Tuesday, June 30, 2009

testy testy test

Testes


I'm blogging on my bold while pandora plays, and google maps extrapolates my position.

This is pretty fucking sweet.

What kind of sdk do they have again??? ;)

A Bold new move

I post this from my blackberry bold. I'm generally not a fan of phone companies, so if I have any problems with provider or device, you'll hear about it.

So far (2 hours :]) the browser is a bit slow, but I knew it was going to be slower than the iphone. Everything else looks great.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Dear Readers: A Reminder

Dear Readers,

It has become increasingly apparent that there is a misconception regarding the blogger/reader relationship on this blog.

This is likely due to the spike in new readers lately, and it's really my fault for not posting this information somewhere it can be read immediately. Though I smile at the notion that other people are finding value of some kind in what is posted here, you should note that I post here for my own personal amusement only.

That is not to say that I am not interested in your opinion or comments. In fact, I welcome them, and have had my mind changed by well reasoned comments in the past. So if you've got something to say, and the ability to say it politely, by all means; do.

But don't think for one second that I owe you a damn thing.

I am the person who reads this blog the most. I read it, re-read it, and dig through the archives for stuff I want to read, watch, or listen to. I've been blogging here for almost five years now, and in that time, I've changed in many ways. I love to revisit those times, and remind myself that I am the sum of my experiences. This is a blog about me, my opinions, my experiences, my writing, and the things I like. This blog is intended for me.

Look to either side of this post. There are no ads. There are no ads for a reason. I ask nothing of you, and expect nothing from you. I post here for me.

So when you bitch about content, make derisive comments, or try to goad me into a fight, I reserve the right to challenge you with a reasoned rebuttal, ignore you, berate you, challenge your sexuality, resort to childish name-calling, or simply delete your comment then and every one thereafter. (unread, of course)

Certainly there is room for poking fun, but know that the internet removes all emotion from your words. So unless you're a friend or frequent commenter who I can safely assume is kidding, I might not read your jest the right way unless it has a smiley or "j/k" at the end.

Like I said; it tickles me that I have return readers, and I'm actually kind of interested in what most of you have to say, but don't think for one goddamn second that I owe you anything.

Hugs and kisses,
-ET

PS: for further reading, check the disclaimer at the bottom of the page!

Phone reviews: Don't even try.

Due to my congenital self-loathing, I've decided to join the fraternity of masochists who struggle to operate a small business in California.

Because of this, I need a capable business phone. After a short search, (I hate shopping for phones) I've narrowed the search to the Blackberry Bold, or the iphone, favoring the Bold. (heh, "...favors the bold")

I've begun looking at some comparison reviews, and think I've got a pretty good feel for 90% of them.
The Bold is pretty good, but the iphone is better. Because it's innovative, and cool, and different, and made by apple it's just better.

To be fair, most of the reviews are positive for both, but the reasons given for the iphone being "just as good" are things like, "It just feels better," "It's designed better," "It fits my hand better," and "It's just more intuitive."

I'm not sure if this is because the reviewers honestly think the iphone is all these things, or if it's just because they don't want to piss off the fanboys who watch their videos or read their iphone-leaning comparisons while masturbating furiously.

Ok, ok, that was a cheap shot.

Kinda...

I just today got a chance to really play with an iphone, and to its credit, the touch interface is so fucking perfect it's amazing. Does exactly what you want it to do, where you want to do it. You just put it in your hand, and GO. It's truly impressive.

But just as with every other Apple product, by dumbing down the interface to the lowest common denominator, you lose the higher functionality of what is a really powerful device.

I'll probably be going for the Bold, and knowing that I might have to eat my words later, I think it's the smarter choice for what I want it for.


Hmm... This is the first post about the formation of my consultantcy company, and I don't think I have a good tag for it. I was going to use "work" but that doesn't seem to apply, nor (technically) does "selfemployment." I'll use this one for now, and may change it later.

I'm Cool - Reel Big Fish

I'll miss you, Billy. You crazy-ass, yelling-at-me motherfucker.


Read the complete comic here.

I'm actually more bothered by Billy's death than the other two "superstars" who died.

Rest in peace, Billy.

*ET pours some oxyclean out on the curb*

Friday, June 26, 2009

California Tax Rebate Journal

Day 72:
Hi. It's been a while since I've written, but I feel pretty good about our chances today. I mean, the last 71 days seemed pretty likely too, but somehow, today feels different. I just know it'll come soon.

Besides, I've been thinking about it, and a lot of those days weren't actually business days, so it really hasn't been as long as it seems. Plus, California state workers get 13 paid holidays a year, plus paid personal and sick days, so it's really even less than that. I've pretty much convinced the others that the last few years were a fluke. I mean, we've only been waiting three times as long for our rebates, so who are we to complain?

I've finally decided against adjusting the day count to the day I actually filed my state tax return. I think the starting date is arbitrary, and it doesn't really matter, you know?

I understand our legislators and state workers are busy, I mean, they actually broke the hiring freeze to hire 3200 more workers, so things MUST be moving forward. It's not like they'd just sit on their hands...

