Friday, December 29, 2006

The First Amendment according to Calguns

UPDATE 7/1/08: In the time I've continued to spend on Calguns, I've come to understand the reason for their decision. I may not have to like it, but I must respect it. Frankly Calguns has driven progress for gun owners in California more than any other organization, large or small. They're the reason I have a legal AR type, and they are currently in the process of challenging the AWB through a non-profit foundation.
Calguns is worth your time, and deserving of your money.

The original post follows below. Regard it with my above notes.

David Codrea felt the need to voice a dissenting opinion on Calguns, and joined up so he could make his opinion known.

He was politely warned that the forum had rules and that he should reword his post to make it more polite and respectful. He was banned for life for his first post with no warning.

The Calguns site owner replied to his post in the first comment, and explained why he had been banned, and the rules regarding the Calguns forum usage. Usually, this kind of information is sent via e-mail to someone who was banned for a week or a few days, or (more often) in a follow up post under the first.

Additionally, the person who claimed to be the owner of Calguns said that he wasn't familiar with David's politics, and knew nothing about him. This, I suspect, was an outright lie. If he really was so involved in "his" site to be the one who instituted the life-long-warningless-insta-ban, I find it hard to believe that he missed the many posts which reference David and his politics in a derogatory manner. Conversely, if he is going to claim ignorance for being a more "hands-off" owner, then why was HE the one who instituted the ban, and decided that it should last a lifetime?

I smell bullshit.

David IS a bit harsh around the edges, but his voice needs to be heard because he's saying things that people don't get from the big 2nd Amendment lobby. David Codrea will not accept anything less than a full, and unconditional surrender from the gun-grabbers, and we need to have that voice in our community.

I will no longer be supporting Calguns with my donations, and hope you'll do the same.

If you know any other Calguns members, share this information with them. They need to know about Calguns' backdoor censorship.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

You fall into a pit!

"You fall into a pit!" "You land on a set of sharp iron spikes!" "The spikes were poisoned!" "The poison was deadly..." You have died. Do you want your possessions identified? [ynq] (n)"


One of the many insta-deaths...

I hate loving Nethack.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Neck deep!

I'm neck deep in someone else's database. Actually it's worse, it's a large company's database which means all the parts can be as disjointed as they want. If it was just one idiot's code, at least it'd be consistent!

I've been digging through the database for two days now, and feel like that one guy on the movie Real Genius who's helping them get the laser working. In the middle of everyone quietly pouring over research, he just stands up and starts screaming and going nuts and runs away.

That's me.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Goodbye Eilom the Ranger...

I said in an earlier post that I wanted to start my own Ranger, well I did and he was doing great.

I didn't get too deep, but I wasn't trying to. I was playing the way the fellow from the story was, and I was collecting all (and I do mean all) the items from the nearby levels and putting them in my storage box on the mine town level in the Mars temple. On a side note; collecting everything is a good way to keep the monsters from attacking me with crystal plate mail or really nasty weapons. And when you can test if the items are cursed or not, and try them on safely, I found quite a few good items that brought my armor class waaaaay down! I think I'll be doing this from now on. I'm going to have to put my Valk through this process to see how low I can get her AC...

I'd just sacrificed a whole bunch of monsters to my god when he rewarded me with Stormbane. Stormbane is an awesome weapon, but it's intelligent, so it can be unwieldy. I was practicing with it to get my skill level up, and had returned to the temple. I walked toward my box, and the Priestess got in the way. Normally when you choose to attack a peaceful being you are asked if you are sure you want to attack. Since I was wielding Stormbane at the time, Stormbane attacked her before I had the chance to stop it. I was a pretty low level, and priests of temples are rather strong (not to mention that if I kill the priest of a temple the temple becomes haunted). I tried to be nice, and prayed to my god (who was still supportive of me), but the priestess was just too powerful for me and...

Goodbye Eilom the Ranger...

Damn. I was doing so well!

Oh well. No use crying over spilt Ranger blood! Time to learn from my mistakes and get back to the game! I started a Valk named Velma afterwards, and have been finding some good items. Somewhere along the way, I found a cursed ring and a wand. I zapped the wand at a corridor to see if it was a projectile launching or area effect wand and nothing happened. I figured it was a speed monster wand (as those are common early in the dungeon) and zapped it at my pet housecat. *POOF* Red Dragon. OMG I polymorphed my pet cat into a Red Dragon! Kick ass! Totally lucky! I looked at that cursed ring and thought it would be awesome if it was polymorph control, but that's just wishful thinking.

