Fitness goals 2019

Is this achievable natty?

First 2 weeks has been OK on the rings and bars. Eventually hoping to do some ring dips and a back/front lever. Will take me months to get that I reckon. The DIY gallows/sex swing has held fast, but I should really anchor it to the ground to stop someone robbing it. May also try secure the allen key bolts to stop it being dissembled and stolen to defeat the lock.

Pullups went from 3×3 to 6×3. Starting to do these on rings now that my strength is coming back. At one point in 2014 I could do 20 pullups at a higher bodyweight.

Inverted rows I gradually worked my angle on a 3×8-10 set lower and lower until I am now about parallel to the ground with my feet supported on a small step.

Ring pushups I started at a static hold while working my normal pushups to 20 reps. Now up to 3×10 at about a 45 degree angle. Quite a lot of pec activation on these. I am weaker than I think I am.

Also doing some active/passive hanging to decompress my spine and stretch my pecs. Less lumbar pain and less neck pain since starting. Calves and hamstrings are as tight as ever though, especially with the sitting/cycling.

I went from a 32″ waist to a 33″ waist over the Christmas period – time will tell if this is purely a result of stuffing myself with rich food and driving rather than walking/cycling or simply the first slowdown you hit in your late 20s. Looking forward to getting dat dere TRT in my 50s to get insanely jacked and entirely infertile instead of a vasectomy once the 3 necessary children have been sired

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Going back to the USA

willing to jerk today

I am going to be heading to Atlanta for work mid-February and should get in the night before president’s day. Will be there 2 weeks. Willing to mope/jerk on arrival.

I am looking forward to drinking actual Dr. Pepper and eating more fast food. Hope to do some shooting and see some Civil War stuff if possible.

No doubt I will walk 30 minutes to the nearest store to the bafflement of everyone. Thankfully most Southern people I’ve met have no trouble deciphering an Irish accent, or maybe they were too polite to say otherwise.

Gallows/ sex swing/ pullup station completed

7 feet tall, made from galvanized steel pipe and size 6 kee klamp fittings. I reckon it’s safe to about 300KG judging by my calculations off their website: https://www.bipa.lt/uploads/File/UK_KeeKlamp_2007_C.pdf. Was easy to put together, but a spirit level is recommended.

I think I’ll need a torque wrench though to get it to recommended tightness, I simply cranked as hard as I could with an allen key. Ticks the boxes for me as I can leave it outside without it rotting away. In the future, I can try sink the uprights into concrete or something, Or use it for goalposts for kids

Bought some gymnastic rings for dips and rows but haven’t put it up yet. Good size on the bar for pull ups and hanging is great for decompressing my spine. Pleased so far. Will possibly die when I try to a muscle up when this tips over and decapitates me. I am not sure my life insurance covers DIY accidents.


Lifewise, the house is fine. Large cracks in the pavement I am starting to fill, not a big priority as I’ll eventually get new slab put in. Roof of the shed out the back is entirely rotten in one place and there is a colony of jew’s ear fungus growing on the wall. Nothing in there but old paint and a large, empty toolbox. It will need to be replaced in 2019 I’d say. Neighbours are nice, went for a few drinks with them. Very pleasant having the Falcon’s niece here in the house. She comes for a bath. I am getting better with small kids.

Commute 45 minutes for 15km on the bicycle. Not too bad but the weather has been mild so far. Worst part has been leaving my part of town and my friends who lived a very short distance away. Car helps I guess.


Session 08 – Garrison the Bayside Inn

bar.jpg
The party rest up and garrison the 100 Rads bar in Bayside, but have to deal with a potential snitch and strange visitors. The big rumour in the Zone is that a party of stalkers associated with Hugh O’ Neill made it past the brain scorcher and towards Mosney.

