Thursday, September 28, 2006

Teh Gun Pr0n!

I took apart the camera this morning, and played with the focus until I was taking some decent pictures. Click for disturbingly large size.

Here's the new addition:

The twins (fraternal):

An AR close up:

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Parlee Posit #1337

In which ExistingThing pwns teh fanboy; lets listen in...

In a undisclosed Starbucks, ExistingThing enjoys his Brambleberry iced tea and some free* wireless internet, with a side of annonymity.

Hey, nice laptop. I just picked this new powerbook up, it's a mac. Macs are better than PCs. Macs are made of candy, and powered by unicorn farts.
Macs are also faster than PCs, and they never get viruses because steve jobs licks each one and leaves a layer of protective saliva on the network plug!
And macs look so good! The icons bounce when you click on them! THEY BOUNCE!!!!!!111
OS X is the fastest, most secure, most attractive, and all-around best computer IN TEH WORDL!!!
What OS do you use?
Macs are way more powerful than linux.
I respectfully disagree.
Heh, why? How could you disagree?
Is Blueberry the name of a pet?
Is Blueberry the name of a pet you have?
Uh, yeah. That's my persian's name... Do I know you?
How do you know my cat's name?
People often choose pets' names for passwords. Sometimes they try to make it harder by adding their birthday.
*looks at his computer*
...You don't look 38...

Disclaimer: A posit is, by definition, postulation. This posit has been provided for entertainment purposes only. Any similarities to actual events are entirely coincidental (no matter how many witnesses were there that day), and smack of paranoia on your part, if I do say so myself.
*ExistingThing vanishes in a puff of logic*

* God helps those who help themselves, and free services are there for those who take the time to learn how to make them free.

Choosing an EDC knife

UPDATE 11/17/08: I've had some new ideas and changed opinions since I've written this. If you enjoy this post, please take the time to read More thoughts on choosing an EDC knife

Many people have asked me what kind of knife they should buy, and I've always answered in the same way, "it depends." Well, that was kind of a cop-out answer because I didn't have/take the time to go over all the qualities you should be looking for in an EDC knife. Well, here's my definitive answer to that very question.

In the following paragraphs I will go over the qualities that I require from an EDC knife. In reading you will also find my definition of an EDC knife, should you be confused about what should be required and expected of an Every Day Carry knife.

Should you wish to bypass all my conclusions, you can skip to the bottom of this post where I make a recommendation for an EDC knife that will probably fit most people and their uses.

Always remember: all knives are not created equal. You've probably seen a lot of knives in your life, and either think you know a bit, a little bit, or nothing about them. Don't make uneducated decisions. Consult the internet as much as you can, and wrap your hands around all the knives that you can before making your decision. $30 knives have their place just as $200 knives do, find out what you need and don't be afraid of price. If you're in a reputable knife shop, it's pretty safe to assume that the expensive knife is expensive for a reason. Don't get into the trap of renting knives by buying cheap (though not always inexpensive) knives, and replacing them every year or two.

When some of you think of a pocket knife, the first thing you think of is your first "Swiss army" knife with a corkscrew (drunky!), bottle opener, and a blade capable of cutting soft fruit. This is not what I'm talking about. Your EDC knife should be a folder with a locking blade that can be rapidly deployed to cut people free in an emergency situation. The next time some kid gets his pants caught in an escalator you shouldn't be fumbling with that little thumbnail slot on your pocket knife/can opener/corkscrew/melon baller, your knife should ready and cutting before the kid's mom realizes what a poor parent she was for letting her kid sit on the escalator. Should you wish to carry a bottle opener, corkscrew or tools that are actually useful; I recommend you do so on another knife, or with a multi-tool of some kind. Sure, there are some tool-bearing pocket knives out there that satisfy a number of the requirements for an EDC folder, but there is no substitute for a locking blade that satisfies ALL the EDC requirements.

To me, partial-serrations are a no brainer. Your knife is for utility cutting, and serrations are deep, pointy, and retain their sharpness. Serrations will help you start a cut into thick material, and will tear into materials you wouldn't be able to cut with a plain blade. Sadly, your sarrations cannot be sharpened by most knife sharpeners, but if you're actually dulling your serrations (you know who you are), you're probably misusing your knife. I should note that I opted not to get serrations on my EDC favorite, and have paid for it on a number of occasions. Using a plain blade where serrations are needed qualifies as misuse. (doh.) Blade point is a matter of preference. My good friend has a knife that eats nails and shits razor blades, it's a large hunk of steel with a worn edge, worn serrations, and a tanto blade for strength. My EDC, on the other hand, is more elegant; it has a reverse tanto blade to ensure strength without sacrificing a curved blade for cutting ease. It depends on what you plan on using it. If you know you'll mistreat it (and some of you do) get a knife that'll take a beating. If you want it for some minor cutting here and there, get a blade that's quick to cut, and fast. Spear points (to me) aren't good choices for an EDC knife. Flat points are supposed to be for rescue type operations, but to me, you severely impair the ability of the blade by limiting it's ability to penetrate thick material. The non-cutting side of the pointed end should carry some of the thickness from the base of the blade to give some added security, should the knife be tweaked in a way that puts sideways pressure on the blade. Your blade should be forged from (at least) 440 steel keep a working edge. It should have 440 printed on the blade. I prefer the black coating on the blade because I think it protects the blade more than no coating does. And no, it doesn't make you a l33t super sniper ninja pirate spec-ops mofo to have a black blade, so don't even think about it. I actually prefer uncoated blades on non-work knives.

