Friday, May 30, 2008

Bring back cholera!

"Their goal: move a household of two adults and five-year-old twin boys without burning fossil fuels that contribute to global warming."

The worst part, of course, is the implication that we should all return to a world where we needed to physically haul our belongings around like pioneers in covered wagons. Well, they may not mind if BILLIE DIED OF CHOLERA or YOU FORDED THE COLORADO RIVER: You lost 3 Wagon Wheels, 2 Axles, 23 Pounds of Food, Jane Died, Cletus Died but I most certainly do.

Roffle my waffles!

Awesome read over at MoronPundit, give him a click

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Put your money where their idiocy is

David has a pretty smart idea for making your personal boycotts more visible and financially painful.

I not only personally let foolish business owners who post "No Guns" signs know why they're not getting my business, on substantial purchases I've actually sent them copies of receipts from their competitors--along with a note explaining how they blew the sale.

That's a damn fine idea!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Unhorse

Look what your careless hands have wrought.

It may because of the long day, but I LOLd with reckless abandon.

Isn't this amazing?

With the breadth of the internet, the power of instant publishing and the speed of RSS/Atom feeds, I click publish, and in seconds, people are reading my words across America.

I must not misuse this power.

With great power, comes great cakesponsability.

Sorry guys. :(

Holy shit, this is awesome.


Hitman Monkey

humorous pictures
more cat pictures

Shun the non-believer! Shuuuunnnnn!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Happy Birthday Rick

Wow. Just wow.


I really don't know...

Via Geekology

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Animusic - Aqua Harp

I have a strange fascination with watching music played interestingly (???) and can't get enough of stuff like this. I'm pretty sure I wore out my first Animusic DVD from use. This is one is my favorite. There are others with better animations, but I really like the music.

Overheard at home

Me: I was reloading the shotgun, and refilling the shell box, and I had one left over. I thought the box was full and the shotgun was full... Ohhh, it was loaded with 2 3/4" buckshot before, and these are 3" magnum buckshot... Well, the shotgun's on your side, so would you rather have 8 shots of regular buckshot, or 7 shots with more power?
GF: More power.
Me: ... Good answer.
GF: ...
Me: I love you.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A fast one?

I made 17k over my base working hourly last year.

Increasing my base 15k, and switching me to salary is a pay cut.

...Maybe I spoke too soon.

Extreme programming, here I come?

Update: Accounting ASSumed. My boss clarified. Downs were smacked, and I remain among the employed.

Speaking of Swordfish

I spoke earlier of Swordfish coding, and how silly it was.

I forgot to mention that I have been accused by a coworker of pretending to be programming Swordfish style.

When you type as fast as I do, and do your coding in an entirely keyboard-controlled editor, it just sounds like you're exaggerating your typing speed... Grossly.

Now whenever he sees me coding, he always comes up behind me and says, "...enhance..."

"Hello, YouTubes!"

Lots of fun to watch, lots of fun to listen to, lots of fun!

He has a very interesting style for progression.

Big hat tip to some kind of robot, who has a brand new blog! Give her a click!


David Olofson on CNN's Lou Dobbs

UPDATED 1/23/09:
Transcript for the recent video is here.
As of now, that is all that is available. AFAIK. If you find a video, please put it in the comments.

UPDATED 5/21/08: In an effort to support David Olofson's fight, I began absorbing all the information on this case that I could. As I did, I found myself distracted by the boneheaded, and downright stupid moves Olofson made in the execution of his case. Being stupid will not get you tossed in jail, but if you do it enough during your case, it WILL count against you. It also became obvious Olofson wasn't exactly pure as the driven snow. I was conflicted because while it is obvious the BATFE's procedures were seriously (possibly criminally) flawed, Olofson mismanaged his case as though it was what he was trying to do all along. I still don't think he should go to prison for any length of time, but I don't think anyone should go to prison for a crime without a victim. While Olofson's failures were his own, the cost goes to us all. Now the BATFE has legal precedence that a malfunctioning semi-automatic rifle is legally considered a machine gun. This affects us all. However, I maintain that if this kind of case goes before a judge again, and the case is handled properly, I don't see a conviction. Or, at least I see success on appeal. This is not the case to get worried about, or draw conclusions from. It was deeply flawed from both sides.

I was struggling on a post explaining this, when I found Sebastian wrote it for me! Go read it before or after you read the below, but read it.

UPDATED 5/14/08: It's official. You can be sent to federal prison for owning a malfunctioning firearm. Any gun owner with an autoloading firearm can be put in federal prison if the F-Troop can make it fire more than once per trigger pull by means, action, or inaction of their choosing. They only need a reason.

UPDATED: Added part two of the story.

CNN's Lou Dobbs covers David Olofson's story of government abuse.
First part of the video here.
Part two here.

To readers unfamiliar with this case, David Olofson, an Army Vet and gun owner, leant a 20 year old AR to (supposedly) a prospective buyer. The buyer took it to the range, and after firing approximately 800 rounds through it, the gun malfunctioned, fired two rounds, and jammed. Law enforcement took note, and called the gun a machine gun (because it fired more than one round per trigger pull), and charged Olofson with illegal transfer of a machine gun.