Supplies and morale are low. Smitty got on his soapbox again, complaining about how they took that extra tax money starting a year and a half ago, and have been collecting interest on it while they've been raising taxes and fees. The others got him to shut up after a while, but his words are starting to sink in.

What if our politicians really don't feel ashamed for taking more than they were supposed to, and try urgently to return the money to their constituents? I mean, I'm not that cynical, but what if they just wanted to take as much money as possible, for as long as possible, without regard for the people who earned it? If you were to even THINK about following that line of reasoning, you'd have no choice but to conclude that the entire state is broken! That just can't be.

Looking forward to tomorrow. I'm sure it'll come soon.

Bah.

Feeling down lately. Not on purpose, of course, it's just how I've been lately.

I think work has been getting me down more than usual.

Plus, I can't seem to bring myself to get worked up about California being mere days away from insolvency and the following interruption of services that are sure to bring rioting, looting, arson, destruction, death, etc, etc, whatever.

Or the fact that North Korea has been focused like a laser beam on picking a fight for the last 50 years, and has somehow determined that it is ready to kick the ass of the world's premier military superpower, headed by a man who... oh yeah... never mind then.

Or the fact that Obama and his handlers have legislation that will, in Obama's words, "necessarily cause energy prices to skyrocket ... [the energy industry] will pass that [cost] on to consumers." and they're trying to push it through with a battering ram.

Or that our president bitched about the deficit, then quadrupled it with new spending to save jobs that hasn't saved any jobs, while appointing czars who can't be checked or balanced by any other branch of government to lord over the glut of private companies the government socialized.

Or that nothing can be done about any of it because there is a deficiency of an intangible, immeasurable, unexplainable object called "political will;" which somehow has nothing to do with the people who initially elected these mentally divergent bed-wetters, and everything to do with who has the high score in the game of grab-ass going on in that Carnival Funhouse up on Capital Hill.

HEY! HEY, UP THERE! CAN YOU HEAR US DOWN HERE?! WE'RE LOSING OUR JOBS, LIFE SAVINGS, HOMES, HEALTH CARE, AND FUTURE, WHILE YOU FUCKERS ARE DICKING AROUND UP THERE!

THIS ISN'T A FUCKING GAME!


Well, that was cathartic. Maybe it isn't work.

I really need to get to the range.

Things that will never happen for $500, Alex

Like I said, if they launch at us, we should obliterate the launch sites. Then Obama should go on national TeeVee and say "Knock it off or Pyongyang is next. End of press conference."
~Ride Fast

I'll file that in the "wouldn't it be nice, but you won't catch me holding my breath" file.

On second thought, maybe it's not that impossible. He has revealed himself to be a tad thin skinned.

Maybe we can somehow get Kim Jung Il to ask probing questions about President Obama's smoking habits?

So, ha! - Splashdown

Good video too.

I can tell that we are gonna be friends - The White Stripes

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A bit of fun with cryptography





Before you start clicking the clues below, really try to exhaust every angle. Spend some time on it. It'll be much more rewarding to get it without the hints.

For a hint, click here.
For a clue, click here here.
For a BIG clue, click here here.
For a near spoiler, click here here.

Quote of lines

Pushing the lines along with your fingertips at the behest of half your brain and with random quirks of input from the other half ensures that the form, shape, and cadence of the line you parent holds some mystifying uniqueness that recreations will never capture.

Who could have the heart to erase them knowing they'll never be seen again?
~Me

REPOST

Excitement about cloud computing

Even though cloud computing showed the potential to obliterate the PC vs console gaming barrier, I still found it hard to get excited about it.

Until I realized that I could probably play Dwarf Fortress at a tolerable frame rate.

I actually gasped.

I lurve me some Dwarf Fortress.

"Yeah, cloud computing is great and all, but will I be able to play my roguelikes?"

Friday, June 19, 2009

Apple's new motto

There's a running joke with the Mac users in the NOC; whenever they have any problems with their computers, the mantra is; "Stop lying! It 'Just Works!'"

When we need to get tapes or other media from the COLO, the media has to go into the secure office, and the head engineer needs to give you his wallet, so you can use the prox card in the wallet to open the office door.

Today I returned from the COLO with tapes to find the head engineer taking apart his Mac.
Me: What's up?
He: There's a dog hair under the screen, and I'm trying to get to it.
Me: Stop lying, it 'just works'! Now give me your wallet!
He: Here you go.
Me: Hey, wait, isn't that Apple's new motto?

teehee!

Gotta love online gaming chatter

I thoroughly enjoy playing COD:WaW on Xbox Live, but there are just some things you have to put up with.

The most notable of which is the propensity for pre-teen boys to use the voice function to comment on the sexual preference, penis size, and state of mother (Vis-à-vis the status of having been fucked by the accuser or not) of the other players.