Here, I might get some people who disagree with me. I promote thick grips because thick grips fit your hands better than skinny grips. The grip is called a grip for a reason, you should be able to grip it! If you grasp a ruler, you'll find that it's fairly easy for you to slide the ruler up and down with your other hand. But if you grip a highlighter, you're going to have trouble moving it up and down in your hand. Don't get hung up on a slender profile, if it's uncomfortable in your hand, you don't have a sure grip on it, and it's not as functional as it could be. Your fingertips should just barely touch the strong part of your hand under your thumb, or be just short of touching it. The grip should not be like grasping a wooden pencil; that grip doesn't use the strength of the fingers in the grip. A clip is a requirement. The escalator is eating more and more of Little Timmy's jeans while you fish around in your pocket for the object of his salvation. Clips that place the knife in a downward facing position are preferred; it saves you the motion of flipping the knife around to ready it. I prefer wide clips to thin ones, as the wide ones tend to be looser without sacrificing tensile strength. I also find that the clip also affords a bit of girth, and friction which helps solidify my grip.

Opening Method
A stud on the blade is probably the most preferred opening method. It can be opened with a thumb-flick (once the knife is worn in), and doesn't require the thumb move very far from a gripping position. As opposed to a thumb hole which requires that your thumb move to a "thumbs-up" position to open the knife, which leaves your four fingers to be the only things holding on to the grip. The only choice in rapid deployment is the thumbstud. Auto opening knives that require only a button press to open are only slightly better than the thumbstud, but carry legal issues, and will make your coworkers wonder what the hell you're doing with a switchblade. I'd stay away from them for a number of reasons, but if it's legal, and you don't mind the stigma, feel free. "Flipper" style opening methods (a protrusion that sticks out the spine of the grip) must be opened with your index finger, and while reliable and effective, require your hand to be too far from a standard grip to be seriously fast. Note that you certainly don't need a lightening fast opening for standard tasks, and could easily get by with any of the other opening methods, but when you DO need it, you'll wish you had it. Is is advisable that you not to a wrist flip opening as it (usually) requires you to break the standard grip, and (usually) requires a recoil, a forward motion, and a flip back motion to open. This is just not as fast as a thumbstud, and attracts the same switchblade attention to you (while causing you to wave a knife around with a weak grip).
NOTE on thumbstuds: NOT all thumbstuds will allow you a thumb-flip opening! Try to get a thumbstud that is far from the pivot point of the blade. The farther it is, the easier it will be to flip open. When you're trying thumb-flips on thumbstuds in the knife shop, try to open the blade by pushing up on the thumbstud with the top of the end of your thumb-nail. Note that you probably won't be able to flick the knife open since it is new, and needs to be worn in. If you are able to open the knife easily by pressing up on the thumbstud with the top of the tip of your thumb-nail, you should be able to thumb-flick it once worn in.

I know I shouldn't have to get into this but pick a knife that fits the size of your hand! I know someone who carries around one of those obscenely long Spydercos! You should be able to wrap your fist around the blade without it poking out. Don't pick up something that doesn't fit your frame, you won't carry it, and if you do, you get into aggressive appearance issues (check the law section below). Knives are short for a reason, their strength is not in the how hard you can swing the blade like a sword, it's how solidly you can manipulate it with your arm and hand strength.

Your EDC folder must have a blade lock. Serious operation of a knife without one is dangerous to your fingers. I enjoy being able to unlock and close my knife in one motion, but that is not a requirement. What IS a requirement, is a lock that you feel is secure. I try to stay away from liner locks since they usually require a secondary lock to keep the liner lock from returning to a position where the blade is no longer locked. Why I'm locking my lock in place when there are other possible locking solutions is beyond me. However, liner locks allow pretty safe closing with only one hand, so it's really your call; maybe you like safeties on your safeties, it's a preference thing. One thing I won't abide, is a liner lock that does not stop against the center of the blade, and allows the blade to rock back and forth a few millimeters. If the lock is not firmly in the center of the blade, holding it in place, it is at the edge of the blade, holding it. A thin liner lock at the edge of a blade does not seem safe to me. Sufficient force could cause the blade to slip past the liner lock, and put your fingers in danger. Note that I don't feel the same about thick liner locks that may not lock right in the middle of the blade, but are thick enough that they reach the middle of the blade. The spine locks are very strong and reliable. My preferred locking method is the axis lock by Benchmade. The lock is strong and secure, easy to manipulate, and high enough that it doesn't interfere with the grip like other locks that use the side of the grips.

