Thursday, August 17, 2017

And now, a brief diversion for something different

We have had a fairly big celebration at this end recently, a pretty darned reasonable amount of Champagne has been imbibed.  I've held off blogging this as I don't want to seem 'pushy', but I'm kind of proud of this one so I'm going to spill the beans...

A bit more than seven years ago I started a new job in a tiny Biotech company (I was employee no. 35), our goal was to discover new ways to fight cancer via targeting metabolic pathways.  Well, in short, we succeeded.

A couple of weeks ago the FDA approved out first drug, IDHIFA, for relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia with an isocitrate dehydrogenase-2 mutation.
If you look on the lower RHS side you can just see the little Agios swoop and name.  I'm pleased as punch for this approval as I've worked on this program since joining Agios, from its discovery phase through translational medicine all the way through to the clinic with the pharmacovigilance team.

So HUZZAH, a new drug to treat a nasty form of AML and a second HUZZAH for our team!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Steep and Loose...

...or Loose and Steep.  Just got back from my vacation doing the tour version of this:

http://www.transbcenduro.com/tour

It was 6 days Enduro-style riding (with more uplifts as it was the tour version).  It was an awesome trip.  Riding was very technical with huge descents. The trails were super dry and dusty as western BC is in the middle of a heatwave with no rain.  Instead of loam we were riding on sand/rocks, very loose over loose!

A definite highlight was heli-biking Mt Cartier.  Heli-lift to top then 7000ft down over 17km.  Wheeeeee!



Huzzah! a pic of me in action

Monday, July 17, 2017

Another glorious day in the Corps!

US Colonial Marines in Hammer's Slammers, OOORAGH!

UD-4L Cheyennes on short final.  M577s dropped off over the horizon.  Dropships approach for a preparatory gun run

 A target-rich environment

But what gives, why are we here?  Mercs have invaded a bunch of alien ruins on some wierdo planet.  Those wussies at the UN cried for help.  The Corps stepped up; time to kick ass and chew bubblegum, and they're all outta gum!

One platoon of Ultimate Baddasses drop to the surface and prep for contact...  ..."one express elevator to Hell, going down!" 

First turn. UD-4L dropship's 'off table' barrage begins

And how!  There are: unguided rockets (MRLS) unguided hypervelocity rockets, miniguns (2cm tribarrels) and heavy ATGMs, whew!

First blood, a tank and MICV KO

 Mercs maneuver into better fire positions

 Then ATGMS and rockets (MLRS) hit...

 And hit

 And hit

 And hit.  Wow, the first volley was devastating.  So many top-attack munitions.

 Next turn Marines win initiative, UD-4Ls arrive on table (no more MLRS)

 Still a target-rich environment...

More Boom! miniguns bring the pain

KAPOW! not for long, a main powergun round cores a Cheyenne   "We're goin' down fast!"

Through and through shot.  That's why fliers stay off board in the Slammers 'verse

Tribarrels and main guns blow chunks out of the other dropship, losing both main ATGMs and their minigun.  "time to bug outta here"

Boom! ATGMs land.  Those top-attacks are deadly

And again...

"Mayday, Mayday"  crash and burn

Vroom, those dropped off M577 APCs finally arrive on table

Marines debus "hut hut!"

One squad goes to secure the crash site

 The other squad and APCs advance on the remnants of the mercs

The M577s destroy a MICV, the mercs bail

Buzzbombs KO the main weapons of the other MICV

Phew, by normal rules, we really should stop here as the mercs are depleted.  However, this is a do or die mission, so we continue

The mercs win initiative, they crawl into firing positions

Kablooie! the mercs mow down the advancing Marine squads.  Not. Good.

The M577s unload EVERYTHING on the mercs . "Let's ROCK!"

Result, a couple of greasy patches.  Marines win.

By Marines win, they mean they kill/destroy almost the whole merc force.  All that's left are the two command groups, for mercs that's all that matters really...

The surviving UD-4L comes in to extract the prisoners.  Perhaps now we will find out who was behind the mercs?

Stay tuned for the next installation of Marines In SPAAAACE!  (but perhaps it's best not to hold your breath, it may take a while)

And finally, a pic of
US Colonial Marines in HS, a work-in-progress.  I'll post a PDF when I'm done.

Woot!  USCMC, one of my favourite armies, these are some VERY old figs and toys.  The Marines are old Frikorps ones I painted nearly 20yrs ago, the UD-4L's are Galoob Micromachines and the M577s are Konami.  
I do have some of the newer Khurasan marines to paint/multi base and a company pack of M577 variants from FATC which will eventually become the full-time HS USCMC army with the addition of some (probably Khurasan) M40 Ridgeway/M22 Jackson tanks.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Summer fun outside

Go me a couple new toys!

Swapped the Santa Cruz chameleon for this:

A Stanton Switchback.  I've been riding alloy hardtails for years, but its just not the same as steel.  This is an awesome bike to ride, and to use bike jargon, really gets the 'Stoke' going

Build is XT like the Chameleon (as it was a donor), went for 1x (still not convinced though) and a Kashima Fox 34 rather then the Pike up front, the Fox just seems smoother on a hardtail.

On a full-sus, that's another story.  I'm off on another bike trip later this summer, last summer in France I rode a Santa Cruz Bronson that I never really gelled with, so this year I bought my own big-hill bike, this:

A Kona Process 153DL, and what a sweet ride it is.  Uphill its nothing special but point it down and its a ripper, even for a slow-poke like me!  Build is a mix of SRAM 1x and XT brakes (going Saint later this year), suspension is all Rockshox with a Lyric up front.  Still getting used to that, but so far it takes big hits in its stride and even for a heavier rider like me has travel to spare.

If only it would stop raining every weekend here in the NE...




Summer of Slammers Got Painted

Work in progress on Slammers units
 Echo company command blower "Mother"

 Echo company blower troop: "Madman", "Moxi", "Mangler" and ""Monster"

 Close up of "Madman"

 Golf company support assets, a command car and transporter

 Close up of Command Car

 Alpha (Reserve) company older-pattern combat cars

 Close up of A55, or as its known by its crew "Kickass"

 3rd Platoon, Bravo company (Infantry) jeeps and skimmers

 Bravo gun jeep, this is a first pattern Ainsty jeep.  The crew they supplies were the same standing crew found in the combat cars, so I bodged together a gun ring and subbed in a GZG driver

 Same 1st pattern jeep, this time it a GZG mortar and driver/crewman

Infantry skimmers from GZG

And more WiP
 Combat cars (with test fitting of splinter shield) and Hog unit all inked up ready for the next phase

Still to go, Old Crow jeeps (with two second pattern Ainsty jeeps), cargo blocks and dismounted infantry

So, why not shiny silver tanks?  Simple, I'm not such a fan, I prefer the 'bare metal' look of dull silver and I never really thought the jeeps should be silver as they are described as being plastic/composites.  Plus in their role supporting infantry, to me, it would be hard to 'go to ground' with shiny silver jeeps

Anyway, that's my 2c and I'm sticking to it =8-)