Most of the time it's easy to ignore them, but sometimes I just can't resist...
PTB: Hey. Does anyone here like... Fish sticks?????
[I respond in an exaggerated old-tyme announcer voice]
Me: I do! I find fish sticks to be quite tasty!
PTB: ...Do you put them in your mouth?
Me: Of course! But why would you ask?
PTB: You're fish-gay.
Me: [exaggerated] OH NO!
[Others erupt in laughter]
Other player: Great joke, idiot.
Me: I'm going to have to tell my parents! That's going to be awkward. I mean; regular gay, I think they could handle, but FISH gay!

The 'Tactical Response' Response Response

In response to Tactical Response's controversial video, showing a photographer downrange during live fire, they issued a response.

The response is here, go watch it if you can stomach it.

My initial response to the Tactical Response response is as follows, and is best read as you listen to the video.
Yes, there is no true safety, there's only best effort. This was not the best effort.

"We've always been controversial" is not a defense of dangerous firearm handling.

Call detractors jabbering internet commandos, then tell them to go to your forum! Fantastic! At least we can know what to expect if we join!

So if you're not willing to fire a round when someone is in front of you, how will you ever do it? I don't know? Why don't you ask the countless people who shoot intruders or attackers having never shot a person before.

Oh! The driving comparison! Yes, that's a good one to use, particularly in the case of firearms, because firearm sports have such a great safety rate, and driving is often use for comparison. Do you, perchance, know why firearm sports enjoy such a great safety rate? BECAUSE WE DON'T SHOOT GUNS WITH PEOPLE DOWNRANGE!

IT'S SAFER TO HAVE SOMEONE DOWNRANGE!?

Ladies... Gentlemen... The shark has been jumped. This is the equivalent of radio shock jocking. Why not just say everyone who disagrees isn't a REAL WARRIOR™, and anyone who doesn't take your course won't get their REAL WARRIOR™ CERTIFICATE

But really, I guess it's OK. I mean, it's not like people are prone to flinch when firing guns.

You know, I was kind of joking about that REAL WARRIOR™ CERTIFICATE, but you are just too predictable. So you're not looking for the 10 or the 80? Do you guys have a 10/80 test you do to make sure your students won't flinch and accidentally kill your photographer? I guess that's just a chance you're willing to take.

I'm not.

The first rule of holes.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

This is why Penny Arcade doesn't suck

Fire.

You couldn't pay me enough to be on either side of that line

The Firearm Blog posted a video.

The video includes a photographer positioned downrange, targets at either shoulder, as a live fire exercise takes place at close range.

That is; there was a person-- a real, live human being-- sitting next to the targets as the targets were shot at with real bullets fired from real guns, fired by real, live human beings.

Steve comments;
I know I will *never* be skilled enough to guarantee I would not make a mistake.

Don't fall for this fallacy! "Skilled" is not the word. The word is "STUPID."

You do not-- rpt; NOT fire a gun with a live human downrange, unless you are ready to live the possibility of shooting that person!

This isn't about breaking one of the four rules of firearm safety for training purposes. You, dry firing at your teevee, or practicing shooting positions in the living room when someone walks in front of your barrel is VERY different than DISCHARGING LIVE ROUNDS WITH A MAN STANDING THREE FEET FROM YOUR TARGET!

Steve notes "the counter argument is that the elite military units train with live cross fire." The military is a whole 'nother animal. If your CO commands you to shoot at that berm with people behind it, or fire over the heads of people crawling in the dirt, you either do it, or you get thrown in jail. And I'm quite certain they have safety blocks in place to prevent accidents, because they don't want their valuable human soldiers being killed in training that could have been made safer.

So, to recap;

YOU DO NOT VOLUNTARILY SHOOT AT A TARGET WITH SOMEONE STANDING THREE FEET FROM YOUR INTENDED TARGET!

This isn't rocket surgery folks.

This is how "accidents" happen!

Screaming, "Oh god, that never happened before!"

Just.

Doesn't.

Cut it.


Hats off to The Firearm Blog for making a copy of the offending video before it was taken down.

Dinosaurs and shit

From IRC regarding this article, U.S. boosts missile defense amid reports of planned N. Korea test
<ET> If N.Korea fucks with us, we'll bomb them back into the stone--....
<ET> er--
<ET> We'll bomb them back into the late cretacious period!
<ET> There'll be dinosaurs and shit
<ET> CAN YOU DEAL WITH THAT?!

Palin keeps the smack down classy

Freep.com: Sarah Palin accepts Dave Letterman's apology
[Palin] accepted [Letterman's] apology on "behalf of all young women, like my daughters, who hope men who 'joke' about public displays of sexual exploitation of girls will soon evolve."

SMACK! And you just know she said it with a smile on her face.

Sarah, don't listen to those Democrats OR those Republicans. Just run. RUN!

Wait... Palin Cheney 2012? FUCK YEAH!

Vote for two people who don't compromise on principals, and will smack the shit out of detractors and look good doing it.

(though Sarah does need a little practice on that second part)

Bang-bang beats tweet-tweet.