_
The weather in Bayside is clear apart from a cotton-like ‘snow’ that only sticks to metal objects. Much of the area around the Bayside Inn, now a stalker outpost called the 100 Rads, has been barricaded with parked cars and building materials. The party approach the bar, and see two distinct groups of stalkers appear on their PDA minimap. The bouncers waves them in and explains the ‘no weapons’ policy. Weapons should be unloaded, and a flag in the breach to prove they are safe. Chainsaw will be harder – MC Geist agrees to lock it and drain the petrol after some discussion. He locks his bicycle outside.

Get to the bar, and there’s a very tense atmosphere when they get in. Place seems divided – people are drinking and talking in two groups: a small party of Loners and one Freedom stalker, and then on the other side new stalkers wearing bandit uniforms crudely dyed Loner colours or very new stalker suits. The newbies complain there’s less and less artifacts. The party get chatting with the Loners and the Freedom stalker, conscious that someone is rumoured to be snitching for the military.
At the bar, the ‘Free Stalkers’ led by Scrote are crowded around a Loner by the name of Notorious, who is bragging about his legend in the Zone and shilling a particular brand of whiskey.
They trade insults for a while, with Scrote and Notorious claiming the following:
  • DoZER are Duty lapdogs in all but name.
  • Rumour that they snitch for the military, because wherever DoZER shows up, a SAFE helicopter shows up too.
  • Rumours about the nutcases they bring with them like that mad bastard with the axe, or was it the giant carved tusk? “He had a chainsaw – I saw him in the Battle for Marino.”
  • Notorious has some tales of his own:
  • He claims was the man who took down the monster that stalked Marino. Saw it hanging around the gym, but tried to heightmog him while he was squatting. He laid it out with a punch and took its belt, and turned it into Duty for a handsome reward.
  • That he took down the Controller pinning down the Scientists in Howth by swigging the whiskey and covering his head with a metal grate then punching it out.
  • That he was the man who took out the mutant lair in Sutton, was in there for 3 days by himself.
  • Will put a gold watch, lined with valuable artifacts, on the line for any man willing to beat him. Three men died to make this watch.

The party call him out as a liar as they did these heroic feats and Notorious challenges them to a fistfight in an hour’s time – wagering his watch that he can take one of them. Poker, as a neutral third party, offers to referee the fight. MC Geist rises to this challenge and uses his prep time to dislodge the emergency whistle from his behind and insert a 40mm smoke grenade up there instead. He accomplishes this, but takes some damage from his overall pool of health.

 

On a nearby street, the party set up watch to ensure this is not an ambush – after all, Notorious could be the military snitch. Notorious swaggers to the fight location and Scrote and co get him warmed up for the fight. MC Geist strips down, and a rifle shot from Poker serves as the starting bell. They will fight until a knockout. MC Geist is confident that Notorious is all talk, but he is unable to see him as a monster for that sweet re-roll to hit.

Notorious closes the distance quickly to MC Geist, taunting him as he comes in. He strikes hard and fast at the edge of his range, and MC Geist is unable to strike back in time. The tempo moves to MC Geist who tries to get in close to grapple Notorious, but kicked off while Notorious circles. Notorious takes this chance to again rain hard blows against MC Geist, making him bleed. MC Geist backs off and falls to his knees, turning his back on Notorious. MC Geist attempts to fish the smoke grenade from his ass, but Notorious wastes no time laying into him with a combination of kicks that nearly KO MC Geist. Hanging on by a thread, MC Geist breaks the rules of the fair fight and pulls the pin on the smoke grenade, shoving the greasy grenade into Notorious’s face. While Notorious is stunned and blinded by the chemicals, MC Geist unleashes his rage, culminating with him suplexing Notorious from the bonnet of a rusting car.

Notorious has been knocked out and has some broken ribs. MC Geist is triumphant and gains a “Hidden Cavity” trait he can invoke with GM’s permission. The party patch up the fighters, and Scrote complains that this was not a fair fight. Notorious groans about a rematch and won’t give up the watch when he wakes up. After the scene clears, Poker applauds the win.