There is little dispute about the above. The government is knowingly making a felon out of this veteran because his gun malfunctioned.

For clarity; the full-auto and the semi-auto versions of the AR rifle have different internals. Even if one were to modify a semi-auto rifle to fire full auto, there would be additional internal parts to accomplish this. The BATFE knows this, but doesn't care.

It's a good video, watch it, and catch the rest when I post the link.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Overheard at work

Me: Pants pants pants...
Me: ...PANTS!
Me: Oh nooo! The community chest foreclosed on my pants!
Me: This is how I dance! When I'm not wearin' any pants!
Me: Not wearing any pants?! I'll not wearing any pants you!
Me: ...All the way to the bank!
Me: Puuut aaa banana in your paaaaaaaants!
Me: Heh heh. "Pants."
Me: [black vulcan]In my pants.[/black vulcan]
Me: It feels like someone with a fever is yelling at my pants!
Me: That's what SHE said... TO MY PANTS!
Me: ...
Me: I've been here for over 12 hours. Maybe I should go home.

Charlie the Unicorn 2

Everyone's favorite Unicorn is back, and it's just as insane as ever!

Put a banana in your earrrrr!

The Touchtone Genius

Moron of the day: Moronpundit

But seriously, that sucks.

Time to take a stand.

I hereby commit to getting my raise today, or giving my two weeks notice today.

Enough pussy-footing around. I'm not going to be one of those employees who bitches about pay, and does nothing about it.

No going back now.

Update: I am now among the higher paid. To the tune of 15k.
(it was a bit overdue)

Program for Google... TO THE EXTREME!!!!!11

I'm a great coder, but I don't know if I'm an

What the hell is "extreme programming"? Is it anything like extreme ironing?

I dunno, maybe they should hire this guy. His programming in Swordfish could have been described as "extreme." They probably could have hired a computer consultant to give an idea what programming is REALLY like, and how to make it more exciting, but I think they might have ran out of money after bribing Halley Berry to show her sweater puppies.

Monday, May 19, 2008

What is that thing?

Anytime I see something screech across a room and latch onto someones neck, and the guy screams and tries to get it off, I have to laugh, because what is that thing.
~Jack Handey

Quote of the YEAR

This is a great year for watching liberals in a quandary. First came the primary voting in which they had to decide if they were a racist dog or a sexist pig, now they have to decide if they want to fiddle with biofuels while watching the poor go hungry. Ah, TANSTAAFL; always there like a garden rake waiting to smack the unwary in the face when they tread upon it.

On the defeating of Deep Crows

Clearly this exterminator has a few tricks up his sleeve.

I get the feeling he could take his fair share of Stalagmen

Carteach0 is back!

Range day! Comparing Privy vs. Wolf .223
I had a similar experience. When I finally got a chance to bring my Wolf .223 to a 100 yard range, I found the accuracy to be unreliable enough that I realized I had to stock up on some better quality ammo.

After the technical data is out of the way, he touches on one of the best things about shooting.
On the other hand, I made a pile of empties and had a ball. The range was recently upgraded, the weather was perfect, I had the place to myself, and life was just really good for a little while.

Coming from a man who has apparently had some recent difficulties in life, this means a lot. Trips to the range are very therapeutic. Very zen.

Seatbelts and Cheeseburgers

California is doing a "crack down" *cough*revenuegeneration*cough* on people who don't wear seatbelts.

The "Click it or Ticket" campaign (I mean, "campaign") is meant to help keep people from hurting themselves by pulling people over and giving them tickets (fines) for not wearing their seatbelts.

By not wearing a seatbelt, you create no public danger. You do not threaten anyone else's life by failing to wear your seatbelt. You can only hurt yourself by not wearing a seatbelt.

Since we're fining people for doing things that are bad for them, why not ticket people for eating fast food two days in a row? The cops can set up a hand-stamp system when you buy a cheeseburger that indicates the earliest date that you can buy another! Besides, fast food is BAAAAAAD for you! We can't have you not wearing your seatbelt and eating fast food every day!

Why do we give the government the power to be our nannies?

Why not take it to the next logical level?

Fines for not wearing a coat on a cold day. Put a coat on! You'll catch your death!
Fines for not changing your underwear. You never know when you'll have an accident. Then the paramedics will see your skidmarks!
Fines for owning a BB gun. You'll put your eye out kid!
Fines for leaving the door open with the AC on. What am I? Made of money?!
Fines for saying mean things. If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.
Fines for making faces. If you keep making that face, it'll get stuck like that!
Fines for putting that thing in your mouth. You don't know where its been!
Fines for not eating everything on your plate. There are starving children in China! NOTHING IS WRONG IN CHINA. EVERYONE IS SUPER HAPPY. THEY HAVE FUN TIMES. ALL IS WELL. RETURN TO YOUR HOMES.

Please feel free to contribute your own in the comments section!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Don't forget to flap your arms!

Oh no! The community chest foreclosed on my beef jerky!

Don't know why I like this game

But COME ON!!!

Governmental Facepalm

Hat Tip to Uncle

Windows 2008 Core Installation

We've been playing around with it.

It's sad.

I know imitation is supposed to be the sincerest form of flattery, but the imitation is so superficial that they missed the basic IDEA of a headless server, or a GUI-less operating system.