NY Times: The Virtual Mosque
Second, even if defeated electorally, the Islamists and their regimes have a trump card: guns. Guns trump cellphones. Bang-bang beats tweet-tweet. The Sunni Awakening in Iraq succeeded because the moderates there were armed. I doubt Ahmadinejad will go peacefully.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

At least it wasn't diet...

After being sick for two days, I knew I had to bring the thunder today.

It's already been brought'en.

The penis soda motivational poster;

Extenze is one of those penis pills "THAT REALLY WORKS*" that is advertised at 3am on crappy cable channels with hilariously bad informercials. My better half and I laughed about the fact that they had canned drinks with their "special blend" in it, and laughed even harder when they offered the same drink in diet.

I wondered what on earth would possess someone to buy this dubious product, but I wondered just how possessed this same person would have to be to walk around carrying a can of the product.

I dunno. I guess there's nothing wrong with expressing support of a product you use or... enjoy... But still, a little modesty regarding such an issue would be nice.

I'm all for sharing, but there's just some stuff that everyone within visual range does not need to know.

Monday, June 15, 2009

You can't stop the signal; but you can't use it to kill the men shooting at you either.

I've been reading the Twitter #iranelection tag, and felt compelled to look up some information that I was surprisingly unable to find. I wanted to know if private firearm ownership was allowed in Iran. I was unable to find this information, but suspect it is not allowed.

Sticks and stones may break bones but tweets will never hurt Ahmadinejad.

I think we need to revisit a truth as old as man.
"Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Nations and peoples who forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms."
~Robert A. Heinlein from Starship Troopers

And to drive the point home more solidly, a quote from V for Vendetta.
"What will happen if all those people show up?"

"The same thing that always happens when people without guns go up against people with guns."

Lets keep things in perspective here folks.

These people don't have the luxury of our political system, or a constitution protecting the rights endowed upon them by their creator.

When they speak ill of their leaders, they are gunned down. When they are outed for being homosexual, they are executed. When a woman fails to wear a headwrap, she is stoned to death.

This is despotism.

This is not the United States of America under George Bush.

This is REAL tyranny, Mister and Missus BushHitler.

More specifically...

This is a country without a second amendment.

Therefore, this is a country who's people would have difficulty affecting regime change.

Deadline: Post-it stop motion



From Theo

:(



I finally watched the music video I posted earlier instead of just listening to it, and when Dualla came up I winced.

Obama supports "vigorous debate" in Iranian election

You might want to reword that statement.

While the "debate" rages on "vigorously" between the radical leader trying to remain in power, and the people who democratically voted him out, the Obama Administration stands strong with the people, points defiantly at the leadership claiming a landslide victory, and powerfully proclaims--

"I'll have to get back to you on that."

Truly, this is an era of change.

You can't stop the signal

AP: Tweeting Iran: Elex news in 140 characters or less
As Iran's government cracks down on traditional media after the country's disputed presidential election, tech-savvy Iranians have turned to the microblogging site Twitter.

You can't stop the signal

Saturday, June 13, 2009

SplurgenShitter - Pogo

Featuring Pogo!

Seems a bit silly at first, but stick with it. It's worth it.



Youtube user Fagottron seems to be the real Pogo. He's the first user I've actually subscribed to on youtube.

Check out more of his videos here

Friday, June 12, 2009

Quote of America

No arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is as formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.
~Ronald Reagan

Funky weather

Socal has been shrouded in a thick blanket of June gloom for the last few days.

Pretty ugly weather for sunny, sunny socal.

Heh...

"Pretty ugly"

THAT IS ALL.


no wait--


teehee


ok, THAT is all.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bobby?! Suzie?!

Don't worry! That's just the 'ahms!

Why TV is gonna die

I was watching teevee last night while cleaning and figuring out a way to improve the trigger on my Enfield, and there was a Roseanne marathon on TV Land, which was required watching for me.

As I rode the same ups and downs of the family I grew to love as a kid, I was slightly annoyed that they were airing the marathon out of order. No matter, I didn't really expect much from teevee, so an out of order airing (even on a marathon), was not beyond the realm of possibility. Actually, it was par for the course.

The real problem came after I had watched for more than three hours, when they started repeating episodes.

Seriously?

This is what I can expect from a TV Land, a channel that specifically targets the nostalgic, and hardcore fans? And to do this during a marathon, when those hardcore fans would be even MORE likely to tune in?

I know it's just teevee, but goddamnit, who the fuck is the guy in the meeting that had this conversation--
Executive: Ok, so we're decided. We're going to do a marathon of Roseanne.
Fucktard: But how should we air it?
Executive: What do you mean?
Fucktard: Should we air it in order over the marathon so people can enjoy the overall plot progression through the series, or just pick a random order from a short list of episodes?
Executive: What? Why on Earth would we NOT air it in order?
Fucktard: Because...
-Fucktard takes on a sly look-
Fucktard: That's just what they'd be expecting...
-Executive leans back from the table slowly, deep in thought-
Executive: Of course!

Meh. They'll be gone soon.

Title stolen from Ride Fast, who had a post I though of when I realized how they were airing the series.

