Grim Stats re Falling Down OTJ

Work weekend at Whispering Pines Campground was fun and all – but not the same as camping.

Repairing treads on a trail is really just basic carpentry with much bigger nails.

I did more damage to my hands in that weekend than I did all week at work. Speaking of which…

We had a safety seminar on Tuesday. While most of the 3 pages of notes are company specific, I can share a few general facts:

AZ Workman’s Compensation is deliberately set up as a “No Fault” system. That was the compromise with the business community for their mandatory participation.

One of the calculations AZ Workman’s Comp uses to determinethe premium cost is the Experience Modifier, or E-mod which factors the Frequency of injury with the Severity of injury. The baseline for these calculations are based on “industry average” which, in turn, seems to be based on alchemy.

What actually interests me about this is that FrequencyxSeverity is the basic formula I use to calculate development costs for non-tactical powers in my RPG game. Great minds think alike.

The only surprise about all the stats we covered was how few surprises we found in the stats: 23% of injuries are to the hands, 20% occur in the loading dock area, in an industry where 3-5 hour calls are the standard, most injuries happened in the first three hours – I could go on for pages.

What didn’t show up in the stats was sleep deprivation, because there was no way to track how much rest a given stagehand had before reporting to work.

Here’s something to consider for everyone climbing on truss:

OSHA requires a Horizontal lifeline, and a harness wit a zip or screamer extension, a portion bunched together and sewn in place so that it extnds relatively slowly under shock load (like falling) so that the sudden stop at the end of your tether doesn’t crack your pelvis. Both the lifeline and the harness add six feet to your overall falling distance.

So consider:

6′ stagehand falls

6′ to the end of his lanyard and another

3.5 feet for the screamer plus another

6 feet for the stretch in the lifeline (which also has a screamer)

That’s 21.5 feet. If you’re only 18′ above the top of the drum riser – guess what?

Allowing for a 3′ margin of error, that means a truss has to be trimmed at 24′ or higher before your “fall-arrest” will actually arrest your fall

BUT, you’re required to use such a system anyway whenever the truss trims higher than 6′. That’s how the government keeps us safer.

The key, then, is to not fall off the truss.

Finally, inside terminology about freeway design from my new favorite source The Infrastrucurist.

Now You Know

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Trust your stuff. Throw Strikes.

So with the Beanstalk project, the agent score is now 1-1. The second agent I queried requested a full manuscript.

There’s still a LOT of steps, some of which are fairly improbable, between this landmark and publication, but it is nice to have real evidence that I can pitch in this league.

The value of Facebook? Two things: I posted 25 photos in about 10 minutes. That would have taken the better part of an hour on WordPress. Also, at least +6 hits to a page every time I announce its been updated on Fb.

For the writers: Jeremiah Tolbert on getting started writing SF.

As far as starting? Open a word processing program and type words together to form sentences, and sentences to form paragraphs.   You will probably be terrible at first.  99% of writers are.  But the truth of it is, you get better through the act of writing.

Can’t wait for my SF game to be finished (because that could be a year out…), check out Orion’s Arm.

Now You Know

Deep Nerd Round-up

The NBA Playoffs have started and … I don’t care. The Eastern Conference playoffs is really the LeBron James exhibition tour, and with San Antonio and Utah hollowed out with injuries, there’s nothing substantive between the Lakers and the Finals. Wake me up when Cavs/Lakers hits Game 4.

Cool archive of modern art: DirJournal

Need a glimmer of hope in these tough economic times? Gun makers – in this case Glock – are dealing with a boom market.

Notice the new page? Beyond the Beanstalk Query count: 0-1

More to come on that page, but not before I finish this page.

Further evidence the – right now – E-publishers are their own worst enemy: Amazon Kindle DRM vs paying customers.

I haven’t sent them money yet, but the demo alone is fun to play with:

Universe Sandbox

Now some game stuff. Non-nerds can just move on if they want…

Power Points, whether using magic or technology, equates to Joules/10. It’s not quite that simple. You still have to account for range and duration separately, but the core of the SFX can be measured in Joules.

I haven’t figured out the ratios yet, but the base development cost behind technology is based upon energy, mass of the fuel required to get that energy, and the cost of that fuel.

Now you know

More “Careful What You Wish For”

For the last week I’ve lived the life I always said I wanted (within limts – these are the goals I could realistically hope for) a few years ago.