It's barely an attempt. It falls horribly short.

It's just sad.

The Milk Man - Aphex Twin

Kinda NSFW... Wear headphones.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sure, why not?

Been meaning to do this, but was never thinking of it at home.

The rules:

1. Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more. No cheating!
2. Find page 123.
3. Find the first five sentences.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.

"Hell, kid, I'll let you have mine." He turned to Al Goodman. "Put the Gun Digest on my tab, too."

If you're reading this, consider yourself tagged. So HA!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

M39 Range trip

I finally got the chance to take the m39 out to a proper rifle range. Unfortunately, no matter how much brush they had cleared away, they wouldn't allow my surplus ammo, which meant $1.05 a round, which meant making every shot count.

The range had good shooting benches (ambidextrous) with plenty of sandbags and two gongs at 200 yards. I was going to start short, and stretch out to the end of the range, but then I realized I had already sighted the m39 in, so what the hell?

I slinged (slung?) up and fired off elbows and iron sights at the 200 yard gong. 5 shots later I figured out where to aim for my 300 yard zero, and had a few hits on the gong. Until now the gong had been quiet for the 30 minutes we had been there, so some spectators took note when the gong came to life, and started looking around for the shooter. I handed the m39 to a friend who wants his own m39, to let him have a few shots at the gong, and he managed 1/3 before he handed the rifle back to me. I noted the spectators had moved to behind our lane, loaded three rounds and tried to focus.
*boom* *PANG*
*boom* *PANG*
...focusss... squeeeeze...
*boom* *PANG*


Three in a row is good enough for me, now to make some groups.

After one group of three a older gentleman approached behind our bench and commented, "Nice Finn!" I stopped shooting and talked to him about m39s and the history surrounding them. In the conversation he mentioned that with an m39 he had, he could that would put 5 shots into a nickel at 200 yards. I told him that he must be a better shot than I, and asked if I could bother him to shoot a group with my rifle to eliminate me as a source of inaccuracy. He was happy to oblige.
Shots were made at 50 yards using iron sights.

After the first shot (green group, far right) he gave me some pointers, and I shot the next shot into the center and the following below it. Satisfied in my abilities, we spoke a while longer about competitions before we parted.

I then took aim at the 100 yard target.
Three three-shot groups at 100 yards off bags using iron sights.

Red group was first, and made me remind myself of the tips I was given.
Blue group was the best at 1.31"
Green group was three shots, and they all felt good, but I appear to have either missed the paper entirely, or threaded a needle almost perfectly. I stared at the two holes long and hard, looking for the slightest trace of a second projectile, but found nothing conclusive. It seems more likely that I'd miss than make a shot like that. :X The two(?) shot green group measures 0.82"

Not bad.

Not bad at all. :)

After those groups I fired off the last bit of my expensive ammo at the 200 yard swinging small gong, having grown tired of the 8" gong. Then I switched to my AR and pegged the two gongs off irons for the rest of the time.

That *PANG* sound doesn't seem to get old.

Space Rum

Gotta get me some of this.

The indefatigable SKS

I picked up this beat-to-hell Chinese SKS for $150 from a local gun shop. I thought my m39 had a mirror bore until I saw this SKS. My m39 has a 90% bore, this SKS has a 100% bore. The metal has seen some rust, but was cleaned up very well. Originally I had planned on putting a new stock on it, but when I realized all parts were matching I couldn't bring myself to swap it out. The stock looks like it has been dragged and beaten against a dirty rock, blackening the glossy orange the stock that still peeks through in some areas (think of it as "tactical" :). The trigger group is milled, and there is a crack in the stock in what appears to be an unimportant area. It shoots better than my AK clone, and has yet to hiccup. I'll take it on my next trip to the rifle range so I can get a real idea of the accuracy this rifle is capable of. It doesn't have any import marks (unless they're very well hidden), but I'm not sure how to interpret that.

(sorry for the bathroom pics, but with the darkness of the stock and the metal, the bathroom was the only place I could get enough light for the pictures to come out)

Some shots of the condition of the stock and metal.

The stock is short enough to be comfortable for a 12-year-old. I'm usually surprised when I expect to shoulder it an inch and a half earlier than it actually shoulders. Still very compact

The crack in the stock.

And what photo set of an SKS would be complete without showing the EEEEEVIL bayonet.

I like circular sight protectors like here and on the m44, or even the AK (though the circle is not complete). My eye seems to keep the sight picture more easily than it does on the AR bunny ears.

Here's some closer shots of the worn finish.

There's some purdy in there somewhere!

For as ugly as it looks, it's still a real beauty. Not to mention a piece of history. My uneducated opinion would be that this was dragged through some jungles and probably saw some action. Who knows how it really found its way into my possession. It's just part of the fun of military surplus firearms.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Overheard at work

Coworker: What does your screensaver say?
Me: Fhqwhgads.
Coworker: What?
Me: Fhqwhgads.
Coworker: Huh?
Me: Fhqwhgads.
Coworker: ... As in...?
Me: As in, 'come on, fhqwhgads.'
Coworker: You're weird.
Me: I'm weird, 'to the limit!'
Coworker: I'm not talking to you anymore.
Me: Oh, come on..... fhqwhgads.

