The hearing protectors I use when cutting the grass did yeoman service protecting my hearing at the range yesterday--a better job, in fact, than they did today when I was cutting the grass with my earbuds in as well. WTF.
Well, a firearm gives off one shockwave--bang--and that's it. Even if you do rapid-fire it's still not more than 2-3 shockwaves per second at the most. But a 4-cycle lawnmower engine running at (say) 3,000 RPM is emitting 1,500 shockwaves per second.
Oh well. I have plenty of time to buy new ear protectors for next year. The pair I have will go in my range box and stay there once I've got another pair for yard work.
There was a thing in Reader's Digest about how loud you should have your personal audio player, and how long you can tolerate various settings. It said you could run it at 60% volume all day.
60% would blow my eardrums out. I think I turn my MP3 player up to about 25 or 30%--40% at the most--and that's only when I want it loud; otherwise I've got it like three clicks above "silent". Then again, I've got sensitive ears.
Anyway, the grass is cut. Now on to other things.
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Over the past couple of days I've been working on my first WoW toon, Torgilgrimm's, blacksmithing skill.
...every time I get somewhere, I discover that I need to go out and find 50,000,000,000 more units of iron/mithril/whatev, and it's kind of pissing me off. No wonder I haven't done this before; it's a pain in the ass.
Torg's to the point that he can mine and smelt thorium, but I've just barely gotten him to the point of making stuff from mithril (which is a lower level than thorium) and I haven't accumulated enough materials to do any significant amount of that. So after House, MD is over tonight I think I'm going to go out and start farming mithril and solid stone. *sigh*
It took me some time to figure out how to fight bad guys without him dying. The priest is the squishiest character class in WoW, bar none. (Particularly since Torg's a "holy" priest, which is the healing specification.) I think I have arranged a decent rotation of damage spells, and the vastly decreased cooldown on "power word: shield" helps a ton. You can "bubble" and then attack guys; it lasts for 30 seconds and by the time the bubble goes down you can cast it again. This protects you from physical damage, which helps the priest's survivability a lot.
Without that, man, you'd be pemmican in no time. It doesn't stop magic damage (or not totally) so it's not complete invulnerability, but it helps a lot nonetheless. And as squishy as Torg is, he can still take on a monster 4 levels above him and survive the encounter. (Only one at a time, but he can do it.)
At least I'm having some fun with all this. I wouldn't be doing it if I weren't.
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Of late I've been playing around with an idea for a Haruhi fanfic.
On the first day of school, in the class she and Kyon share, the teacher has everyone introduce himself to the class. When it's her turn, Haruhi stands up and announces, "My name is Haruhi Suzumiya. If there are any aliens, time travelers, sliders, or espers, report to me immediately!" (I know this quotation is not exact. It's close enough for my purposes.) Subsequently she forms the SOS Brigade, and it accumulates members: an alien, a time-traveler, an esper, and Kyon. But no slider.
"Slider", in this context, refers to a person who has come from a parallel universe. As far as I've read there are never any sliders in any of the stories. IF THERE ARE ANY IN STORIES SUBSEQUENT TO Boredeom of Haruhi Suzmiya DO NOT TELL ME!
(...though I have a hunch that Disappearance of... is a "slider" story. NO, DO NOT TELL ME.)
No sliders: and so I started thinking about a version of the entire thing told from the viewpoint of a slider, one who came from a universe in which Haruhi Suzumiya was fiction. I could see him in class on the first day of school, minding his own business, and then Haruhi gets up and he stares at her...and is worried that others will wonder why he's staring, only to realize that everyone else is staring too so it doesn't matter.
I figured I'd avoid the "Mary Sue" (or "Marty Stu") phenomenon by having his memory of events be dependent on whether or not they've happened: he doesn't even think about Haruhi even though he's attending "North High" and sees the pretty girl with the yellow ribbon and the hostile attitude in his class, until she announces her presence. Then: OMGWTFBBQ. He doesn't realize Yuki is an alien until she tells Kyon about it, at which point suddenly he remembers "Oh, yeah!" even though he's not actually present for that scene. (Ditto for Akizuki and Asahina.)
When the thing rolls around to "Endless Eight" he doesn't know how to get them out of the loop any more than the rest of them do; he doesn't know how to fix it until Kyon hits on the solution.
If I actually do write the thing it'll be solely for my own amusement. Whatever I do with this, I'm probably never going to let it see light of day. Oh well. But I probably won't bother, because writing a story using other peoples' characters is kind of annoying.
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My download of Kiss x Sis from Blu-Ray is nearly complete. Hooray for uncensored versions.