This shouldn't even be a factor. But if you're holding a knife, and find yourself thinking about how much it weighs; put it down. It's too heavy. A natural grip will keep the weight from being noticeable.

There are many laws that deal with carrying knives. It is necessary that you understand the laws for your state (and possibly city) before deciding on an EDC folder. Blade length is probably the most prominent one, but they're usually not unreasonable (well, considering there really shouldn't be regulations about this, I guess they're all unreasonable). Opening action is usually limited to the prevention of switch blades. Even in hoplophobic California, the fastest thumb-flick doesn't qualify as an automatic knife. We also allow switch blades with blades shorter than 2 inches (1 1/2"?). Auto-close became a big one a few years back, check to see that the knife "prefers" to remain closed. This means that if the knife is very close to being closed, it will go the last few centimeters by itself. I'm not sure why this was such an important legal issue, but it was. Aggressive appearance is an important one. This is your EDC folder, not your fantasy Klingon dagger of doom. Should you be required to use your knife in defense, a plain-looking EDC folder will look better in court than a double-bladed, spiney, black, etc... knife. When in doubt, just imagine the prosecution holding up the knife for the jury to see, are they going to gasp in horror, or have a surprised look on their faces? Or are they going to be underwhelmed and confused as to why the prosecutor is trying to convince them that this IS the dagger of doom? For the most part, you don't have to worry about what kind of knife you carry since most people folks don't care. Remember that if you go to a courthouse or other government property, you will be asked to relinquish your blade. In places like this, there are boxes (and boxes) of unreclaimed blades that folks have left there. Some of these guys have sticky fingers, so make sure you get a property receipt for your $200 knife before you hand it over to Bubba (or just don't bring it in the first place).

An EDC knife should be a folder instead of a fixed blade for one important reason. EDC knives should always be ready to go, and fixed blade knives are not always ready to go. Aside from being frowned upon (and illegal) in some areas (IE: everywhere but Texas :), they require a holster, and holsters require attachment apparatai. Belts, straps, hooks, etc, are all stuff you don't want to deal with, and probably won't when you decide whether or not to grab your knife before running out the door. With few exceptions, I always have a knife on me or within arms reach, and I wouldn't be able to do that if I carried a fixed blade knife (though I sure would like to be able to).

How long will it last? Does it come with a lifetime warranty? What materials is it made of? Will the blade rust? (it better not!) Does the handle look like it would shatter into a million plastic shards if it was dropped from 12 feet? Some of these questions can be answered by simply looking at the knife, or asking the knife salesman, but some of these answers can only be found through anecdotes and internet reviews. Talk to the knife salesman, ask if they know anything about the durability of the knife or if they get any returns of it. The easy way out of having to wonder about these questions is, you stick with a trusted brand name, and you actually pay a bit of money for it. All those quality materials aren't cheap, and won't come cheap. Spend the money now for piece of mind later.

Loose and tight, to me, it's all about loose, and tight. Tight is where different pieces touch. The tolerances should be extremely tight in almost every area. The only areas that should be loose are the clip tension (for easy clipping), and the area around the blade when closed. When closed, the cutting edge of the blade should NOT touch the grip in any way, this dulls the blade and smacks of poor craftsmanship. When closed the sides of the blade should not touch the sides of the grip. Inspect the hinge the blade pivots on, is it very well sealed? Open the blade slowly while inspecting the pivot point. Are there any burs or catches on the hinge? Or does it look like a solid, well machined... machine? Does it have cavities that stuff like pocket fuzz can get into? Like checking for durability, the easy way out is to pick a well known brand name, and spend a decent bit of money on the craftsmanship that comes with the name.

Should you consider your EDC knife an implement of self-defense, please read this post;
Dangerous Misconceptions about EDC knives

Should you be apathetic to finding your perfect EDC knife, I'll leave you with this excellent, average size, general purpose knife that fits the EDC requirements perfectly. My EDC. (except mine doesn't have sarrations, buy yours with sarrations) You should have no problem ordering one, should you live nowhere near a knife shop.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Parlee Posit #2884

In which ExistingThing unhinges his opponent; lets listen in...

You can't say that guns are the same as knives or other weapons! Guns let you kill ANYONE from a distance! It makes it EASIER to kill someone!
I agree.
Then you see why we need to ban guns!
I do not.
But you just agreed with me! You said that guns make it too EASY to kill someone! It shouldn't be that easy!
I beg to differ.
If you're a 300 pound wrestler, and I'm a 90 pound robber with a gun, you're saying that I have an unfair advantage, right?
Right! Without the gun, you'd be powerless!
Exactly. Now, lets switch it up; If you're a 300 pound robber, and I'm a 90 pound woman with a gun, you're saying that I have an unfair advantage, right?
... ... I... You... uh... hmm...
[sorry, your shit appears to have been ruined, please try again]

Disclaimer: A posit is, by definition, postulation. This posit has been provided for entertainment purposes only. Any similarities to actual events are entirely coincidental (no matter how many witnesses were there that day), and smack of paranoia on your part, if I do say so myself.
*ExistingThing vanishes in a puff of logic*

Parlee Posit #4614

In which ExistingThing requires an air horn; lets listen in...