NOC Techs - Scavengers of the breakroom

UPDATE: From Whitebread comes the following suggestion; "A tip for your readers: Read the post again, but this time, in Morgan Freeman's voice. You're welcome." I knew there was someone I was trying to channel as I wrote this.


At a set interval, a lone NOC technician ventures out from the dark cave in which the pack works. This scout will pass the usual locations of for food on the way to his or her task in the light. Upon discovery of snack foods, the scout will notify the rest of the pack, which will hurry from their enclosure to feed.

In no time, the entire pack is in the break room, eating, chittering amongst themselves, and storing the temporarily available food for later consumption.

Suddenly a sales person appears, and shoos the NOC technicians from the food obviously intended for something else. Satisfied with the meal, the pack skitters pack to their cave, and returns to work, content.

American Boy - Estelle (feat. Kanye West)


direct link

Because I'm not a hate-filled liberal, I can enjoy the products of people I philosophically disagree with.

To a degree.

Competition? With the government? Are you retarded?!

Washington Post: Obama Touts Public Plan at Health Care Town Hall
"One of the options in the exchange should be a public insurance option -- because if the private insurance companies have to compete with a public option, it will keep them honest and help keep prices down," Obama said.

Two things, Mr. President...

ONE: You don't even know what competition is. Actually, the very fact that you used the word "compete" shows how unsure you are of the American peoples' true support for your omnipotent and omnivorous government healthcare. By using that nasty free market word, you tried to pull in the those non-socialists who still think you have anything less than complete government power over the health industry in mind. What's the matter President Obama? Afraid your political capital is running out???

TWO: No one, no thing, and no entity on Earth has the resources, power, control, and capital to "compete" with the United States Federal Government. There is no more competition between a private hospital and a federally backed hospital than there is competition between nematodes and asteroids. Federal entities have infinite resources, cannot be sued, have no form of bankruptcy, have no requirement for success or measure of failure, can print their own money, may mandate restrictions on opponents, tax opponents, investigate opponents, and imprison opponents.

Compete?

How stupid do you think we are?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Slow-mo brass shower

I was thumbing through youtube gun videos and found this Glock 18 vid that seemed interesting.

The video started as expected, but at 0:23, it started the slow motion mag dump that completely mesmerized me for the remainder of the video.

My brain shut down as the brass flew off at different angles, spinning helplessly, and all I could think was; "oohhh... shiny..." Until I was broken from my trance as the youtube video recommendations filled the screen.



Look at all that brass fly.

Fucking beautiful.


UPDATE: I think this qualifies for one of Kevin Baker's Moments of Zen.

Well, this should force the issue...

For the first time in a long time, we've sold another penetration test.

Problems is; since the last one, Nessus requires $1200 a year registration for business use.

But the more I think about it, the more I think it's a good idea.

You see, if we actually SPEND money for the ability to sell security services, maybe we'll ACTUALLY SELL the service!

*ET kicks back in his chair and waits for the inevitable "But how do we work around that cost?" e-mail*

UPDATE: This test is yet another FREEBIE! Big surprise there! Hey wait, the expense would actually be a good way to make the decision to do free work even harder! BONUS.

All Along the Watchtower - Bear McCreary (cover)


direct link

The new Battlestar Galactica series was the first bit of television in a very long time that commanded my interest so much that I couldn't wait to sleep, so I could wake up, so I could go to work, so I could finish work, so I could go home, and watch more Battlestar Galactica.

It's that fucking good.

Watch the first episode (three-hour miniseries), and you'll be hooked.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Monday, June 08, 2009

Ha!

Quote of the latina broken ankle

From the IRC channel, Jim comments on Sotomayor's broken ankle.
<aepilotjim> Obviously a white man would not be able to understand a broken ankle as deeply as she, as a latino woman can.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Range Fail

I haven't been to the range in too long, so I had to go today, even if only to shoot the 10/22.

Not wanting to deplete the ammo I'd saved up, I was just going to pay a little more for the range ammo.

Mistake.

The cheapest they had was Remington Viper .22lr for 10 cents a round.

Apparently .22 is even getting hard for the range to keep in stock.

I thought about skipping the trip and returning with my own ammo, but decided against it. I bought the expensive ammo, and a few targets to shoot.

I was annoyed, but I just needed to make some tiny groups offhand at 50 feet, and I'd be back to normal.

Except I couldn't shoot for shit...

I put three dots on the target at 50 feet, and shot 10 rounds at each one, bringing it in after each magazine. Each dot had a four inch group around it. Very little grouping around the center; just shotgun.

FAIL!

I thought about it a bit, and realized that I couldn't possibly be doing that badly, so I put up a fresh target, and put my elbows on the tray to shoot supported. Exact same fucking group.

I thought it could be possible I wasn't getting a good sight picture on the aperture sights, because it can be hard on a small white target on a black background, so I brought the target in to 25 feet, and shot supported at one spot... One huge fucking inch group. Shotgun.

So, fuck Remington Viper.

Expensive and worthless.

I still had a little over half of the 100 rounds left, and I just quit.

