling on as many magic rings as possible? A couple of reasons spring to mind:
  1. Wearing rings that do not fit you very well (as would likely be the case if you had a random collection looted from various dubious sources) could make it more difficult to use a weapon properly. Speaking from experience, if a ring is too loose it pinches quite a bit if you try to get a firm grip on something,  especially something hard. Still, this shouldn't stop mages or maybe  even archers.
  2. Magical interference. You might think the ring of attack and the ring of defense, and the ring of charisma, and the ring of perspicacity will work exactly as advertised, but when you put them on  together what actually happens is that you turn an unpleasant shade of green and become highly attractive to termites. 
Of course,  the real reason is that it's just a pain to keep track of...

Feeling slightly pleased today

Jul. 17th, 2017 09:50 pm
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[personal profile] angharad_gam
Partly because I managed to get my Dragon Age 2 character back together with her Tormented Elf Boyfriend (I am totally not over-invested in these games). The game actually did a pretty good job of making it kind of uncertain as to whether this was actually going to happen, despite me looking up spoilers galore.

And partly because of Lady Doctor Who.

The unusual flurry of posting from me of late is likely to be ending shortly, as I am going to be doing my boss's job for the month or so, and then I will have a couple of papers to write.

My brother (he of the being struck by lightning in Estonia) is continuing his eating tour of the Baltic. So far he has eaten bear, elk, ants and reindeer heart...

And finally, in honour of the passing of Martin Landau, the most disco sci-fi show theme ever:

First flight of the Janusaurus

Jul. 17th, 2017 01:00 pm
submarine_bells: K-13 glider performing aerobatics (k-13)
[personal profile] submarine_bells
As regular readers may have observed, my gliding club owns a number of gliders, most of which are vintage wooden birds. These aircraft are great and I love them to bits, but they're not terribly shiny. They're old-fashioned and relatively low performance, and so it was decided that we needed to aquire a high-performance two-seater to use for advanced training and cross-country flying. A promising contender was located - a Schempp-Hirth Janus B that a club in Victoria was selling - and the club exec commenced negotiations... at which point, a miracle occured!

Well, not a miracle exactly. But a wonderful event. There's a fairly high-profile South Australian tech entrepreneur who's been in the news a fair bit recently: Simon Hackett, the founder of big South Australian ISP Internode, who has also been on the board of the NBN, and has been most recently in the news for his company Redflow, the local pioneering makers of zinc-bromine flow batteries. Anyway, my gliding club has a long history with Simon - we taught him to fly, and he's been a generous supporter of the club over the years. But he's really outdone himself this time. We'd worked all the numbers and figured out that we could just afford to purchase this aircraft if we maybe removed another one from service, or rearranged the insurance setup we had on the other aircraft, or some such thing... anyway, it was tight but just do-able, with a bit of luck. And then as the purchase was about to go ahead, Simon stepped in and paid for the Janus. All of it. As a donation to the club.

Like, wow.

This all happened very fast. Last week a couple of club members went to Victoria to look the Janus over - and they returned home with it in a trailer. It arrived at the airfield on Saturday, to our very great delight. And so may I introduce to you our very own Janus B high-performance advanced training glider!

Here we are after removing the Janus from her trailer, in the process of rigging it prior to flight. As a fibreglass two-seater, she's the heaviest aircraft we own. Given that rigging a glider involves several people holding the wings up in position while connections are made in the fuselage, one wag started referring to her as "the Janusaurus", a name which seemed to stick.

rigging the Janusaurus

And here's the Janus in all her glory. Quite something, isn't she?

moar Janus
Janus beauty shot

I was thrilled to get a flight in the Janus. Here I am just before launch, with instructor Derek in the back seat:
ready to launch
It's definitely going to take a bit of training and practice before I'll be able to fly the Janus solo. She's a very different bird to the ASK-13s and Ka-8s that I'm used to. My initial impression was that she felt a bit like a very shiny polished barge to fly - heavy, smooth and stable. The stick was heavier than I expected, and the rudders really require assertive stamping-on to be useful - no delicate little rudder nudges for this plane! It has a completely different feel to the vintage gliders I've trained on, and is more complex as well, being a flapped glider that also has water ballast tanks (good for racing). There's going to be quite a learning curve here, I can really see that.

Here's a few more pics of the Janus taking off and landing. Isn't she pretty?

the Janusaurus takes flight
VU in flight
Janus on final

The Janus is going to be such a wonderful asset for my club. Not only is she beautiful to look at (which does tend to attract new folk more than our vintage fleet) but she's a modern-style high-performance aircraft that will make it so much easier to train pilots for the transition between our old trainers and fast fibreglass single-seat aircraft, which thus far has been difficult to do. Also she'll be perfect for the regular club soaring camps in the Flinders Ranges and Blue Mountains, as she's got the performance to be able to easily handle those more challenging flying environments, and as a two-seater it'll be possible for less-experienced pilots to join in the fun with an instructor teaching them how to fly in unforgiving mountain terrain. But best of all, she's perfect as a high-performance cross-country trainer. I'm hoping to learn how to soar cross-country this coming summer, and it'll be so much easier and better to do so in an aircraft like the Janus. I can't wait!


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Ian Borchardt

October 2012

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