Monday, December 31, 2012

Trigger safeties: Can we stop pretending yet?

This is the trigger safety on a Glock pistol. It is the only external safety on the gun, and it is an automatic safety, meaning that if you operate the gun normally it will fire without manual deactivation of the safety.

Basically, if you pick up the gun and pull the trigger, it's going to shoot.

If this makes the safety sound decidedly unsafe, do not be alarmed. This is a feature, not a bug.

There is some argument about this, but the thought is that Glock needed another safety to meet the requirements of the most law enforcement organizations (their target market). So by adding this safety, they could say it had three, count 'em, three safeties, and is therefore sooper safe and totally fine for cops to use safely.

The problem isn't that they designed with their audience in mind, but that the idea somehow managed to catch on.

Now we've got guns of all kinds that have trigger safeties on them (with a wink and a nudge when I say the word "safeties"), and they are absolutely pointless.

Well, not absolutely pointless, the only lipstick on that pig is in situations where something brushes against the side of the trigger without actually pushing on the middle of the trigger, the trigger will be locked in place, and the negligent discharge will have been averted.

But on the Smith and Wesson M&P pistol series, we've got trigger safeties that are built into the entire body of the trigger!

If you push on this trigger, anywhere but at the top, it will deactivate the safety. (Of course, if something is pushing on the top of the trigger, that nice little curve guarantees whatever is pushing will slide down to the trigger safety portion and deactivate the safety anyway!)

Next is the Bersa BP9CC (which is an EXCELLENT gun, by the way), which builds the entire safety into the rocking motion of the trigger!

If you push on the trigger anywhere, it's going to shoot.

Can we please stop this?

Trigger safeties are NOT safeties, and that's OK!

We're big boys and girls, and we realize that our safety is between our ears, not attached to our triggers.

Can we just skip the formality, and make guns that don't have any external safeties?

"Oh, but the extra safety there just gives me piece of mind!" Does it really? Because if so, simply remove the trigger safety from the gun, and put it under your pillow, because it'll do about as much good there, as it would on your trigger.

I don't have a problem with safeties, some people really want a manual safety on their gun. What I DO have a problem with is a bang switch masquerading as a safety.

Lets skip the pretense and skip trigger safeties.

Thanked for Open Carrying

Yesterday I was open carrying to Sam's Club with my wife. We went to the food court first so we could grab lunch before we shopped.

My elite tactical situational awareness skills (casually looking around and smiling pleasantly at anyone with whom I catch eyes) revealed no one of note. A couple families and two groups of friends.

We ordered our food and sat in one of the tables against the wall. About half way through our meal, one of the family men walked up and said, "Excuse me?"

"I just wanted to thank you for carrying."
"It's just that not a lot of people do it."
"That's why I do it."

If I had to guess I would have figured him either military or cop, so I wasn't sure how that was going to go. Since he didn't tell me how wrong what I'm doing is, I'm guessing military.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Quote of the precipice of monumental stupidity

"Are we prepared to say that such
violence visited on our children year after year after year is
somehow the price of our freedom?"
~Barack Obama, 12/16/2012
There was a time when an American leader that suggested that freedom was the root cause of evil committed against innocent children would have booed off the stage, and possibly ridden out of town on a rail.

You know, there are very constructive things that could be done, that meaningfully address the issues and are consistent with a society that is both formidably armed and free, which is what I would expect of a true leader.
But we all know that's not where he's going with this. He's going to do something else, driven primarily by ideological agenda, because this crisis presents far too good an opportunity to waste.

Obama hears the blood lust of his increasingly grief unhinged base screaming for the heads of the NRA and their members, and senses his time has come, which for a man of hubris like him it is a time of great peril with respect to his decisions. Pride goeth before a fall, and pride is never more manifest than in a man who deems himself imbued with epic destiny having arrived at his moment in history.

Have no doubt: Had Lanza driven his mother's stolen car in bloody zig zags through the school yard, no one would be screaming for the head of the chairman of the  AAA, no one would be accosting car owners at lunch or on their facebook walls demanding that they justify their car ownership in the face such tragedy.

$DEITY bless this wretched nation, for it stands with thunderous applause at the precipice of a monumental stupidity.

What it if went the other way?

I know it's probably WAY too soon to speculate on this, but the tagline under my blog name reminds me that I am a serial optimist.