The party notes a few more details about Poker now – he is suspiciously clean cut and well fed for a Freedom member. When he offers weed, he doesn’t smoke it himself. And the bullet hole in his Freedom uniform is in the back, from close range. “I don’t want you to get too freaked out, but there I’m not who I said I was…” Poker begins, before revealing he is a stalker for the military, where he holds the rank Major in the SAFE special forces. He’s in deep cover in the zone, recruiting and funding moderate stalkers.
He offers the players a mission to recover a crashed truck to the North, which was tracked from the north and potentially from Mosney. SAFE want the party to find it as they likely know the occupants and it’s in an area of extreme danger. SAFE wants live people to question. The parts is divided at first, with Trapper refusing the betray any member of O’ Neill’s clan on pain of breaking his geis. MC Geist doesn’t want to work with the EU. But the Webber brings them around, telling Trapper he is bound to rescue any O’Neill stalker, and they cut a deal with Poker to have any friendly to the party survivors questioned and not imprisoned. Poker accepts – he’s not a simple jarhead and knows the people of Ireland have suffered much to be reduced to looting the Zone.

The party tracks the crashed electric truck to the Clongriffin park and ride car park, on the very edge of the brain scorcher. Thankfully the field is not strong today and there are no zombified stalkers shambling around. The bus is flipped on its side, and the part note several dead stalker blips inside, but a few live ones. As they approach the bus, they begin to get strong headaches from a nearby psi-source. There is also the smell of burnt meat and hair. A small group of fleshes studded with disturbingly human extra features is feasting on parts of a dead flesh beside a crater. As the party approaches, they run, but another flesh explodes almost immediately as it hits a mine. It looks like the bus has crashed in the middle of a minefield!

The party begins to plan a way to clear the mines – reckoning they are mostly anti-personnel cluster mines with a small blast radius. They throw down some of the ‘snow’ they collected that sticks to metal on the mines, which slowly begins to mark the minefield. But one of the survivors begins to die of radiation poisoning on the crashed bus. Time is running out. The party instead get a parked car and disengage the handbreak, rolling it on the minefield to detonate the mines. The noise and movement stirs a poltergeist from the nearby train station, which begins to levitate small items and hurl them at the party. Rifle fire from the party angers it further, as the nimbus of pale fire powers up and changes colour. It hurls progressively larger items at the party, even levitating some of the mines from the ground which the party dodge!

The body of the car is quickly shredded by the mines as the party continues, eventually getting so wrecked it is immobilized. The party have weakened the poltergeist, but it summons a final terrible rage and levitates the car. Trapper is caught by the hurled vehicle and is critically injured. He is stabilized by the others, but disaster strikes as he attempts to finish the poltergeist off with a grenade – the grenade misfires and detonates in his hand, ripping his arm apart and injuring the others. The poltergeist is put down with rifle fire and Trapper is stabilized once more, but is useless until he can get surgery. The party rescue the sole survivor in the bus, and to their amazement, it’s the O’Donnell!

The party pump him full of anti-rad drugs, but he does not recognise them. The dead stalkers are highly contaminated with radiation, as is the self driving electric truck. The truck was going to a location in town: the old Health Ministry building on Hawkins Street, a place DoZER had flagged as a potential HQ. The O’Donnell seems to suffer from amnesia about what happened. The party check his PDA for any clues, but it has one simple task on it: Kill the Webber. Another victim has a similar mission: Kill Avalanche. And another has a mission to kill O’Neill himself. Other stalkers are dressed in different faction uniforms, and had missions to kill their faction leaders or other important figures. The party are unsure what could have happened for a named man like O’Donnell to turn traitor and attempt to kill O’Neill.
They exfil back to the Bayside Inn, and get surgery for Trapper, who loses his right arm past the elbow. DoZER recently hired a psychologist research student, who comes to the Bayside Inn and questions O’Donnell. He confirms total memory loss. The party begins to piece together a theory: someone or something brainwashed these stalkers and sent them back south to infiltrate their stalker clans and assassinate key members. Poker arrives and tries to get some info from the stalkers, but is unable to – he takes the PDAs and leaves the O’Donnell in the hands of the party. He says a reward will be stashed somewhere in the Zone for them, and warns them to stay away from the old Health Ministry building on Hawkins Street that the assassins were on route to, and to halt any plans to go to Mosney.
Info gained and rumors started:
  • Something is changing people and brainwashing them for a purpose to the North.
  • Something is afoot in Hawkins Street, as the assassins were being sent there, and Poker warned them from the spot.
  • O’Neill is distraught his first expedition to Mosney to secure the M50 tunnels failed. He is eternally grateful for the return of his man, and offers to share info with the party for the journey. The players keep their reputation intact. Trapper gets a free advance for conforming to his geis.
  • O’Donnell may or may not still have a mission to kill the Webber – no one knows what could trigger this mission.
  • The party are now taking jobs for the EU military via Poker – this comes with some perks like cash prizes, ammo and info about the Zone, but if word gets out, they are likely to take a serious hit to reputation. The average military grunt is unlikely to know about this and won’t hesitate to shoot if you are caught in the Zone.
  • Notorious wants a rematch, and calls MC Geist out in particular as a cheater.