Quote of the Pulp Shakespeare

English, base knave, dost thou speak it?

Via Marko

Friday, May 09, 2008

Who We Are

My name is ET, and I'm a manic depressive.
(Or if you prefer the more "friendly" term, I'm bipolar)


I exhibit almost no outward symptoms, don't appear to suffer from depression, have only light manic episodes, and am a generally agreeable (though anti-social) person. I function normally, interact normally, though my thought process can sometimes be a little skewed (which can actually be helpful in some situations).

The body that I'm in IS manic depressive. Physiologically.
I, (how ever it is you can define the word "I") am not.

By choice.

My mom is bipolar. (It's supposed to be hereditary) However, no one told my sister and I that when our mom was having manic and depressive episodes, or even when she wasn't. I use the word "is" because she IS still bipolar. She was actually the one who cured me. Indirectly. Though, it seems at her own expense.

When I was a kid, we lived the normal life. Nice house, mom's a dental assistant trying to start her own business, dad's a sheriff deputy who worked just a bit more than folks with other jobs, ambitious sister two years younger than I, and two cats. Mom and dad argued about stuff. I didn't really know what, because I just figured they were arguing because that's what parents did. They didn't seem to argue excessively, though I had nothing to really gauge it by, but I remember normal times too. They were frugal, so we could go on yearly vacations skiing in Yosemite or on roadtrips to Colorado, or trips to Hawaii. Before I was 7 I'd been to Hawaii 4 times. (Kauai was our favorite island) From an early age my sister butted heads with my mom. We used to say she got her bull-headedness from her mother. My sister would always take the path of most resistance, and I, the least. I was an agreeable kid, and I was smart, so mom rarely had reason to yell at me. There was stuff that I knew was weird about her, every once in a while she'd remind me that I was the only one she could trust because my sister and my dad were conspiring against her, she'd often have mood swings where she'd throw away or destroy things (like, things that were important to herself and others), accuse anyone of anything at the slightest provocation, etc. etc. etc... When I was young, my uncle died. It affected my mom deeply, but I didn't really know him well enough to get worked up about it. I'd learn later that he committed suicide, and knowing that, and how the family drew together with so much love and support, I think it kept mom from ever doing the same. It was supposedly a moment of anger and passion, rather than a calculated thing he'd done. But she knew what it would do to her family, and probably regarded it as I now do; a coward's way out.

It wasn't until high school that I started exhibiting symptoms. I didn't think anything strange about it at the time (it was normal for me) but I began to withdraw from the world. My mania was moderate, but my depression was strong. Dark years. After almost failing out of high school, my parents brought me to a shrink with whom they had done some marriage counseling (until mom refused to see her, because the shrink kept finding fault in her, which made her part of the conspiracy of people plotting against her). After going once a week for a few months, she had a diagnosis;

"You're manic depressive; or what's called, 'bipolar'. It's not your fault. I've treated your mom, and it seems obvious to me that you got it from her. It's a genetic thing. While we don't know exactly what causes it, it seems to be due to slowed synapse response in your brain due to a limited supply of a certain compound in your body. It's a physiological thing, it's not your fault. You have no control over it. I recommended your mother take this medication, and for a while she did. But she stopped after they started working, because she didn't like that she felt different. We cling to what's secure, and for some of us, our problems are what's secure. If you take the medication, and stay on it, it will make a difference. It won't change things magically; you'll have to do your part, but I guarantee it'll help. It's not your fault; your body just needs a little help."

The depression gave me a lot of time for introspection. I had determined that who we are is who we are, and we should live with it. Her words fell on me like a ton of bricks dropped one at a time, the weight pressing me down until I couldn't move. Until I couldn't breathe. I could only think;

If this is my lot in life, then so be it. I can't fight my physiology, I'd be fighting my body for the rest of my life. I'm not big on pills, but she is obviously a professional, and in her opinion, I need these things to operate normally. No more depression, no more suicidal thoughts, no more of all that horrible stuff. All I have to do is take a pill. My body is broken, and it just needs a little help mellowing out. I've seen what it does to mom, and I don't ever want to be like that. It's not like it's the end of the world...

But I just couldn't get past one of the things she said.

"You have no control over it."

I live in my own body, and I can't control it? It's not like there's someone else in here. It's all me, and I can't control my own body? Aren't we on the same team? And I need to take some foreign substance to fix the problem between me and my body?! No. No. Fuck that. Don't tell me what I can't do. If who I am is wrong, then I'll just have to change who I am.

That's when it hit me. If who I am is bipolar, and I could change that problem by taking a pill, then I'd have to be a different person. Then I realized that we are constantly changing from one person into another. Every experience, thought, and epiphany we have molds us slightly into a different person. Yet we somehow maintain our identity. If it's possible to change who you fundamentally are with a strong thought, or new idea, then it would be possible for me to beat this illness on my own.

So I lied to her.

I told her I'd think about it.