Shooting it would be a waste of my time.

I don't go to the range to make flash, noise, and poke indiscriminate holes in paper. I can do that at home with a flashlight, pots and pans, and a pen.

I go to the range to perfect my off-hand shooting position, and beat my previous record for 10 shots offhand 50 feet.


Calipers set to 1/2 inch



So now I have range blue balls.

So I came home and typed this angry message to the internet.

*sigh*

Friday, June 05, 2009

No, we can't!

Tam has a chant that deserves to catch on.

A bad sign for the future of America

I listened to 15 minutes of Hannity on the way in to work today, and actually heard a caller from Orange County (Ca, I think because he said it was heavily conservative) call in to defend the Playboy "Hate Fuck" article, because "they had it coming."

Unfathomable.

Whether your definition of "Hate Fuck" is having consentual sex with someone you hate, or rape, it was obvious that the definition the caller ascribed to was rape.

The caller was saying it was OK to rape conservative women because "they had it coming."

This crosses a the line from political disagreement to approval of physical attack of political opponents.

Hate is on the rise in America.

Violence is next.

Good fucking luck to all of us. We're going to need it.

The real shame is that liberals don't do their own dirty work, so instead of this caller getting shot when he tried to rape a woman who "had it coming," he will instead sit on a jury, and vote to acquit the rapist who argued that she "had it coming" because of her political beliefs.

Despicable.

Two things

1. The Graham Norton show is fucking brilliant. Consistently brilliant. Check programming, and DVR it.

2. I picked up some microfiber cloths for cleaning my glasses, and by only using the cloths for my glasses, I've kept them from getting dirty and unusable. I hate having smudges on my glasses, it drives me nuts. I honestly don't know how I got along without a microfiber cloth for my glasses. If you have glasses, buy one. (they have them at auto shops)

Thursday, June 04, 2009

That can't be good...

A while ago there was a stabbing in Ventura. It was particularly baffling because there appeared to be no motive. It was either completely random, or very targeted.

To police, (and to me) it seemed WAY too targeted to be random. Even though they had no proof of it, they operated under the assumption that this couple was targeted for some unknown reason.

Bad news.
Police today were still looking for a knife or weapon used in the fatal stabbing of a 61-year-old woman found in her bedroom Wednesday in the Ventura Keys area.

No confirmed connection, but it was almost 8 miles away from the first stabbing, and the police did not release information about the murder until 20 hours later. The police offered no explanation, but said they wouldn't do it again.

I'm not going to say this is a serial killer, but I am going to say...

That can't be good.

Quote of the world at peace

I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it.
~Jack Handey

Quote of the Smart Guns

Of course, all the gadgets and gizmos in the world won't keep a dumbass from shooting himself in the foot, as long as he's the dumbass with the key to the internal lock and the fingerprint reader recognizes him as an authorized dumbass.
~Tam

"People just don't care."

I was reading through TrackerPacker's Open Carry California blog, and found a good summation of his experiences (unloaded) open carrying a firearm in San Diego, California.

From the appropriately titled, More Boring Stuff;
Over the last few days I carried in Union Bank, Target, Home Depot, and two or three other places I can't remember. There were of course no issues in any of these places. People just don't care. So far in my whole open carry career, the only out of control reactionary folks I've come across happened to be cops. Just sayin'.

Each person who sees a man without a uniform carrying a gun, and sees that this person is not putting anyone in danger or threatening anyone, is one more chip in the wall of the "guns = danger" ideology.

CARRY ON, NATHAN!

*ET pensively eyes the holster sitting on the landing by the door*

Enfield magazine feed lip tuning

EDIT: The images are not working, I'm looking for the originals...

Just short of the chamber, you can see two tabs poking in. Those are the Enfield magazine forward feed lips, and if they are not properly adjusted, your Enfield will jam with failures to feed, and failures to strip. Sometimes on the last round, sometimes on every round, and sometimes every other round!


The fact that the magazine is detachable is a bit misleading. Nowadays, a detachable box magazine is so you can reload quickly. Such is NOT the case with the Enfield magazine. Each magazine must be "tuned" for each Enfield, which is why it has a serial number on it.



This is how an incorrectly tuned magazine looks. Note the right front feed lip, and how it is contacting the bullet.

A look from the rear shows why this is a problem; the rim of the cartridge is not sitting high enough for the bolt to catch it.

The result is this below. The bolt slides over the cartridge, and loads nothing.

Another failure in feed lip adjustments can cause rounds to nose-dive into the feedramp, and stick.

Or, rounds will skip up after escaping the front feed lip, and get caught on the top of the chamber.


The issue here is twofold; first is the amount of bend on the feed lip, second is the amount of front/back tilt on the feed lip.

Here is a properly adjusted feed lip.

What you can see here is that the rim of the cartridge on the last round, still protrudes above the rear of the magazine, so it will catch the bolt on loading.

What you can't see here, is the angle of the lip that allows the bullet to slide up the feed ramp, into the chamber. You just have to test different angles with trial and error to determine the best tilt for that.