Nethack has traps for you to keep you from just trying on unidentified rings, amulets, or reading unidentified scrolls. You pick up an unidentified scroll, feel adventurous and read it. Whoops, your +4 shield crumbles to dust. Bugger. Or you toss on an unidentified amulet. "What harm could it do?" you think, "I'll probably find out what it does later, or by interacting with the dungeon." Whoops. It was a cursed amulet of choking. It chokes you for 4 turns and kills you, and since it's cursed, you can't take it off. Way to go. You put on an unidentified ring, "There are no killer rings, the worst it does is knocks my roll down a few points in some category. Eventually I'll get it off." Whoops. It was a cursed ring of levitation. You float to the ceiling. You have a weaker attack since you have no footing, and you fly backwards when you launch a projectile. Not too bad right? Oh wait. You can't pick up anything off the ground since you're on the ceiling, nor can you go down a level since the stairs down are on the ground. And you can't try to dip the cursed ring in a fountain to remove the curse because the fountain is (say it with me) on the ground. Better start reading some of those unidentified scrolls and hope one is a scroll of remove curse (and not destroy armor or punishment), otherwise you need to go up levels and hope to run into a nymph who will steal your stuff, and hope she steals your cursed ring. You can help her do this by removing and dropping all your inventory so that the ring is the only thing she can steal. Of course, once you drop all your inventory, it'll be on the ground... As you can tell, there are quite a few obscure ways to die in Nethack. So if you're character's kicking ass, or just barely getting by, that cursed amulet of choking will do you in. And if the amulet doesn't; the randomly generated monster wielding a wand of death is just waiting around the corner.

Nethack is the only game I know of that actively tries to kill you in any way possible. There's no coddling here; it's just straight, 100% doom. Whether you're three turns into your game or 30000, the Random Nethack God WILL throw you a curve ball (or eight) to try to kill you.

Crap, where was I. Oh yeah, wishful thinking. I didn't want to try on the ring for the aforementioned reasons, but there was a sink a few levels up. Sinks eat rings (just like in real life) and by dropping your ring into a sink, the sink will display the ability the ring endows thereby identifying it (if you can recognize the message). This, however, requires that you lose the ring down the drain. I tossed the ring into the drain, and cursed as it displayed "For a moment the sink looks like an erupting geyser." Which is the message you get when you drop a ring of polymorph control into the sink. Bugger. Go fig.

So my Valk missed the chance to have poly control and a wand of polymorph, but she still had a pet Red Dragon named Zippo! I forget where she is right now, but he's doing A-OK. I'm looking forward to playing her some more, but not looking forward to her assured demise at the hands of the Nethack God.

UPDATE: I had a great run, but Nethack got me...

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Catching up (on nethack)

Howdy folks, just dropping you guys an update due to posts failing to make it out of the gate...

I've got three posts waiting to be finished, and four recordings waiting to be posts, but those things fell to the wayside in favor of something (presumably) more important.


I got a few false starts (IE, getting my ass kicked) and then got a good character started up. After I made it to the mine town, I got a little greedy and tarried a bit too long... Which allowed the Random Nethack God plenty of time to ensure my distruction. I died from a lucky shot from a sleep ray... Carried by a randomly nasty monster. Fux.

I started another character, and resolved to play this close to the vest. About 6 hours of total play time got me

Velkommen Val, the human Valkyrie, welcome back to NetHack!

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Val the Woman-at-arms St:18 Dx:16 Co:18 In:10 Wi:12 Ch:9 Lawful
Dlvl:6 $:3524 HP:95(95) Pw:27(27) AC:1 Exp:10

My Lawful Human Valkyrie, just exiting the Sokoban mazes (first time I really tried the maze, and beat it for a possibly blessed Bag of Holding. Though I already had a BOH, I got some wands and rings. I'm trying to get good with some spells, and it's kind of hard because I'm not used to using them. Anyways, after completing the Sokoban, I was afraid I'd get careless if I continued, so I took a break, and planned my next moves.

It's amazing how attached you get to your character when you're given one life, and no save points. Those 6 hours could instantly be wasted by making the wrong move (or a stupid or aggressive one). The thing is; when you get in a tight spot, you usually have an escape opportunity. You just have to be smart enough to see it.

