29 December 2009

House Heating and How to Host a Dungeon

I have a habit of thinking of many topics to post about but never really getting around to posting anything. By the time I sit down to write it's all gone out of my head. I suppose a notebook or digital note-taking device would help me to keep track of myself, but usually the notes wind up being misplaced or are not close at hand when an idea strikes.

We are currently trying to decide whether to replace our furnace and air conditioning system. The furnace is something like 31 years old and the outside unit was replaced 11 years ago. Assuming our power bill goes down quite a bit after the replacement it won't really cost us any more to get the new system. Another thing we may do whether the furnace gets replaced or not is get the wood stove serviced/replaced. It's got a crack in it and the air intake doesn't work properly. It's also very shallow, so I have a hard time building my little wood and paper framework that gets things going. The attractive thing about keeping the stove going is that once it gets going the furnace doesn't come on much at all. And we can get enough wood for the winter delivered to our house for much less than I thought, considering the amount of time and labor it takes to cut, split, and stack it. Not particularly exciting blog fare, but wood stoves and furnaces are what's on my mind.

A friend came over today to paint figures and hang out. I think I painted the belts and shoes on three Easterlings and we played computer games instead. It was fun, but I also feel a bit frustrated as I had hoped to really make some progress on my figure collection. With an Army school to go to in another week, college starting back up after that, then a train-up and a deployment to other parts of the world I have been feeling a lot of pressure to get things done because anything I put off will not get done until I get home sometime in the 2011-2012 timeframe. I am glad to have a secure job, but deployments are an unfortunate side effect of the wars we've got on. The hobbyist in me who greatly values personal time rails against writing off years at a time from his schedule. It's a trade-off.

I recently discovered an interesting solo game through the Mik's Minis blog. It's called How to Host a Dungeon and basically walks you through creating a map and populating an underground dungeon over the course of several thousand years. At the end you've got a neat little map of your dungeon and the entire history behind it. Now when someone asks what a bugbear is doing in some random room you can tell them the events that brought the creature to that location. I'd recommend reading Mik's post about it.

I still have plenty to post about, but if I don't get to bed I will never wake up for work in the morning. I figure I should show up to work sometimes, since that's how the work for pay thing operates. When I was young I thought that adult life must be rather pleasant and full of excitement. I never thought I'd be sitting at the table with my wife looking at firewood on Craigslist and discussing which bills should be paid when.

1 comment:

  1. We recently upgraded our heating/cooling units to the most efficient ones available 9 months ago (Carrier heat pumps). I can report that our heating bills are down on average 40%/month and the cooling is down almost 50% when adjusted for temp differences season to season.

    One thing that was replaced with the units was the thermostat which has a pretty big impact on the efficiency. Of course the new ones are very complicated so only my 14 year old son knows how to work them.

    Good luck with your utilities and thank you for your service.