Tilt is pictured below, and will affect the ability of the bullet to slide up the feed ramp properly, and into the chamber.


Bend is pictured below, and will affect the ability of the rear of the round to stick up above the magazine, so the bolt can catch it.



Note that the left and right side are completely separate sides, and must be set up separately!

It is possible to feed properly from the left side, and not the right side!

Make changes to each side independently, and test each side independently!



When making your adjustments, focus on one problem at a time. Adjust bend until every round sticks up high enough for the bolt to catch the rim. Once this is not a problem, adjust tilt to make sure every round feeds.

Here is an example of a properly adjusted feed lip.

Note how strange it looks. It's barely touching the bullet, and it looks like the bullet might pop right out.

Despite the appearances, the round is secure, and feeds reliably, so if your trial-and-error method isn't getting you anywhere, try making some radical adjustments. You may be surprised what angles work.


Keeping the right feed lip angle in mind, look at how different the left feed lip is in relation to the bullet.


It doesn't matter how odd it looks, as long as it raises the rear of cartridge up, and feeds into the chamber without getting stuck.



Note that since the contact between the feed lips and the bullet is so important, changing the bullet type will change the feeding.



Switching the bullet type in my properly tuned magazine will result in failures.

These hunting rounds won't even stay in the magazine!


Hunting cartridges loaded in the left side nose-dive every time.



You may be better off getting two magazines for your different types of rounds, so you can swap to a magazine tuned for the hunting cartridges when you take your Enfield out to get some game.

You could also just spend the night before going through the same feed lip tuning process for the different rounds, and then tuning it back when you return from your hunting trip.

Keep your magazines tuned and happy, and your Enfield won't let you down.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

A Million. Tiny. Unicorns.

Dancing.

Gentlemen... Refresh no longer!

Tech-sights AK peep sights are finally for sale!

Underinsured

I called my auto insurance company to adjust my policy, and they mentioned a 10% discount for renters' insurance. I was interested, so I talked to the guy about it, and found out I'd actually save $60 a year by signing up for $25k in coverage. Cool!

I talked with him a bit more to get some details, and it turned out the coverage covered certain amounts for certain types of items. Computers are covered to $3k (not a problem unless you have more than one Mac! ZING!), and firearms are covered to a max of $1k.

Whoops.

Considering just one of my ARs has a market value of 1500 right now, I would say that it would be a bit underinsured.

I'll still get it for the electronic equipment (and the $60, of course), but I wonder if being unable to cover firearms like that is usual...

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Progress?

Pacific Business News: California will run out of cash in 14 days
Schwarzenegger is proposing once again to eliminate and consolidate more than a dozen state departments, boards and commissions. This includes the Waste Management Board, the Court Reporters Board, the Department of Boating and Waterways and the Inspection and Maintenance Review Committee.

Apparently someone else was listening to the radio and had the same idea.

*ET listens intently to the radio for more California tax-paid PSAs*

Glenn Beck on 31 year old heading GM management

Ouch.



From Gatewaypundit

Call of Duty: World at War

The learning curve for Call of Duty World at War (COD Waw) multiplayer was a bit steeper than Team Fortress 2, which meant a lot of frustration.

The flow of the game was very strange since you spawned in behind a random teammate on the map instead of in one part of the map so you could push in the same direction. There is a period of confusion when you respawn after death, where am I, which way am I facing, which way is my team pushing, where are the enemies probably located? It kind of sucks. The diversity in map styles means you not only need to understand the layout of the map, but also how the other players are probably going to play it.

After a while, I was able to get the flow of the game enough to stay high in the leaderboard with the MP40 with an aperture sight, but I wanted more. I was annoyed with the lack of power from most of the rifles, and that the way players were dealing with it was by feathering the trigger, unleashing an absurdly well grouped 8 shot string in half a second. It was a problem with the game mechanic, but it was still acceptable. I probably would have given up on this game had I not been so attracted to the C&R firearms. :)

Part of the achievements in the game is to unlock add-ons for each gun. A certain amount of kills with one gun gives you the option of adding accessories to it such as silencers, flash hiders, scopes, aperture sights, rifle grenades, and bayonets

After watching this, I saw something I wanted from the game. High damage, accurate, iron-sighted shooting. The Mosin had the highest damage of all the rifles except the crazy sniper rifle I hadn't yet unlocked, so I used it with the "Stopping Power" perk for more damage, and got the one-shot-kills I wanted.

More frustration.

Playing deathmatch with an unscoped 5-shot bolt action rifle means you need to be very aware of your strengths and your weaknesses. Unfortunately, I kept falling into counter-productive styles of play. Charging around a corner or suppressing with the rifle were bad ideas. Yet somehow, I automatically kept doing so. I was back at the bottom of the leaderboard, but I wouldn't give up.

Eventually I found the right balance of mid range offense, and long range defense. Being able to see what your enemy sees when he kills you was very helpful. Moving the movement stick slightly seems to make small movements in your position, but externally, your body moves quite a bit when switching from immobile to mobile.