If you're low on health, and surrounded, you have a few avenues of escape, some obvious and some unobvious. You can pray to your god for healing (presuming you haven't done anything to piss him off), you can read a scroll of teleport (or just random unidentified scrolls, hoping one is teleport), zap yourself with a teleport wand, zap a wand of digging straight down to make a hole you can escape through, read a powerful spellbook you can't understand for a chance of the powerful magic teleporting you (there is a risk of injury or confusion when you do this), quaff unidentified potions and hope one's healing, or throw them at monsters and hope they're confusion, break a wand to release its magical energies (dangerous), drop a scroll of scare monster (or drop all your unidentified ones and hope one is scare monster), zap yourself with a wand of speed (or quaff potion of speed) drop your heaviest stuff and run, zap monsters with wand of slow monster to help you escape, rub all your lamps... Gee... that's all I can think of now...

The point is, you can do a lot in this game, you just need a combination of brains and luck to get through. Unfortunately, this game is notoriously evil. When you start playing you'll soon find yourself dying in very creative, imaginative, and downright murderous ways. That's why it takes people years of playing to beat it. Your first ascension (beating the game) is a very momentous occation.

But back to our story... I've been overworking myself lately, so the nethack was a welcome relief. And I really needed it.

Wow, I just spent almost 6 hours reading through a nethack story! I was looking up pictures to post for you guys, and I found some guy's chronicle of his first truly serious game of nethack! It's awesome! You can head HERE and read the first entry to get a pretty solid feel for what it's like to play nethack! Great story!

Head over there and read the first entry; it's not too long, and gives you a pretty good feel for how the game is played. It may seem a little corny if you haven't played before, but if you keep reading you'll realize that all this thought was necessary.

Yeah, I started this post at 8:11am today, so... yeah... Just got caught up in the story! Now I want to start my own Ranger!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Xavier hits the christmas target!

Xavier has posted gifts for gun nuts.

How to find just the right gift for the gun nut you're nuts about!

History repeats itself

Short, informative, and entertaining. The trifecta of youtube watchery!

HatTip to SayUncle

Monday, December 18, 2006


Raise your hand if you were surprised by the twist on the season finale of Dexter last night.

ET raises his hand and looks around the classroom expectantly

I don't usually try to figure out the twists before they come, I prefer to enjoy sitting back and letting the show take me for the ride; but this twist had me genuinely surprised. (I feel inclined to point out that I WAS a little drinkded, and not entirely on the ball at the time)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Preaching to the choir?

David reminds us of the true meaning of a phrase we've all used (likely misused) at one point.

I know I'll think twice before I use it in the future.

Additions and removals

I've added a few blogs and removed a few blogs from my "Blogs I frequent" non blogroll on the right hand side of the page.

Unlike a blogroll; this is a list of blogs that I actually read on a regular basis...

New additions are Prepair to be Boarded and A Keyboard and a .45.

Both have become blogs I read regularly for different reasons. Give them a click!

Backhanded victim blaming.

Updated Please read comments.

An acquaintance of mine was the victim of a mugging and a savage beating. The story was related to me via a post on the blog of a friend close to him.

An apparently well meaning and rightfully angered commenter argued the following;
This is a class thing, not a race thing. The most desperate use the most desperate measures as these two pieces of shit proved. Their intentions will never justify their actions, especially when they hurt someone. But, on Average, I’d say such people, if rich, wouldn’t resort to such actions at all.

If you’re lucky enough to have the choice, simply never wander through the dark, quiet streets of a lower-class neighborhood at night. You’ll get mugged by the black man, raped by the hispanic, your car pimped out by the asian and murdered by the white serial killer.

(emphasis added)

While I took mild issue with a few of his points I took offense to his flippant statement. (Honestly, had he not used the word "simply" I probably would have ignored it) I added the following to my comment after expressing my condolences;
“simply never wander through the dark, quiet streets of a lower-class neighborhood at night”
Blaming the victim is quite the spectator sport it seems...

To which he replied;
Existingthing, you, my friend, are a classic idiot. I like how you took out the first words of that sentence, “If one is fortunate enough to have a choice…”

Being a true bitch seems to be quite the blind-spectator sport.

Ah but say what you want. I’ll just consider the source.

Oh darn, was that a personal attack? Even so, I didn’t manage to reciprocate the shit you threw my way. Now lick your palms and pray to Jesus for forgiveness.