Hello, this is (my name).
... Hello, this is (my name).
Jake is that you?!
This is (my name).
(my name)!
You're not Jake!
I find your grasp of the obvious keen.
I called you an idiot.
WHAT? Why?!
Because I thought you should know.


Hello, this is-- Jake.
JAKE! What're we doing tonight?
We're all going to sit down and ponder your inability to successfully operate your telephone, eventually culminating in a ritualized destruction of said phone to free it from the sins of past transgressions.
I called you an idiot!
WHAT?! #&*$!! *click*

Disclaimer: A posit is, by definition, postulation. This posit has been provided for entertainment purposes only. Any similarities to actual events are entirely coincidental (no matter how many witnesses were there that day), and smack of paranoia on your part, if I do say so myself.
*ExistingThing vanishes in a puff of logic*

Hey man, want some speakers?

On my way to work today I stopped to fill up on gas. As I waited a black Chevy SUV pulled up, with the passenger hanging out the window. He asked me something that I couldn't quite hear.

Two white guys with shaved heads, small build driver, medium build passenger, "tribal" tattoos on both, back seat full to the roof with large cardboard boxes. "Well, they can't intend on tossing me into the back, and they'd be pretty bold to do anything at such a crowded gas station. They probably just need directions..." I thought. I got within 6 feet of the car, and asked him what he said.

"Man, you want some speakers? FexEx screwed up, and I got a double shipment, and I don't want to give them back to my boss! You interested?"

"Naw, I'll pass."

As the car then sped away I heard him say, "why would he pass?" It looked like it got on the freeway.

Hmm, why WOULD I pass? I dunno, maybe because receiving stolen goods is against the law. (yes, even if you didn't know it at the time) Maybe because your story didn't make any sense. Maybe because you only drove up to me; someone who looked like he would be "cool" about picking up some possibly hot merchandise. Maybe because people don't usually conduct business with total strangers at a gas station. Maybe because your driver looked like he had a horde of Red Chinese after him. Maybe because holding on to a package stolen off of someone's front porch is a bad idea (especially if you're the neighborhood petty criminals, which I'd bet money they were). Maybe because you might be able to convince the cops that some dude paid you to steal the package, and by the way, here's his license plate number. And finally; maybe because when a deal is too good to be true, it probably is...

Better luck next time guys, hopefully you'll get rid of the goods before the police match someone missing a shipment of speakers with the license plate number I gave them.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

When to hesitate

I'm a black-and-white kind of guy when it comes involving myself in a situation. To me, whether or not a situation warrants action is almost always clear. If someone is in danger of being hurt, action is required. If someone is calling for help, action is required. If a situation is escalating quickly, action is required. I will never be one of those people who stands idlely by and thinks aloud, "Someone should do something!" Being able to stop something and doing nothing makes you just as bad as the perpetrator. Enabling bad people makes you no better than them.

(I should point out that I specified that you should help if you are ABLE. If you see no way that YOU can control a situation, do not attempt to!)

For all my action and resolve, there is one situation that makes me hesitate; domestic issues. Here's why. No matter how clear cut the situation seems, if it involves a husband and wife, it will ALWAYS be clear as mud. Wives refusing to prosecute their husbands is a very common thing. Wives testifying against their non-police saviors is almost as common.

Why wives insist on maintaining abusive relationships is a mystery to everyone but them, but they don't want to see their "hubby" go to jail, and they need to charge someone for the incident. Without the victim, the prosecution is almost completely lame. The only saving grace is if there are multiple witnesses who see the incident (not just hear it); even then there are no guarantees.

Getting involved in domestic situations is never simple, so think hard about some of the possibilities before hand. What would you be forced to tolerate? When would the situation warrant witness-less action? Should you wait for screams for help? (many domestic disturbances don't involve screams for help) In what situations do you retreat to a phone to call 911 before proceeding?

Engaging in a situation is always risky business, but remember that the next time you stop an assault, you could easily find yourself in jail for doing the right thing.

I HATE "cooling off" periods!

MAN, I HATE cooling off periods! I would shoot cooling off periods if I could! I'M SO ANGRY!!!! AAARRRRGGGHHHH!!!!!

Not really. They're just funny, actually. But not like funny: "Ha Ha, you have to wait" more like funny: "Raped and strangled by the man stalking you because the police can't protect you, restraining orders aren't worth the paper they're printed on, and you had to wait a cooling off period before you could protect yourself" which, tragically enough, isn't even actually that funny...

One week till I can pick up my legally purchased property.

One man's trash...