What if the result of this horrible tragedy went the other way?

I've suggested that we've reached a tipping point where a majority of the voting (or just polling) population recognizes that private ownership of guns has value in a civilized society.

With that in mind, I've been thinking about Obama's beautiful flowing gun control coat that everyone keeps talking about, but all I see is a naked man.

Think about it; his plan is to name a head of a committee to select individuals to lead a discussion to find common ground to finalize an idea for proposed legislation to go through the various committees and sub-committees of the senate and the house in order to bring a vote that will fail the first time, sending it back to those committees and sub-committees, until finally... It either reaches some sort of gun control nirvana and is approved and signed by Obama, OR... it finds no agreement, and allows Obama to blame a do-nothing congress for his failings (past performance indicates future failure).

These things lead me to believe Obama's polling shows the gun control argument is still a losing one, and give me a sliver of optimism that maybe, just maybe, the American people saw this tragedy and instead of knee jerking:

This is absolutely horrifying. We need to ban guns NOW.
...thought about it a bit more, and said:
This is absolutely horrifying, there are no safe places, and no safe people. Maybe we really should all carry guns.
Like I said; waaayy too early to call, but just think about it.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Barack Obama: Sower of dragon's teeth, Architect of his own destruction, Unintender of consequences

My experience working in a fun shop is quite limited, but Tam's is not, and she sees a marked difference between this frenzy and the frenzies in recent memory.

It's different this time.

What's more, it's helping OUR side.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Quote of the Open Carry

Coworker: [referring to the idea that I can change peoples' minds regarding guns by open carrying] You know, you're not going to change anyone's mind.
Me: That's not important, what's important is that I'm trying.

FXhummel1 - The Open Carry Song

Friggin' hilarious!

Yes, I open carry everywhere, and yes, my G34 is even bigger than a G17 (lol'd), but no, I'm not one of these guys.

I open carry for different reasons.

Big tip of the hat to ENDO Gun Blog, which should be a daily read.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

$16 Non-Tacticool Gun Belt

Faded Glory Men's Cordura Work Belt Available at your local wally world.

This is the belt I've been wearing while open carrying for the past 5 months, and I've been very impressed with it.

The best thing about it is it still friggin' works. It has some kinks where the holster loops run, but there has been no tearing, fraying, stretching, or crushing. It's very stiff, and keeps your holster supported at the top and bottom of the loops.

This means your holster will not be flipping or flopping around over time, which means your gun will be comfortable, which means you're going to carry more.

Sorry, we can't all wear BLACKHAWK! TACTICAL! BELTS!

Open Carried to Buy Buy Baby, Barnes & Noble, Kid 2 Kid, Taco Bell, Donato's Pizza, Jet's Pizza, Gas Stations, and Church

With the addition of Church, I no longer carry almost everywhere. It's just everywhere.

Had one commenter at B&N, he asked what my job was;
"I work at a gun shop."
"Oh, I figured you'd be a cop, 'cause you don't see people carrying like that."
"Nope, just a private citizen."
"I bet you get this a lot."
"Actually, almost never."
"Yeah, it's just as surprising to me."

Read more about my experiences open carrying here!

They're flying off the shelves

After the second presidential debate where Obama said he'd support a (guns that look like) Assault Weapons Ban, and Romney said, "I won't, but I did before because it was totally bipartisan, so that's cool, right? ... Right???" I was prepared for a run on those evil black rifles. Didn't happen.

After Obama was reelected, there was a line opening the shop and people came in and cleaned us our of our... 223 ammo. Hmm...

But after the shooting? We sold half of our black rifles just yesterday.

Everyone is saying the fix is in, but I mostly expect a ham-handed attempt at limiting access that will fail utterly in execution. Strangely, I'm still seeing a lot of the same weasel words from the administration.

Could it be his ego is so huge that he wouldn't force his personal political goals if they were unpopular EVEN facing NO reelection???

Even if it were the case, polls can swing, so it's little consolation, but I'm reminded of something I said before;
if you ever question what this president is doing, just put yourself in his position and thin your skin so much you could suntan your liver. Then this move makes sense.

Caravan Palace - Star Scat

Wednesday, December 12, 2012 don't go bock.