Then I started a years-long journey out of my illness. At first I was quite lost. I didn't know what I had to do to fix things, and I was afraid to talk to the shrink for fear she'd force the medication. I tried simply expelling the thoughts. Any time I had a bad thought, or began feeling down, I'd stop, and busy myself with some other consuming task. Unfortunately this was simple repression, and lead to longer, harder episodes. This was rough because I thought I just needed practice, and wound up doing this for a long time. I was just pushing the thoughts down, I wasn't getting rid of them. I only got worse. I sought religion. I learned about a all-knowing, all-loving god who moves in mysterious ways, but loves you no matter how the world treats you. This was a little confusing. Even if I ignored the odd dogma, and got past the silly stories, the fundamental idea was to keep an upbeat attitude, because some big dude in the sky is secretly watching over you, and no matter how bad it gets, he's got something good in store for you. This did nothing for the episodes of mania and depression. I just couldn't allow myself to think dumbly, "Things'll be OK because some dude said some other dude is gonna fix it!" It seemed like another dismissal of responsibility. Besides, I didn't want someone else to fix my problems, I wanted to find out how to fix them myself. Then for a long time I did nothing. It hit me hard, and I was sure I couldn't beat it, and convinced myself that by now I was "too far along" (?) to expect the pills to fix things. More dark years. In my solitude I expanded my interest in computers, and got into new fields. It gave me a sense of accomplishment, and was a good way to keep my mind occupied. I turned to morbidity, and thought for hours how to kill myself with a strange detachment. Probably because I knew I could never be so selfish to do it. My uncle taught me that. I resorted back to repression just so I could function normally most of the time. Go to school, go to work, eat, sleep, repeat. For a long time.

Things began to change when my mom gave me a book that she enjoyed, The Tao of Pooh. An odd little book that explained Taoism through the characters in the "Winnie the Pooh" series. I became intrigued by Taoism, and read a number of books on the subject. I began to notice the little things around me, the birds, the grass, the leaves on the trees, the wind. As I noticed more, my episodes became less frequent. I cultivated an appreciation for the little things in life. Even things as simple as playing video games with my friends, gave me moments of clarity, moments where I realized right now, in this very singular moment, that shall never exist again, life is good. I became aware of other people. All those hundreds of people you pass by in your car on the freeway, every single one of them has their own life with their own challenges, with their own problems, and their own fears. It was mathematically impossible for me to have the hardest life, the biggest challenges, or the most complications. Someone out there had it harder than me. Hell, LOTS of people have it harder than me. Knowing that was somehow comforting. Whenever I'd have bad thoughts, I'd just think of the vastness of the universe, the enormity of the planet, the billions of individuals who live on it, and the hardships they go through every day. Then I'd think of the beauty of the world. The trees swaying, the birds chirping, the plants growing, all so complex, but so beautifully simple. I couldn't feel bad. I couldn't feel angry. I couldn't feel confused when the world could be so simple and perfect. I had to smile.

After practicing this, I didn't need to stare out a window to get happy, I just had to think of the big picture. If I want to be sad about this thing right now, I have to think if it's going to matter in 10 years. Am I going to mark my calendar, and in 10 years celebrate the anniversary of this terrible event? Of course I'm not, and doing so seems so silly. Not just to dwell on the past, but to choose to dwell on negativity. This too shall pass.

The more I did it. The easier it got. Until I was happy. Actually happy. Truly, down to my core, happy.


I still get pangs from time to time, but they are easily quelled. I'll become stricken with paranoia, depression, anger, or rage, at the most silly things. For example; if I'm driving, and someone breaks at the same rate as me approaching a stop, I become enraged at them, and will slam on my breaks or speed up. It's not slight anger or displeasure, it's naked, white-hot rage. These feelings are still just short jabs, and easily controlled, but with some of them I just have to laugh, because it's just so silly to be like this. Very rarely will my mood alter severely, but even then I maintain the presence of mind to know I'm in an altered state, and to be mindful of myself until it passes.

My brain still works differently. It makes odd associations, and jumps quickly from topic to topic. It's hard to describe. It's not so much topic to topic as it would be tv channel to tv channel. Many entirely different things, already in progress in the background, bouncing in and out of focus. Sometimes when I'm in the middle of something my brain will skip the rails, and I'll be thinking of something completely different. Not like, "brain fart, whoops I forgot." More like, "If we flat-rate it we can recover the cost of mitocondrial DNA is transferred maternally." This is probably why writing helps. While it gets me into trouble sometimes, I know it has helped me think about things from different angles, and come up with interesting solutions to problems. It seems to verge on autism in some cases. Like I said, it's hard to describe.

I save stories and pictures that make me feel sad or cry. I guess it's just a little bit of clinging to the old I still do. It doesn't leave me feeling negative, and it seems to help, so I allow it from time to time.

Part of changing the way I thought was questioning my judgment. This was an agreeable side-effect because it made me try my best to see both sides of an issue, and gained a reputation among friends and peers as a neutral party of particular clarity. Friends (even new friends who shouldn't trust me) open up to me with their problems, ask my advice, and value my opinion. I say this not because I think it's the case, but because they've told me, and continue to ask for my help.

I'm careful about addictions. I never drink alone, and drink infrequently, when I started smoking cigars, I had to NOT smoke for about 8 months just to prove to myself I was in control. I was, and am.