Since I live in an apartment complex there are always people moving in and out, and leaving furniture and other odds and ends by the dumpster. I'm not too proud to admit grabbing a couple of old (broken?) monitors to take shooting in the desert, but that was the extent of the "treasure" until recently.

A bit ago, I saw a scanner sitting next to the dumpster. Trash right? Wrong. (when I first saw this project on MAKE I thought it was a little silly to make something so obvious. But, had I not seen the project, I wouldn't have thought twice about seeing a scanner sitting by the dumpster.) I picked up the scanner, and put it somewhere out of the way. Anxious to trace over some of my sketches, I almost bought a lighting fixture last weekend, but didn't. Guess what was sitting by the dumpster last night when I got home? A standing lamp. I stripped out the bulb fixtures, and electrical cord, and checked those two items off my list.

Now that I'm pretty close to having a free light table, I want to hold off on buying the fluorescent bulb... I realize that the likelihood of finding a discarded fluorescent bulb is pretty slim, but I'm still going to give it a little bit before I cave in.

Isn't recycling fun?

Monday, September 18, 2006

Just in case you didn't believe me

Just in case my earlier post didn't convince some of you that the first amendment is vulnerable; Bruce points out an instance where this is already happening.

The two amendments are connected, and it's a two way street... If the 2nd goes, the 1st will go, and if the 1st goes, the 2nd will go.

The gunnies are doing their part to fight this attack on the 1st amendment, where are you antis???

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Mutually assured destruction

One thing all of you anti 2nd amendment folks don't realize, is that if the 2nd amendment is ever repealed, the 1st won't be far behind.

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

And you guys complain that the 2nd amendment is worded poorly! You don't think a good enough lawyer can fill this amendment with holes??? Hell, why would they even have to do that? They could just choose to ignore it as they do the 2nd amendment.

I bet you all smile a smug little smirk when ever you see gunners complaining that their 2nd amendment rights are being infringed, but you should know that we won't be doing the same when you guys are rallying, passing petitions, and trying to raise awareness for the 1st amendment infringement that will be going on after the 2nd amendment is nullified.

You're all shooting yourselves in the foot! Our two amendments are extremely close together, and if one falls, the other will soon follow.

... and while I have your attention; what part of "shall not be infringed" do you not understand?!

SMS notification for new Gmail

Awesome! After some searching, I found a free SMS site that will allow unlimited messages without a captcha, (damn google) but it does add a short ad for the service to the text message which is tolerable considering the utility.

Instead of being a jerk, and just posting the code, and encouraging you to figure it out "yer damn self" I'm going to explain each of the lines cuz I'm in a teaching mood, and it's 3:30 in the morning...


The first line declares this file as a Perl script
The second line declares the scalar ($) variable "oldmail" with a value of "0"


This begins a WHILE loop (while) that will go on forever (1). It will continuously run the code contained within the {} following the statement. The opening { is at the end of this line, the closing } is all the way at the end of the script. This means it will continuously run the code contained within these curly brackets.

`curl -u USERNAME:PASSWORD 2>/dev/null`=~/<fullcount>(\d+)<\/fullcount>/;

Err... Ok, so here's the tricky part... :)
We'll start with the first part:
`curl -u USERNAME:PASSWORD 2>/dev/null`
Curl is a linux program which interacts with web servers. It's basicly a browser. What we're going to do here is obtain some information from Gmail's feed. The feed will tell us how many unread messages there are. The ` ("~" without the shift) is a container for shell code, this means that the code within is run in linux (bash, namely) instead of Perl. We have the name of the program we wish to run, curl, the user and pass info it will need, and the site it will get for us. The 2>/dev/null just says that if there are any errors, it should trash them to keep them from mucking up our output. Were I to run this line of code in a plain bash prompt I would get the following:
[bishop@Aemaeth ~]$ curl -u myusername:mypassword 2>/dev/null
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<feed version="0.3" xmlns=""><title>Gmail - Inbox for</title><tagline>New messages in your Gmail Inbox</tagline><fullcount>2</fullcount><link rel="alternate" href="" type="text/html"/><modified>2006-09-16T10:27:27Z</modified></feed>

As you can see, the command will give us the info we want; the number of new messages we have. It's right between the two "fullcount" tags, and that's how we're going to find it...

Ok, now that we've covered the first part of that line of code, lets finish it up:
The =~ means that the preceeding statement (the output of the command we just went over) should contain (=) the following expression (~) held within the forward slashes /.../ If you look inside those slashes you can see that fullcount HTML tag we were going to use to help the script pick up the number we want it to find. If you compair the match code <fullcount>(\d+)<\/fullcount> with the output of the command><fullcount>2</fullcount><li... You can see where we're we're going. But what does (/d+) mean? First, the parentheses (...) mean that whatever is within them will be assigned to a new variable named $1 that will be important in the next line. The /d is a code that means that program should try to match a digit (0123456789) in that spot, and the + means that it should try to match that digit one or more times. So, we're going to take one or more digits found between <fullcount> and </fullcount> and put those digits into a new variable called $1.