Misquoting IS a cheap trick; though, were it my intention I probably wouldn't have done it 1/8 of a page away from the original quote. I didn't use the full quote because I found it even more offensive in its entirety. I thought that including the word "simply" would make the intent of his statement clear. Clearly this was ignored.

A voice of reason requested that we not argue on such a tragic post, and I didn't post my reply there.

My reply to this fellow is below. I expect he will find it, as the only way he could attack me personally is if he knew me personally (he doesn't) or read my blog.
(I overlook one possibility; that he was just personally attacking me without knowing anything about me. In which case I could care less if he read this.)


"If you’re lucky enough to have the choice, simply never wander through the dark, quiet streets of a lower-class neighborhood at night."

This is backhanded victim blaming. You're having it both ways, and it's bullshit. You begin talking about choice; one always has a choice. "Hey man; that was a bad time to head home; why didn't you just sleep there? Rent a hotel room? Take a cab? Cower in an alley under some loose newspapers?" What, then, is the definition of NOT having a choice? I could argue that no place is safe; light or dark, quiet or noise, lower-class or upper. Crime can strike anywhere at any time. Does that make ANY victim of ANY crime at fault for "bringing it upon themselves"? Or are YOU the all-knowing, all-seeing final word in what's safe or not? And if so, why won't you impart your wisdom?

I took particular offense to the use of the word "simply". There is no street light indicator which lets people know when the streets turn from "safe stroll home" to "dangerous straits". Situations are constantly changing, and a walk home that was safe the other 261 times can suddenly becomes a life-threatening trek at any moment. Anyone who argues that there's anything "simple" about assessing potentially dangerous situations has clearly never been in one. No one walked up to the victim and said; "Hey buddy, tonight's walk home is going to be a life threatening one. Press 'A' to call a cab; press 'B' to walk home anyways." This wasn't someone who was "asking for it" or "tempting fate". This was someone who was just living his life.

More to the core of the issue, what if you DO have the choice and you choose to walk home at what some may argue was a dangerous time; or through what some may argue was a dangerous neighborhood? Two guys decide to break the law and your spirit by mugging you and beating you savagely. Would your argument be that this fellow got what he deserved? So, there's no blame on the bastards who attacked the victim? Or would you be so callous as to imply that there is shared blame? There's no gray area here. One party is innocent. One party is guilty.

Either way; it's bullshit. You ARE blaming the victim, and if you were not yet aware of that fact; you need to sit down and think seriously about how you view life's challenges, and the compassion you feel (or don't feel) for the others who face them as well.

I love Dennis Miller...

(but I'm not IN love with him)

The meaning behind Gutei's Finger

Someone came to this page from a google search for "meaning behind gutei's finger". The truth is that I cannot claim to know the true meaning behind this, but I know that the feeling it got when I first read it was something like enlightenment. It was a short burst of greater understanding and (at the risk of sounding like Moonbeam McStarchild) cosmic oneness. I know I would have extreme difficulty explaining it. But I'm not sure that it really can be explained. Just understood.

I've only experienced the feeling once before; the first time I read a poster of Albert Einstein that my parents got me when I was very young. It read, "Imagination is more important than knowledge". For a fleeting moment; everything made sense. I didn't know what the feeling was at the time, and tried to get the feeling back for literally years after that. Every few months I'd sit in front of the poster and concentrate on the quote and its meaning. I'd just wind up frustrated, and give up for a few months until I could try again.

I guess what it really means is only what you think it means.

bloody gun

Every few weeks I find a particular google image searches that links to my site. These recurring searches are for the query; "Bloody Gun" and link to one of my gun pr0n pictures (which is odd because I can think of at least one reason why that search query shouldn't find my gun :). The kicker is that all of these searches (over 15) originated from Canada (I think different parts; but don't remember specifically. I think I'd remember if it was the same place though) and took place rather randomly.

It's usual to see swells of odd searches that bring traffic to your site. For example; about a month ago for, some reason, people from france started searching for pictures of Mount St. Helens. I still have no idea why people are suddenly so interested in pictures of cockatrices or my nethack character. But this search wasn't a swell; this was consistent and sporadic. This was a persistent search.