Guns have helped. You might flinch at a manic depressive living with his girlfriend and rabbit in an apartment full of guns, but they've helped me discipline myself. Focus is important with guns, cultivating it helps in all other areas of life. It has also helped me feel more in control of the world around me. There is confidence knowing you're well equipped for most of the nastiness the world can throw at you. It helps. As someone once said, "I shoot guns because it's cheaper than therapy!" Too true.
(thought it was odd to become defense minded, and develop a healthy level of paranoia, without going overboard)

I often appear ambivalent. All my reactionary emotions get sanitized, and checked for deviations. I've been accused of having a poker face. I'm very slow to anger, because I have to be absolutely sure I should feel anger before I feel it. You will never hear me raise my voice. Even when I feel rage and anger boiling over, I try to turn it into sadness or disappointment for fear of hurting someone. Coworkers regard me as a very calm, controlled person, and always react when I relax. Sometimes I forget to turn it off, and realize I should be smiling at something, or react affirmatively. I feel impersonal when I do this, but I've practiced the expressions well, and am pretty in-tune with other people. Only recently have I been able to let my guard down among friends. It feels good.

Why am I writing this?
Because writing about it helps. Getting my thoughts down somewhere where I can read them later helps me remember what and why. Not to mention the revelations I come to by simply forcing myself to think about a specific topic.

Why am I sharing this with the internet?
To let you know that if there's something about you that you don't like, you can change it. With will power, with determination, with practice.
It can be done, because I did it.
It isn't perfect, but who is?
We don't ask for perfection; we just ask for functional.
If you're reading this right now thinking, "Hey man, your problems are miniscule compared to mine!" then remember that there are billions of people in the world, and somewhere, someone's got bigger problems than you, and they're dealing with them. There is only one person who can do anything to you, and it's you. If you allow other people to change the way you think of yourself, you've got a long, hard life ahead of you. Take control.

Whoa dude, I know you in real life. Are things going to be weird now?
No. I haven't changed after writing this, but if your opinion of me has, then... well... deal with it. To quote a great philosopher; "I yam what I yam." If you'd prefer I lie to you, then lie to yourself, because I won't do it.

Thanks for reading, and remember, I do this for me.

Blanket Watch 2008!

It just got interesting.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Video you must watch now.

Don't talk to the police
(until you've spoken to your lawyer)

This lawyer isn't just talking about avoiding getting convicted of anything, it's about accidentally convicting yourself even if you're innocent. Some of this shit is scary.

Watch it now. Seriously.

A police officer is not your advocate. A police officer's job is to get evidence from you to convict you.

Ah plead the fiff!

Hat tip to Xavier, check out the comments section for some conversation from an LEO.

The beard

It's not the beard on the outside that counts.
It's the beard on the inside.

;_; so true...


Since my Ruger boycott was over, I was on the look out for a few of his firearms. I stopped in to Turners to eye the merch, and I spotted one of the employees carrying a tagless GP100. I followed him from the other side of the counter until he pulled out a tag, and as soon as he filled in the price, asked to see it. Having already spoken to friends about how to check a revolver, I was able to see this one was in practically new condition. Bought it on the spot.

30 days later for the consignment to clear and a 10 day waiting period later (ugh) I was ready to shoot!

Ruger GP100

My best group.

6-shots 38 special DA at ~40 feet

I shoot this thing exceptionally well, one handed, and weak handed. With a little practice, I'll be awesome.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Inwhich I join the terrorist watch list

There is a TSA worker who lives in our complex, and occasionally we pass eachother.

Each time we do I fight the temptation to inform her that home made C4 is completely undetectable, detonators can be easily hidden in pens, and that her REAL job is to inconvenience people into a false sense of security.

Honestly. I feel myself almost say it when we pass.

I must remind myself that such an act would accomplish nothing except add my name to lists I won't be able to get it off of.

There are plenty of squirrels on the internet

I just finish installing an agent on this user's computer. I've installed this agent on literally thousands of computers with zero issue.
Technical Hypochondriac: Ok, you installed that thing, and now everything's different. It's all-- That wasn't like that before. Did you do that thing right there?
Me: I can't see what you're pointing at over the phone.
TH: It's the screen. It's all blue now! All my stuff is gone.
Me: Define "stuff."
TH: My icons, and my squirrels.
Me: Your--? Did you start the reboot?
TH: Yeah. It's so slow now. What did you do? It was never this slow before.
Me: If it's not rebooting, just push the power button for 4 seconds.
TH: Ok. I know where it is. But my computer has problems turning off.
Me: Just hold the button down for 4 seconds.
TH: Ok, now what?
Me: Put the button again.
TH: Ok, but just so you know, my computer had problems turning on.
Me: ...
TH: Ok, It's not turning on. I pushed it like 8 times.
Me: 8 times?
TH: Ok, it's turning on... It's taking forever! It never took this long before. Ok, now it says "Windows XP" and it's all blue. It's never done this before. Ever. It's totally broken.
Me: I'm sure it's fine. It's just rebooting. It'll be up shortly.
TH: Ok, yeah, but, it's never done this before. I mean, something had to have changed. My computer doesn't work very well. If you can't tell, I don't like computers.
Me: I'm sure it'll be fine.
TH: Ok, it's all green now.
Me: ???
TH: It's like, green everything.
Me: How do you mean?
TH: Oh god, my squirrels are gone!
Me: ?!
TH: How do I get them back?
Me: What are you talking about?
TH: My icons are back, but everything's green, and my squirrels are gone.
Me: ...Your wallpaper?
TH: Yes.
Me: Oh. Can you try changing the wallpaper to something else?
TH: I don't want something else! I want my squirrels! I need my squirrels!
Me: No, I mean, change it to see if other wallpapers show up. To test.
TH: Ok... Now it's sand.
Me: ... The wallpaper that had a sand dune?
TH: Yeah.
Me: Do you see the wallpaper that has the squirrels?
TH: Yes.
Me: Can you click on it?
TH: Yes, but it doesn't change it on my screen.
Me: Well... There are plenty of squirrels on the internet. I'm sure we'll be able to find another one.
TH: No! I need those squirrels!
Me: *put the phone on mute to laugh out loud for 10 seconds*
TH: They were a gift from my ex boyfriend! He gave them to me! I need those squirrels!
Me: *still muted; explaining my laughter to my coworkers when I burst into a new round of laughter at the last statement*
TH: He's not speaking to me anymore! I need to get them back!