Stalker: Mists of Mosney – Destroy the Mutant Lair

swamp

Session Seven

Brief for players

The rotting bodies of stalkers after the civil war have fed new waves of mutant attacks from beneath Dublin, and the Duty patrols hunting the mutants have gone missing. Their last garbled transmissions ended in gunshots and something about a black cube turning people mad. Duty’s Sgt. Voodoo wants you to investigate before stalker outposts in the Bayside frontier are overwhelmed by mutants.

_

The party began on the Skadovsk, picking up rumours and supplies from the trading post inside the beached ship. Two new stalkers joined the DoZER group, a catburglar who wants Instagram fame and a photographer who will do anything for good footage inside the Zone. Rumour among the stalkers are these new mutants are like the bloodsucker they fought in the Dracula Experience, but are active in the day, and have an uncanny ability to mimic their surroundings, making them hard to spot and fight. The party use their good reputation to buy some paint buckets and make some flour bombs to try mark the bloodsuckers. The last point of contact with the Duty Patrol was near Sutton Dart Station, so the party made their way across Bull Island and the swamps at low tide. On the way, they stopped into the legendary stalker Noah, who again warned them of the coming ‘wave’ which he says will wash away the sins of the world. He showed the party some choice artifacts like a ox’s jawbone that grants superhuman strength and fighting ability to prove he is chosen by the Zone, but says that nothing of this world can last and to find faith to save oneself.

At the ford, the party noted they were being trailed by mutants, and laid some paint traps on the bridges to catch the invisible bloodsuckers. The party also pushed ahead through the swamp, encountering some zombified rookie stalkers still clinging to tatters of their humanity. However, they were well positioned and expertly dispatched the swamp bloodsuckers. The photographer got some great footage of the catburglar crushing the skull of the zombie stalker as the zombie attempted to reload, but instead pulled out a photo of its wife and child. They investigated the slain swamp bloodsucker, and noted its human-like physiology, but it lacked any surgery scars like the Controller mutants. One body has a barcode tattooed on its flank.

The party made it to Sutton as the corrosive mist rolled in. They spotted a military convoy from the North that had been ambushed recently. On the other side of the station, the golf course now looked to have a black cube covered in antennae and surrounded by trenches. What sounded like a garbled call to prayer plays over distant megaphones. The party began to suffer headaches and psychic disturbance. They took a breather here and tried block out the sound. They picked up some electrical equipment and investigated spent ammunition and bloody bandages scattered around the station – it looked like military survivors sheltered here for a time before being overwhelmed. Terrifyingly, the battletank up the road was destroyed by a single solid shot that punched clean through the tank and ploughed through the road behind. At the convoy, they found the PDA of the commanding officer and discovered this was a mission to deliver nerve gas to Duty for clearing mutant lairs, and due to the extreme danger of the weapon, it could only be released to Duty by two authorised keys. The other officer and keybearer is missing… but there’s signs of a retreat to a pumping station nearby. This is also a potential mutant lair flagged by the other stalkers. The party made a brief attempt to get inside the tank but it was buttoned up tight. The party gave up before they made too much noise. They were spotted by the mysterious faction across the water as the mist cleared and start taking sniper fire from the trenches and retreat to the pump house.