I like to see what rank my pages and images bear for particular searches. I didn't want my guns to the first results for "bloody gun", so I ran the search myself and started clicking through pages and pages of the search results. I've tried it three times (weeks apart), and I think the farthest I've gotten was page 51 without seeing my gun. This means to be that these people were searching through over 51 pages of image results looking for a "bloody gun" to suit their use.

I sure do wonder why some folks from Canada would require pictures of bloody guns? Why not search for dirty gun? Or tasty gun? (Mmmmm...) Or (dun dun DUN!) safe guns? I suspect I know the answer...

I guess you'll always find what you're looking for.

"Hey! We did our job too!"

Feds Raid 6 Swift and Company Meatpacking Plants in Apparent Illegal Immigration Search

Imagine if they did their jobs for more than 1 day a year... All that needs to be said was said earlier.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


When you publish a post on it puts your blog at the head of a queue that seems to be used in a number of locations. One of which seems to be the "Next Blog" button in the top right corner of every blog.

After I published my previous post, I hit the sitemeter to see if people were sick of me not posting enough to stop showing up (not quite yet, I'll have to try harder!). I saw that the most recent view was referred from the following URL: Since there are no links to my blog on the site, the only way I could get a referrer from there would be for that person to hit the "Next Blog" button.

Sadly, this poor soul was researching how to quit smoking, and chose to view a random blog which happened to be one with a recent post on how I'm enjoying smoking cigars.

I'm doing the devil's work.

But hey; it's a free country, and it's your body. Should you wish to treat it badly you should be able to ruin it as you see fit! I'm merely a messenger.

Cigar Smokery

While in Mexico I picked up some Cuban cigars (how could I not?). I was never one for smoking, but couldn't resist partaking in what is explicitly verboten in the US.

I puffed and coughed and choked and generally had a miserable time. But I did it. When then time came to return, I can neither confirm or deny having returned with some.

Since then I've been slowly smoking them whenever I felt the compulsion, but never felt driven to do so. Only recently have I started craving the tobacco taste infrequently. Now that I've developed a taste for the cigars I find myself at the last few inches of my last one, and reluctant to finish. I'm even more reluctant to go to a cigar shop and buy more.

It's a bit of a vice, and I could easily give it up, but if I'm not doing it in excess, why should I worry?

I dunno. Lately I've been content sniffing the bit of cigar I have left, but am finding it increasingly difficult to be satisfied with just that.


I just had to use my inhaler. I was sitting in bed, catching up on the gun forums, so it's not like I was running 5 miles or anything...

I stopped using it after I got better, and haven't had to use it for months. I doubt this was an isolated incident... One more thing to worry about...

Monday, December 11, 2006

Sorry guys...

I truly wish I could tell you this story; but must regretfully relate to you that doing so would be of significant detriment to myself.

One may feel that something one is unable to share with others is scarcely worth doing at all. However, I'm of the mind that those things can sometimes be the most rewarding.

Unfortunately the only way to test this theory is to do something that I'm not willing to do; share. So I remain blissfully ignorant to the possibilities of greener pastures, and shall be content simply to chuckle to myself idly.

Hackers don't usually get to share their guilty pleasures.

(at least; the good ones don't.)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Defiant Infidel's hunting experience

Defiant Infidel has posted the second installment of his series in which he takes us on a hunting trip with him.

You will find that he is not simply narrating his experience, but sharing with you the details, thought, and planning that goes into a day of hunting.

A truly enjoyable read.

If you have yet to read the first installment; you may find it HERE. I highly recommend you read these posts, and check back for the completion of the series. They're truly worth your time.

Infinitely Amusing.

Kevin's back on the air!

Kevin over at Toast, it's not just for breakfast anymore, has cut his blogging hiatus short to air some grievances with the recent proposed RNC confirmation. Defiant Infidel commented, arguing that we should keep up the good fight, and things will change. Sadly, I don't share his optimism, and begrudgingly suggest a more radical solution.

The times; they are hard...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Bond's back, and his haircut sucks (finally).

Last weekend we saw Casino Royale with Stouty and his wifey. It was a lot of fun to watch, and was one of those movies that really made you feel what was going on. I don't usually like writing about movies but this is really more about a character, so I don't mind!

Daniel Craig is the antithesis of Pierce Brosnan.

Pierce Brosnan's Bond, (who took short breaks from boning anything with two legs, drinking martinis, wining and dining any vagina within 30 feet, and playing with his watch to save the world in under 5 minutes while holding his gun like the limp dick in a $300 haircut that he is) would get his shit ruined in 7 different ways by Daniel Craig's Bond.