Fesus Jucking Christ!

You just can't make this shit up

Impressively clueless customer: My computer lives in a box. There's like elves and--- My computer lives in a box...

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

So easy, a journalist can do it!

Cheap “idiot-proof” rifle killed Phila. officer
Idiots hit a bank and in the process of fleeing, kill a Police officer, before being killed.

But the problem isn't that these people broke the law, or even that they killed a peace officer; it's that these people were armed with a "cheap" and "idiot proof" rifle.
The SKS carbine - considered simple and rugged - weighs about 8.5 pounds and can be bought legally for as little as $179. Instructions for cleaning and routine maintenance can be found on YouTube.

Emphasis added, it'll be important later.
Wait! You can find instructions to do things on YouTube?! We've got to stop this free exchange of information! I even heard about these things called "libraries" which house TONS of information! Could someone potentially use this information for evil? If so, our choice is clear; book burning!

Considered "idiot proof," the SKS carbine became favorite of hunters in the American South when hundreds of thousands of them flooded the surplus market in the 1980s, authorities said.

Well done calling hunters AND southerners idiots in one sentence. That's why they pay you the big bucks! "Flooded the surplus market"??? I don't suppose you know WHY they flooded in, do you? It's because people like you wanted to ban them. That made people buy them at previously unheard of levels. This guy wouldn't recognize the law of unintended consequences if it kicked him in the balls.

Cain, a convicted felon, would have been prohibited from purchasing or owning any gun, Robbins said.

Robbins would not comment on how Cain came to possess the gun or if the ATF has been able to trace the weapon.

Would have been? Oh! Because he didn't buy the gun legally? Well that defeats the purpose of all these gun laws! When did criminals figure out they don't have to follow the law?! But hey, I thought the whole point of this article was to make people believe that the best way to stop this from happening is to pass laws to keep bank robbers (who are both cheap, and idiots) from buying cheap, idiot-proof guns! If this guy wasn't allowed to buy a gun already, then why recommend more restrictions? The ATF can't trace weapons that don't follow proper legal transfer channels, so why would they be expected to piece this one together? All those laws registering all those firearm transfers, double checking all those forms, and searching all those records don't mean shit when criminals don't obey the law!

And just when you thought you were going to get through an anti-gun article without mention of the *gasp* AK-47 *ungasp* it gets worked into the second-to-last sentence.
The SKS dates to the mid-40s and was originally designed for the Soviet infantry. The Red Army replaced the SKS with the AK-47.

Ya know? Taking apart this article has made the bullet-points (ha) for turning a legitimate piece of news into an anti-gun blood dance pretty clear to me. I think I'll give it a shot. (double ha)

"A man was mugged today BY A GUN(-toting criminal on parole)! The GUN was a model 1911, in the dreaded .45 caliber, capable of shooting through an entire school bus, and mushrooming to an increased size to deliver maximum death to babies and orphans. The GUN was also used by our armed service men during world war 2, when they fought against the Germans, who fought against the Russians, who would later go on to build the HORRIFYING AK-47 BULLET HOSE, CAPABLE OF FIRING 100000 BULLETS A MINUTE! SIMPLE ENOUGH TO BE WIELDED BY AN RETARDED 2 YEAR OLD GIRL WITH POLIO, INSTANTLY TURNING HER INTO THE ANGEL OF DEATH! The alleged criminal was caught on tape, left fingerprints, blood, ID, and a signed confession at the scene of the crime, but must have been set up, and/or was disaffected by this country's involvement in Iraq. BUSH IS HITLER!!!11"

So what do you guys think? Am I an "authorized journalist" yet?

Via David

Yugo Mausers

I hit the local gun shop over my lunch break to get some camping location info, and saw two Yugo Mausers on the wall.