Everyone still with me??? :-\ That was the tough part.


This is an IF statement. It says that if $1 (the number of unread messages) is bigger than the oldmail variable (0 at first) to run the code contained within the following curly brackets {...} So, using our example, I had two unread messages, so 2 is greater than 0, and the code will run.

`curl -s -c cookie 2> /dev/null >/dev/null;curl -s -b cookie -d 'send_to=714-555-5555&send_from=714-555-5555&send_message=j00 %20haev%20teh%20mail&formstatus=1&countdown=96&Submit=Send' 2> /dev/null > /dev/null; rm cookie`;

Ok, this is more linux code, since it's between the `...` basically, this code sends the SMS message to your phone by using a website that provides that service (for free). It's not critical that you understand it inside and out, but I've bolded some key points to make this a little clearer, and I'll go over some of the highlights. Note that there are three different commands here, lumped into one line; they are seperated by the semi-colon (;). The first command makes internet cookies by connecting to the web site. The next command uses those cookies to send a POST request to the server with some special codes the server needs to complete its job. The last command deletes the cookies as they are of no use. This code will tell the server to send a text message to 714-555-5555 saying "j00 haev teh mail" (because you do).

Congratulations! You've just received a text message for getting a new piece of mail! I have no doubt that this is the most meaningful moment of your life. :)

The next line is simply a "}" which signals the termination of the code to be run from that IF statement earlier.


Here, we're setting the oldmail number to the current number of unread messages for the next cycle. This way, it won't constantly get SMS messages because the number of unread messages is more than 0. Once it's reset to 2, if I get another message later, 3 will be greater than 2, and I'll receive an SMS saying I have new mail. Concordinately, if I read all my unread messages, and have 0 unread messages, 0 will not be greater than 3, and no SMS will be sent, and the 3 will be reset to 0 for the next round of messages. that made sense, right?


This tells the script to wait for 180 seconds, otherwise it would run as fast as it could, and that would just be rude and unnecessary. You might set it to 10 seconds for testing, but in practice, 3 minutes is probably the fastest you could want it to update...

The last line is simply a "}" which closes the WHILE statement for code that should be run forever. Once the code gets here, it will go back to right after the WHILE statement and start over.

`curl -u USERNAME:PASSWORD 2>/dev/null`=~/<fullcount>(\d+)<\/fullcount>/;
`curl -s -c cookie 2> /dev/null >/dev/null;curl -s -b cookie -d 'send_to=714-555-5555&send_from=714-555-5555&send_message=j00%20haev%20teh%20mail&formstatus=1&countdown=96&Submit=Send' 2> /dev/null > /dev/null; rm cookie`;

Friday, September 15, 2006

All your content are belong to me

I love writing spiders and scrapers. Why do webmasters have to be such dicks and limit, complicate or convolute access to the content they provide?


They want me to look at ads?!

Well, lets just see what my pet spider has to say about that...

...That's right, Spidey Now say it so everyone else can hear...

"All your content are belong to us!!! You have no chance to survive, make your time! Bwahahaha!"

For great justice!


It's 2am PST

And blogger is down. Just thought I'd point that out...

Bugger... Little help here?

Ok, so I need another gun. (I can quit whenever I want!) I've got a bit of cash lying around, and while it's not enough to buy whatever I can think of, I'm having a hell of a time thinking of what I can spend it on!

Here's what I've been knocking around...


(would probably be a yugo) cheap, reliable, effective, and damn fun! (and it should tide me over until I can build my AK)


It looks fun as hell, I could see plinking turning into a more frequent event with the low cost of .22 ammo. One poster argued about the G22; "The G22 is more of a toy since it's relatively impractical. Unless, that is, you need to do some CQB against an elite force of gophers." Plus it will fill the hole in my carbine-loving heart left by the California-illegal Storm *sniff*... So it's a little bit tacticool, sue me. :) It's a bullpup design which gives me a manageable 20" barrel, and it comes in lefty!

Benelli Nova or wood 870

I'm pretty decided on the Nova, but I just love the wood so much! (btw, DROOL)

1911 Springfield GI

Good starter 1911 that can be upgraded pretty well.

Savage 110

Or any other reliable precision rifle.

Some kind of Czeckoslovackizeign pistol

I don't know why either, the guys on calguns won't shut up about the damn thing!


More .22 love, and why? I blame Xavier for this...

sp101 (snubby)

A snubby serves a very particular purpose that no other kind of gun can, and I want one. Nay! Need one... (there, that should convince me)

Kel-Tec SU-16CA

Folding, light weight, .223 rifle of doom. And it takes AR mags!

I'd like to have a .22 very much so I can make more frequent trips to the range, but I'd also like to have a shotgun and a snubby! I can easily see myself getting all of these, but my question to you is what order should I get them in??? Of course, if you have any other recommendations, please leave them!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Have you forgotten?