I wound up going with the Mosin with a bayonet, Bouncing Betties (mines), Stopping Power (+damage), and Deep Impact (+penetration). Being able to cover the rear of your shooting position with Betties helps significantly, and you can always use them in friendly areas and wait for the the teams to switch sides on the map. Teehee!

One night, I went 20-3, then a few nights later 19-2 (not sure which is better), and had tons of fun doing it.

You still run into shitty teams, bad spawn points, and bad circumstances, but getting the shots you know you should get make it worth it.

I keep trying to play other styles, and will switch when my "Old School" class is not suitable to the battlefield conditions, but I still come back to it. Probably for the same reason I play pump paintball on speedball courses against semi-autos.

DO IT



We've all been there.

We've all done that.

Some more than others.

>_>

<_<

California Dreamin'

People are writing California off. They are talking about the end of the California dream. They don't believe that we in this room have the courage and determination to do what needs to be done or that the state is manageable.
~The Governator (from LA Times)

The key word here is OR.

No Arnie, we DO NOT believe the current idiots in charge have the courage and determination to do what needs to be done.

However we DO believe that the state is manageable. Because it wasn't always like this.

So who's to blame? The elected officials or the people who elected them?

Both.


But only one of us is actually willing to feel pain to fix things.


Since we're on the subject, and apparently bereft of ideas; I did a quick Google News search.

These are the stories that floated to the top; you don't need to look very far to find the problem.

LA Times: California lawmakers hear pleas not to further slash education
As the state weighs cutting about $8.1 billion from public schools, colleges and universities, scores of educators, parents, students and others told lawmakers Monday that such reductions would jeopardize student success and safety in the short term and California's prosperity in the long term.

Fire, brimstone, cats living with dogs, etc... We're out of money. We're out of credit. California spends 40%, that's FOURTY - FOUR, ZERO - PERCENT of its income on education. There WILL be cuts to education.

You can either trim down, or yell at the bank teller when the checks start bouncing.

LA Times: California Lands Commission spurns Schwarzenegger's oil drilling proposal
The State Lands Commission on Monday lashed out at an attempt by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to allow the first new oil drilling in California waters since 1969.

Are there any more natural resources we can block off so we can complain about lack of revenue? Maybe we can take every internal combustion engine in the state and charge fines for every revolution the engine makes, until it becomes cost prohibitive to operate in a post-industrial fashion? Oh wait.

Obviously Arnie is trying something, and for that I half-heartedly commend him. Though if he wasn't so schizophrenic on spending, taxing, and everything in between, I'd be more likely to stand up behind him.

Oh wait, there ARE more natural resources we can block off...

Mercury News: More than 400 rally at Natural Bridges over fight to California parks
The fax machine in Joe Simitian's office broke Monday as it struggled to accept the mounting pressure to rescue state parks from the governor's cost-cutting plan to shutter them.

This is either cowing taxpayers into paying more taxes, or a truly guileless move. It would eliminate almost $70 million in a $23 billion shortfall. The fact that taxpayers and other producers of the state use and enjoy the parks is not something that was likely overlooked.

Legislators taking away small services taxpayers enjoy to get them to pay more for the huge services the tax-takers abuse.

Business as usual.

Inside Bay Area: California Poison Control falls victim to budget cuts
Heard said the California Poison Control System budget for the current fiscal year is from $11 million to $12 million, with California paying $5.9 million and the rest coming from the federal government or other service contracts.

Same deal as the parks, except this plays on taxpayers' fear more than inconveniencing them. Arnie absolutely HAS to cut this 6 million dollar emergency service to combat the 23 billion dollar deficit.

Yeah, right.


And he wonders why we don't take him seriously.


But all is not lost...

At least we've got Conan.

Pictures from Paintball

Lakeside Giant Paintball in Barona, San Diego California.

Click any pictures for larger size

The Castle


Western Town


Concrete Thingy Place (I forgot the name)


Of course the field looks very different when you're in cover.


Lots of places for opponents to pop out of.



I spent the last few games photographing the action.

Movement between cover must be fast.




Marker or hand in the air indicates you've been shot out.



The views from playing positions on the field are very different than those looking in from the sidelines.




The ref oversees the game as a player leaves the field.


Spot the danger in the window before he paints you.


Positioning your body so you can snap into a firing position, shoot, and snap back behind cover is important.

Your sides and thighs will quickly get sore if you're doing it right.

Player moves to the next structure, enters, and watches for a target.




Paintball is all about angles. Rather than try to outshoot an opponent behind cover, you should try to flank so your opponent can't use the cover.


"Slicing the pie" and staying back from barriers makes it easier to use cover.


A player closes in on another on the other side of the container, shooting through the window.

He misses, and moves around to bunker the player. Except she moved forward to close on him from behind.

He stops at the corner, looking for her, as she rounds the corner and bunkers him.

Paintball rewards the aggressive.







One player takes advantage of a small opening at the door hinge by shooting through it. Kind of a dick move, but hey.



Look at those trigger fingers.