Since I started getting interested in C&R rifles, I've read a lot about Mausers. Everybody loves them, but no one explains exactly why. I asked to see the two Mausers and inspected the wood, marks, bore, and action. It appeared to be in unfired condition, and was quite a piece of work. I tested the trigger a few times, and smiled as a unsupported standing position kept the front sight quite still. Best of all, the right-handed, bent bolt handle was still workable lefty. Impressed by the quality of the rifles, but not particularly blown away, I replaced the rifles, and thanked the gentleman behind the counter.

Two hours later I'm still thinking about those Mausers. Not sure if it's just regular rifle preoccupation, or if it's a Mauser thing.

Next gun show in a month.

Monday, May 05, 2008

A tale of Tinearths

Domains of Mystery has a well made series of posts on the play of the dwarf fortress Tinearths.

It's worth the read if you're interested in a better explanation of the mechanics and gameplay of Dwarf Fortress.

How to make a knife

For as long as I've appreciated knives, I've always thought knife making was some kind of magic. A few short google searches reveal that like everything else in the world, making or doing anything can be broken down into simple steps.

This outdoorsman makes his own knife out of a file, and a few hand tools, in a freaking camp fire!

After seeing this, I immediately began looking up hand made knives, and was sad I didn't have a work bench, vice, or a garage. Then I realized that if I really wanted to do it, I'd MAKE it work. So now I'm trying to figure out how to make my own forge for use on the only bit of outdoors I've got; my apartment balcony. (at least there's nothing above it) I'm doing the same thing for getting into reloading. If I want to do it badly enough, I'll make it work.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Iron Man was Awesome.

No. Really. It was awesome.

Not only is it worth your time, it's actually worth your money.

If you like action flicks, forget all the other BS comic book movies, and go see iron man.

'bout fucking time hollywood made a movie worth paying to see


Those black spots on the notebook at the bottom of the door are the simulated targets. At 8 yards, top to bottom, they represent 100, 200, and 300 yard targets. (targets are half silhouettes with a thick line under them)

Friday, May 02, 2008


From J. David Boyd comes the following:

I went deer hunting one afternoon with my uncle, carrying my 12ga pump.

Didn't see anything, came back up through the corn field, taking out the 3 shells I had loaded in.

Put my finger in the chamber, no shell. Racked it twice, nothing came out, totally empty.

Pointed it at the ground, and pulled the trigger to let the hammer down and take the tension off the spring, since I wasn't going to use the shotgun again for months.

BAM! Blew a big old hole in the dirt. Scared the hell out of me and my uncle.

What did I learn that day? It's always FUCKING LOADED.

The value in these stories is not the fact that some dude on the internet screwed up, because barring any form of spacial displacement, that's exactly what happened. The REAL value is showing instances where someone trained and safety conscience (just like you!), makes a mistake when they're absolutely positive that it was unloaded. Mistakes happen to us all, no matter how absolutely positive we may be, but mistakes when handling tools that have the power to kill are unacceptable. There's a reason why there are 4 rules of firearm safety, and not just one. Learn the rules, live the rules, and check the chamber again.

It's still fucking loaded!

Epiphanies in rifle practice

I was practicing shooting by the numbers last night and was unsatisfied with my support hand placement, so I pulled out my copy of Art of the Rifle, and reviewed. As I read and reviewed the pictures, I was reminded that I needed a proper shooting sling, and not the cheap surplus web one I picked up for a few bucks at the last gun show. I needed a sling that had a loop suitable for putting the support arm though, I was just doing a hasty sling, and wrapping my arm around it. This put pressure on the rear sling loop which was at the bottom of the butt of the rifle, and forced the rifle to cant to the left (I shoot rifles lefty). This meant I had to expend muscle pressure to keep the rifle vertical, which meant it was subject to random muscle spasms. This meant a shaky front sight.

I wondered how much a difference a sling I could put my arm through would make and wondered if I could rig one up with the nylon webbing I had lying around. As I thought I realized the sling I was using had a loop through it, but it looked to be too far back to be used in such a way. I tried it anyway, pulling the loop high into my armpit as I got into the prone position.
A giant light-bulb went off.

Everything was perfect. The pressure of the sling against my upper arm was perfectly matched by the pressure of my shoulder. The front sight was almost completely immobile. My support arm was completely relaxed, and held in place by solid bone instead of twitching muscle. The stock was held firmly against the pocket of my shoulder. Everything was exactly like I thought it should be, but could never quite get to. Everything was perfect.

After my initial excitement at this new discovery, I settled down to test how steady I could make that front sight. As I lay immobile, watching the tiniest twitches of the front sight I realized I could now truly discern the effect of my heartbeat on the rifle. I thought for a bit and realized that this must be why people used shooting jackets and shooting gloves, to keep skin from naked contact with the rifle. I grabbed a jacket and a thick washcloth (lacking a thick gloves), and after futzing with the sling's contact with these new garments, settled into a prone position. This time, the front sight was dead still. Dead. Still. I seem to have accomplished a perfectly stable shooting position!

Pulling the trigger (of course) was a whole 'nother ballgame. I pulled off about 1/10 dry-fires completely undisturbed, and was surprised at how heavy my previously light trigger seemed. The trigger hadn't changed of course, my sensitivity and perception to it had.

I'm excited to get out to a proper rifle range and put this practice to the test.

Until then I'll have to work on getting my trigger control down to three muscles. Excitement.