My gunny friend recently replaced his G19 with a G34, which isn't quite the pinnacle of Glock tacticoolery, but is quite a ways up the mountain. A sound ribbing was had, aspersions were cast, and trip to the local indoor range was planned.

At this range trip, my trusty XD (having recently performed flawlessly at some move'n'shoots with some old ammo loaded into mags that were left in my car for years) was more than up to the task, and to be quite honest, riding high in my esteem from its excellent performance.

After some initial play, we started to settle back into our grooves, and decided a challenge was in order; best three shot group at 7 yards.

He threw his first group for some reason, the sun was in his eyes, the target was moving, swamp gas reflecting off Venus, whatever the reason, I knew he could have shot it better, so I proceeded to take my time with my shots to really rub it in. I got two shots touching, and one an inch lower. "Ok, one more time." He said, and I smirkingly accepted.

It was at this point that the planets aligned, time stood still, a flipped coin landed on its edge, and he and the Glock became one. He shot, in under three seconds, three shots on top of each other. Technically, the first two were off by the thin crescent moon of paper that flew off, and the last bullet hit just inside the edge of the single hole.

After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I said, "Give me that," and proceeded to shoot that big, blocky, stupid, ugly Glock better than I did my XD. On a subsequent group, I accidentally doubletapped on the short trigger reset and sighed because I had just blown my group. "Damnit, I didn't mean to doubletap. Where'd that second one go?" "...Right into the first hole."

I respect Glocks. I don't shoot them, or like them, but I respect them. They are ugly, lack style of any kind, huge on the grip, heavy on the trigger, and command a level of fanboy-ism which only recently seems to have surpassed that of H und K. But I can't argue with results, and I won't ignore miracles when they happen.

The last Glock I shot was my friend's old 19 a few months ago. My group was meh. Before that, I hadn't shot a Glock for probably three years. There is absolutely no reason for me to pick up a G34, the biggest, and bulkiest, and Glockiest of all the Glocks, and shoot it like it was made for my hand.

After this experience, I started picking up different Glocks at the shop. I picked up a Gen 4, and to my amazement, it felt good. Not manageable or alright, but good. The grip width (frontstrap to backstrap) on the Gen 4s is definitely slimmer than the Gen 3s, and even a little slimmer than the Gen 3 SFs. I also noticed that the patented Glock humpback is exaggerated if the grip length is short. This meant that a full size Gen 4 with the smallest changeable backstrap minimized the humpback and had almost the same grip as a 45. The grip is almost straight all the way down to the hump at the bottom, which (way down there) actually fits perfectly against my palm.

I'm pretty sure Glock and I met each other half way, though my shifting must have been entirely subconscious. The point is not that I can shoot Glocks now, the point is I can suddenly shoot guns I've barely touched better than a gun I've shot for six years. I can take a hint.

So, I sold the Ruger GP100 and the 1911, and bought a Gen 4 Glock 34. I really liked those guns, but at the end of the day, they were pleasure guns, not working guns. The way things are going, I'm worried there will be more need for working guns in the future, and my pleasurable collection is getting some very practical scrutiny.

Since I've started carrying it, I've noticed some other annoyingly better things. The G34 fits near perfectly into my Galco XD Service holster (due to the extremely similar frame shape), the G34 balances better than my XD, and (worst of all) the damn huge-ass gigantic brick of a G34 feels noticeably lighter on my hip than my XD. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Over.

Well, whatever the reason, you know what they say; Once you go Glock, you don't go bock.


Saturday, December 01, 2012

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Making gun stores a better place, one customer at a time.

I was digging through my old posts, and found one called Gun Store Jerks, wherein I explain why gun store employees and owners shouldn't feel justified in acting like jerks.

Having had the opportunity practice what I preach twice before, I realized I was already had my third opportunity.

I couldn't stand the way I was usually treated at gun stores; ignored, eye-rolled, abandoned, sighed at, laughed at, and generally made to feel that I was putting upon the employees with my mere presence.

So when I started working at one, I had the opportunity to change all that, and you know what?

After customers laugh derisively at me, point guns at me, argue with me over verifiably wrong second-hand opinions, wave loaded guns around, break safety rules after being told multiple times not to, and persist in knowing absolutely nothing about firearms and demand I teach them all I know?

I still refuse to treat them badly.