Casino Royale's Bond was ruthless, cunning, dangerous, skilled, smart, tough as nails, and everything you'd think of when you thought of a top class secret agent. Seeing this take on 007 made me feel like watching the old Bonds. Casino Royale's Bond acted more like a secret agent than what Bond has become recently.

James Bond had become something of a comic book character. I compare this to the pre-"Batman Begins" Batman movies. Those Batman movies were cartoony, takes on comic books. Watching Mr. Freeze (Our Governator) call his raver, hip-hop, hockey team minions to attack Batman was directed to be something out of the comic book. The situations, characters, and plots were surreal, unbelievable, and just plain far-fetched. But there isn't much wrong with that, because this was a movie based on a comic book. Sticking to the comic's style just helped it maintain what made it popular in the first place.

007, on the other hand, is not a comic book character. Sure, the situations Bond deals with verge on surrealism. But, a giant ice castle? It's just an example of a number of unnecessary eye candy distractions to keep you from noticing the tired plot, played quips, and the same storyline that has been in every Bond film. "That entire place is made of ice! I'll bet that cost lots of money to do! I wonder if it's cold in there!" Shut up. No one cares. Go watch Mission Impossible 3. Bond became a comic book superhero who sleuthed around in plain sight in a full tuxedo with his fashion accessory Walther PPK, and used every gadget Q gave him at least once a movie, and at least twice to save his life from certain sharks-with-frikkin-laz0rs death. Lately, his car has even become a minor character; using all the gadgets Q gave him before he left to save the world, and boning female cars while we're not looking no doubt.

They took 00 agent number 7, who was a top notch, world class, kick ass spy, and turned him into James Bond; who was not. Bond became about gadgets, being suave, ordering martinis, introducing himself with his last name followed by his full name, puns, and boning anything within arms reach. Bond became an idealized version of a spy. He wasn't 007 any more, he was James Bond. 007 did spy things; and James Bond did, well, James Bond things. And even though he hit like a girl, he did have a great haircut.

Casino Royale got back to the original Bond. This Bond was a 00 agent. To me, this was the real Bond. Good to have you back James, hope you'll stay a while.

It has come to my attention that Daniel Craig has expressed some very un-Bondly opinions. I should have made clear that the Bond I enjoyed was the Bond Daniel Craig was written, and directed by other folks. I'm not going to say that he added nothing to the character, because that's almost impossible, but I just want you to know there is a distinction between the actor and the character. Now dance, monkey! Dance!

Oh yeah, I just realized who this Bond reminded me of; Steve McQueen.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Groking Electronics

Sorry about the light posting, I've spent most of my downtime with my nose buried in webpages, books, and wires. This past week has seen most of my free time spent researching electronics in a renewed effort to understand some basic circuits.

I've been wanting to get into electronics for quite some time. I understand basic electronics (add battery to motor, make motor go; go motor, go), but didn't understand components, and circuits. I had a basic understanding of resistors, capacitors, relays, etc, but wasn't sure how to impliment them.

Last week I rediscovered my attraction to BEAM bots. Not having successfully learned electronics had always bothered me, so I resolved to get my nose back to the grindstone and not stop until I understood electronics to my satisfaction.

So, I dug up my old links, and books, and researched them for quite some time. I spent a lot of time finding out what I didn't know, so I would know what to research further. I eventually hit the wall I'd hit in the past, where I couldn't understand electronics theory. I spent a lot of time trying to find things that I could reverse engineer to understand, but only came up with more questions and confusion.

Suprisingly, the internet has a real gap of information on this topic. I picked my friend's brain who said that it took him a long time to truly grok the theory behind electronics circuits, and how components worked. This eased my frustration a little bit. I knew I could do it, and was willing to do the work.

I decided that if I couldn't research my way over this wall, I'd have to start playing with components, and learn on the way.

I picked up some components and a solderless breadboard, some basic components; a solar panel, a few motors, and a kit (for parts), and started messing around and recording my observations. (btw, a breadboard actually makes creating circuits easy and fun. It's a must have, and can be had for cheap.) After I started seeing how the components reacted with eachother and experimenting with different configurations, I began to understand.

It took a lot of time and work to get to this point, but I'm glad I'm making progress. I just wish I could have become impatient with the lack of information earlier.