It’s fun – no doubt. But its exhausting. So whileI slept that off,my wife hoarked my laptop to do her homework, capping of an already considerable delay.

I rebuilt two of the five gates to my yard. That was never really a life goal, but I’m glad I got it done.

gate-perspectiveThe photo shows the other gate for contrast.

I attended a book signing and then went home ad slapped together a marketing survey for what I hope is my next book. Good News/Bad News there: The survey contained the info they wanted to see, but, despite selling out at the book signing, I’ve only sold 94 copies from national book chains – where most copies are sold. <sigh…>

My book proposal is a similar format covering the Coconino National Forest, which includes outdoor hotspots of Sedona and Flagstaff. But if the original sn’t moving, there’d be less appettite for a sequal.

The again, they made Starship Troopers II.

I’m fairly certain I was the only author at the book signing with an actual publisher who paid me (in advance). Everyone else was self-published.

I took ten copies and walked out with none, BUT I sold seven copies to people I already knew, including my stepmother who bought four copies because she’s a compulsive gift-giver. So it goes.

Then I had the chance to design and run a moving light show for the first time in two years.

samia-09

That’s from the 2009 Suns Charity Dinner. The performer is Tamia Hill (wife of Suns forward Grant Hill, but equally talented in her sphere).

By all accounts it well (despite Suns players appearing briefly as “guest vocalists”).

DO NOT daisy chain DMX between Studio Colors and Mac 2000’s. You might think that because Mac’s have 3pin (and 5pin) DMX that this would work out like DMX signal is supposed to. That assumption leads to daring do on an A-frame ladder at 3am. Studio Colors do not play nice with newer DMX units. I dimly remember running into this barrier before – but I wasn’t in charge.

On a related note, I have long known from an experience so bad its comic now, that you cannot use Atomic strobes as 3pin-5pin DMX adapters.

The key to executing looks quickly with moving lights is to set useful groups and then map out all your positions first. Creating looks after that is just a few steps more (mainly gobos, and their FX) than doing it with conventionals.

Oh, and operating a Grand MA lighting console is not at all like riding  a bike.

I’m also pretty sure this was the first time in 3 years I had a competent ME helping hang my design who wasn’t myself.

I’m sitting in catering, trying to gulp down some outstanding salmon in the ten minutes I had to eat, when Suns owner Robert Sarver burst in the room, slapped me on the back (because I was closest to the door, I suspect) and exhorted us all that we should have fun doing whatever we do.

I’ve also been pushing The Game ahead (I may add a page just for that). I’m still plowing through a working revision of the rules. I have a formula for aging (and associated stat loss), rather than a table, and this pleases me. I also have an spreadsheet summarizing the damage system, which I’ve been wanting to fabricate for as long as I;ve been thinking I ought to just rebuild the damn gate.

Two good sites:

The Space Site for clear, readable extrapolations of the possibilities beyond our planet and

Technovlegy : a compendium of ideas from SF, and who came up with them first.

Now you know.

One

New Planets are so passe [11/14/08]

Good news/bad news on the writing front.

I saw my book on the shelves at Barnes and Noble (at Metrocenter).

And someday, I want to be this guy!

The nebulous deal to develop a science fiction role-playing game dissolved. I wrote a relatively broad primer on the scenario, mostly so I could keep the basic facts consistent, but also so I would have something to show this guy by December. I sent it last week, and recieved a very polite reply that he’s no longer in the publishing game. (Which is kinda why I sent him some stuff early. Silence always makes me nervous.)

Meanwhile, scientists have actual images of real planets around real stars. My scenario only dealt with stars within 12 ly from Sol, while the planets around Fomalhaut lie at 25ly. The methods they use to detect planets, even their fancy new ones,do not work well with our nearest neighbors. The only nearby star with known planets is Epsilani Eridani at 10.4 ly.

SF RPG’s are a niche market of a niche market. I may be sad, bt I have no excuse to be surprised.

I am told that the best way to consume psychedelic mushrooms s mixing them into an ice-cream shake. Of course, the guy telling the tale also told how he threw up afterwards, and then tried to walk across the swimming pool.

Do you care about the given name of Adam Ant or Sting? Here’s a list. Don’t bother telling him that Marilyn Manson was actually born Brian Warner – not Bruce Warner. 80% of the 70+ comments point that out, some with a bit of anger.

Finally, and probably against my better judgement, here’s how you can make glass in your backyard. [Thanks Mark – I think.]

Now you know.