Down below, they came across a warren of tunnels. There were drained bodies of stalkers from all different factions, including some from the SAFE military. They rerouted the flow of radioactive sewage from deeper in the pumping station to continue forward and discovered a map for a pipeline to the Airport. Crossing the sewage stream, they discovered a nest of sleeping swamp bloodsuckers who stood in a dormant state, twitching. They skillfully picked their way through the room despite the fear tests and recovered the key from the other SAFE officer.

Back topside, the party moved from cover to cover to the convoy as they begin to take more fire from the golf course. To add further pressure, an element of troops from their mysterious enemies moved to assault them. They recovered the nerve gas with the keys and returned to the pumping house, fighting a rearguard action to delay the incoming assault. One donned the Scientist Suit and spread the novichok agent to destroy the nest. The rest of the party escaped through the tunnels to avoid the incoming assault and dying bloodsuckers. They had succeeded in their mission.

Post-game:

Duty reward the party with:
·An underbarrel grenade launcher that fits to almost any NATO rifle and 6 frag grenades. This can hit a large target about 150m away with good accuracy, or hit a rough area up to 300m.
·€500 each.
·A brief tour through the Duty base, followed by an award ceremony where they receive the Bronze ‘Protector of Humanity’ Star, second class. This allows the party to enter the Duty base.
They also gain the following info/gossip:
· The SAFE EU military are supplying Duty with next generation chemical weapons, and liaising with them regularly. This info could turn many free stalkers against Duty, as the military cracks down heavily on stalking.
· A mysterious faction are guarding the Bayside frontier and stopping anyone from passing the coastal route. They seem to worship a black cube and have a weapon of terrifying power capable of defeating battle tanks.
· New mutants are appearing in the Zone, and have been tagged by a human intelligence.
· There is a secret way to the Airport through a drainage tunnel, that is heavily polluted and has unknown amounts of mutants in it.

Home gym recommendations

The Falcon and I are getting settled into the new house and making it a home. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a gym nearby that is decent and not hideously overpriced. So I am looking at a home gym setup and for advice on that from people who’ve done it in the past.

Constraints on it are space and money. The house is only 70m/sq (lol Europe), and the ceilings are 230CM tall. So I can’t standing press in it. Barbell training is probably out for now.

It’s going to need to be fairly minimal. Key thing is somewhere to do pullups and dips.  Looking for a “power tower” for pullups and chins. A bench to do flat/incline rows would also help. Some of it may need to be outdoors. Though I wonder what getting outdoors equipment will be like. Ireland rarely freezes, but it’s very wet.

I am potentially cycling 15km each way to work, so that should cover some training. But there’s a real need to have back and glute work to balance out the sitting and cycling.

 

Exsurge Dominus I: Inter Alia

Part One of our recent Inquisitor/Necromunda game. Good links to earlier campaigns also.

LiberArcadia

The weeks since the attack on Inquisitor Eck’s funeral have been mired in blood and intrigue. As though they answer some hidden sign or signal, it seems the great and powerful of Hive Tartarus have decided now is the time to carve their ambitions into the very steel of the city. Someone has defiled Eck’s coffin, this transgression cannot go unpunished. Find the guilty ones, my faithful Acolytes, you are authorized in my name to do all that is necessary.

Pax Imperium,

Winterhardt [=I=]

Episode I: Inter Alia is the first session of the Exsurge Dominus campaign, following Inquisitor Thomas Winterhardt’s Acolytes as they hunt down whoever desecrated Eck’s coffin. In this game, the Acolytes are attempting to capture a GAPco officer, following a lead that the power company have been intimately involved in much of the unrest in the Hive. This game takes place at roughly the same time as…

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