We may not have forgotten; but that doesn't mean we're remembering.


EDIT: read THIS before you read anything else.

Sometimes people with a "duty to retreat" can't...
suprisingly pro-carry undertones from the NY Times!

An excellent case to get these dangerous weapons off our streets! Linky

A hilarious post from the Defiant Infidel on Bill Clinton's record with the military.

Just when you think they've hit rock bottom, they get a jackhammer...
the terrible thing is; abusing the memory of a boy lost in Columbine is just the means to an end for the Brady bunch. No respect for anything except their agenda.

Bruce over at mAss Backwards finally has the much awaited bumper sticker: Give Peace a chance / Kill Terrorists
Go now, and get 1 or 14!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The story Bush doesn't want you to hear!

Yes, the story you won't see anywhere else; Bush pressures TV network to edit or not show a film that portrays him in a bad light!

How far can we be from a Stalinist, totalitarianistic, big brother society!!!

We must fight to keep our speech free! We can't have politicians telling us what we can or can't see!!! WHAT WILL GO NEXT!!!!!!?!?!?????!?!?!11111

EDIT: Sorry, slight error; it was actually Clinton about ABC's "The Path to 9/11", and no one cares...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Some good news for a change

Blogagog over at Blogiburton has some good news for us.

Give him a click and feel better about the state of our world.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Real life confessions of a knife-o-holic

I would argue that I'm not really a knife-o-holic, but I really don't have any data to back it up... and have a perponderance of data to to the contrary... damn

I would argue that all... erm... (I'll have to count them later) all of my knives server different purposes.

There are others, and I love them all; but these were the serious ones.

For as full as my collection was, it was incomplete. I needed a true fighting knife. There were some strict requirements for this category.

Length: The blade had to be long and thick to ensure maximum damage on stabbing motions, and sufficient effective range when swung in a downward, blade out position. But not long enough to be unweildly or difficult to operate.
Grip: The grip had to fit my hand perfectly, and be slim enough to manipulated to different grip styles quickly and reliably. A slight forward angle would make it more effective in the downward position, but was not necessary. A grip with a bottom that was not flat would make a suitable striking area for non-lethal strikes to the head or appendages, but was not required. Grip aids (finger notches, holes to put fingers through) aid in blade retention, but hinder manipulation. It may be possible to find a grip aid that doesn't, but my best bet were rubberized grips that stuck when gripped tightly, but still slipped enough to be manipulated freely. The bottom of the grip should be wider than the middle of the grip to help retention. (The grips on full sized Ka-Bars were too big for my hand to grip comfortably, and were too round to allow fast manipulation)
Blade: Spear-point has the advantage of a curved cutting area, and strength in penetration; it was a requirement. A concave curve on the blade close to the grip would be a (cosmetic) bonus, but was not required. Sarrations are not required or necessary. There should be some level of forward and rear guard that is part of the blade. (I don't trust guards that are not part of the blade) Full tang is required. Blade thickness must be reenforced on the back of the blade to a satisfactory degree. No blade coating is required, lack of coating may even be favorable.
Weight/Balance: There should be enough weight to add to any swing, but not enough to make gripping a problem. Balance should be just above a standard grip if the handle is weighted properly, and the blade is long enough. The handle should be heavy enough that a low grip and hatchet swing should give the blade a machette feel (didn't think I was going to get this one)
Sheath: Sheath must have all tactical ammenities. Eyelets for tying to the thigh, and attaching to a military-style belt, velcro, adjustable belt-loops, and possibly a pressure retention device (I like them, but am not sure if I trust them when carried upside-down).

I'd been looking or this perfect knife for some time, but last Sunday I think I got as close as I was going to get (which was pretty damn close!) As soon as I walked in I picked it up and was sure I had found was I was looking for, but still looked at the other selections. Nothing else fit the category as well as this knife did. I couldn't resist.

Benchmade Offsider

Blogger be fuxored

Yeah, I'm not sure what's up with but the comments are acting funny...

They seem to be updating how many comments there are for a post (slowly) but not showing them.

If a post says there are 2 comments, and when you click through it only shows 1, just click on "post a comment" to read the other(s).

Crappy choose your own adventure book.

While we're at it lets hit home defense long guns real quick.
You wake to the unmistakable sound of glass breaking, you wake your spouse to dial 911 or dial yourself. Knowing the police are still a distance away, you pick up your long gun (shotgun/rifle), call out "Who's there?!" and work the action loudly (or maybe you're silent, it doesn't matter). You don't hear anyone running away so you carefully open your door and quickly enter the hallway. You see a goblin standing in the middle of your hallway 8 feet from you next to a door to another room holding a knife. You smugly think to yourself that he was a fool to bring a knife to a gunfight. You order him to the ground and he and ducks into the room (possibly before you could shoot him) and slams the door behind him. There's a window in the room, and you think he's taking a flying leap through it right about now (or maybe it goes elsewhere in the house, and you don't want him there). You pursue him and kick open or open the door to find the room seemingly empty. You move toward the room, and as soon as the barrel of your long gun breaks the plane of the doorjam (or maybe it already did when you pointed it into the room) a gloved hand reaches for the barrel. You discharge into the ceiling and grip your gun fiercely thinking it would be taken from you, but before your eyes have adjusted after the flash, you're against the wall, barrel in the air acquiring some unnecessary ventilation.

You have died. Do you want your possessions identified? [ynq].

Don't Monday morning quarterback this one; just ask yourself whether or not this could happen to you.

Bats, Shotguns, and Knives (oh my!)

So I annoyed some folks at the gun shop today; though I suspect it was just because I let some air out of their comfort zone (which is a good thing).

Two guys (Roommates?) were at the counter talking about buying a shotgun for home defense. One was trying to convince the other it was safe and a good idea, the other said a bat was all you needed. My ignorance-o-meter pegged, and I stopped to listen to their conversation and positioned myself to become part of it. The bat-promoting one looked at me for help (not a good idea in a gun shop), I said that someone with a knife could beat someone with a bat 80% of the time. This earned me silence and looks of disbelief from both guys and the two guys behind the counter. I elaborated...

Swinging a bat or club has three steps; readying, striking, and recovering. Readying is pulling the bat back, striking is the actual swing, and the recovery is returning the bat to the ready position. All of these steps take time, and only one of them can inflict damage. You also must consider the effective area of a club weapon. When swinging a bat, the part that will do the most damage is the end of the bat because it's moving the fastest. Since you're swinging the bat, either from the side or from above the head, the speed of the bat decreases as it gets closer to your grip and becomes less effective. This means that if you hit someone with a bat right above where you are gripping it, it will hurt less than if you hit them with the end of the bat. So lets say that a bat has an effective area of two feet, starting from the end of the bat, and going back towards the handle, this means that if anyone is either in front or behind this effective area; the bat will do no or little damage. Couple that with the fact that a bat must be recovered to a swinging position to be reused, and there are a lot of openings for someone to get close enough to you to incapacitate you with a knife. See, people always think they should get away from the person swinging the bat, when they should really get closer. You might say that you could just not pull the club back as far, but then you make the club less effective by not swinging it broadly enough. If you have the bat pulled back and someone's walking towards you, can you honestly say that they can't approach two feet in either the time it takes you to swing and miss or pull the bat back more before swinging? Even if you catch hit him with the bat, if he only makes it 1.5 feet, it may not be going fast enough to incapacitate him. Once he's under the bat's range with a knife, you're done. And that's all assuming that you even have enough room to swing the bat effectively.

One of the clerks said, "Well, some robber isn't going to know to try that." To which I replied; "You gonna bet your life on that?" His reply; "...Well, I still know that the best thing for home defense is a good old 870." I thought briefly and decided to respond; "I don't trust long guns for checking out things that go bump in the night." "What?!" "It's the same argument..."

The effective area of any gun is beyond it's barrel, if someone can get between you and the end of the barrel, you're gun is useless. Remember that the barrel of a gun enters a room before you do, and if you can't see someone pressed against the wall next to the entrance, and they grab the barrel and point it in a safe direction while they tackle you, and get you with a knife, there's not much you can do.

"Feh! (yes he actually said "feh") He's actually going to get close enough to grab the barrel of my shotgun?! That's crazy. He'd be better off running."

"True, but what if he's cornered or thinks he's cornered? And you seriously don't think that he'd be able to get close enough to you in a house full of hallways, doors, and furniture? Door frames aren't wide enough for you to slice the pie completely without your barrel poking into the room."

"I still don't think that would happen."

Another clerk chimed in; "Ok; what would YOU use to clear your house?"

"A hi-cap pistol with a mounted flashlight so you can see, and laser sight so you can see where it's aiming when you pull close to your body when you enter a room blind. If you hold it to the side of your chest or under your chin against your chest it can't be grabbed or redirected by someone close. And a fixed blade knife on my left hip."

(the first clerk:) "A knife! Hah! I'm not listening anymore!"

"90% of fights wind up on the ground that's why Brazilian Jujitsu is such a popular fighting style. If one of you has a gun, chances are you're going to be fighting over it. When you're rolling on the ground a shotgun isn't going to help at all, and a handgun can be lost or change hands in the scuffle. With a knife ready, you can stick him to get the advantage. A knife is the most effective close range weapon. If two guys are rolling on the ground unarmed or fighting over a gun, the one with the knife will win."

"...Hmm. I still don't know..."

By now I noticed that more people were listening to our conversation and all seemed to have thoughtful expressions on the faces. I smiled inside because it looked like I got through to some people... But I had to go.

"Well, it's been fun guys; if you decide to go with the shottie, go with an 870, and get a sling for it so you can make sure it stays close to your body, and can't get wrestled away from you."

And I left without anyone saying a word.

Am I the only one who thinks of these things???