Customers gonna cust. They'll do it in every industry because they're customers. My job is not to stand around all day and wait out the clock, my job is to wait on customers, and provide my firearms knowledge and opinion when asked.

When a customer wants a Kimber as his first gun because his bud told him they NEVAR jam because they say "Custom Shop" on the side? I offer my opinion, and if it is ignored, oh well. I grab the 4473. Customers gonna cust.

When a customer who has never shot a gun before wants a snub nosed revolver for home defense? I tell them a shotgun is ten times easier to use, costs half as much, offers "rack-ability," is cheaper to practice with, and is about three times more effective at stopping someone. I do my level best to explain why a shotgun is a better choice for them, and if they insist? I grab the 4473. Customers gonna cust.

When a customer tells me about how he was in the military in the 70's and shot a 338 Lapua at 3,000 yards and could hit a quarter "not every time, but about every other time." I just smile and say, "Wow! You shot .000000001 MOA out of a rifle that didn't exist with a cartridge that hadn't been designed yet past the curvature of the Earth? Pull the other one so I don't walk in circles all day." Just kidding. I just smile, nod, and walk away. Customers gonna cust.

There is no precedent that lets gun shop employees treat their customers like crap. Don't act like there is.

Friday, November 16, 2012

I feel 50 times better.

Holy crap, this is good.

Bill Whittle: Where do we go now?

One hour long, watch the whole thing.

No, really: Watch the whole thing.

"Lesser sons of greater fathers."

"It's already collapsed."

"Take care of our own."

Bonus: Bill takes more questions at the virtual president.

IDF Pinpoint Strike on Ahmed Jabari, Head of Hamas Military Wing

Straight from the IDF.

When you encounter evil, it is your responsibility destroy it.

Don't lie flat

Go mini-Galt. Starve the beast, stay uncomfortable, don't lie flat.

JP gave me this link, and it's worth your time.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Therapy deprived

AKA: Cordite deprived.

We finally finished moving out of the in-laws' basement, and I regained ease of going to sleep under my own roof. Unfortunately, the moving has been taking up all of our free time, so there have been no range trips to try out the new addition.

Normally, this is not a big deal, but these are not normal times, and I need some trigger therapy.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sunday, November 11, 2012

What is old is new again.

I wrote this over a year ago. It's more relevant now than it was then.

Good guys don't wear masks... yet.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

You really have no idea what you've just done.

I'm not mad. I'm just disappointed.

Ok, maybe a little mad too.

Voting yourself free stuff without creating anything doesn't work. Actually, it's worse than it not working, it actively sets you up for a terminal failure.

Not long ago, hurricane Sandy victims were crying out for the government to give them food because it had been... three... days...

These people, literally, did not have the ability to survive on their own for 72 hours.

I feel sorry for 50% of America, because they really have no idea what they've just done.

Folks like us? We'll be fine. We're survivors. We're hard to dissuade, we persist, we emerge victorious, even if it's only because we refuse to surrender.

Folks like you?

You'll be dead.

But that's not a threat; because you won't be dead by our hands. You'll be dead by your own machinations.

This election was just the opening act of a mass suicide.

The truth is too important to ignore, and if you ignore it long enough, you will fall victim to it.

I don't know if you'll starve to death waiting for FEMA to save you after a natural disaster (when they've closed their office due to inclimate weather), if you'll be stabbed with a screwdriver by a recently paroled lifer because you just voted down the three strikes law that brought crime stats down to 1950s levels, if you'll fall victim to simple government incompetence, or if you'll just sing kumbaya in a circle until you waste away.

The point is, we will win because you reject reality.

I just feel sorry that I won't be able to help all of you. (Not that you'd dare ask for help from neighbors or from a *gasp* church, that's what the government is for)

A hard rain is going to fall, and you people don't believe in umbrellas.

I'm sorry. Really. I did all I could to help you, but you are hell-bent on seeing how deep the rabbit hole goes. If you stare into the Abyss long enough the Abyss stares back into you.

Prepare yourselves, because you're pulling back the veil on humanity, civilization, and socialism, and





Good luck to you. You're going to need it.

The Summer Soldier & the Sunshine Patriot [Intellectual Froglegs #12]


The American Crisis

These are the times that try men's souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like Hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.

~Thomas Paine, 1776

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Hassled for Open Carrying Part 2

First hassling is here.

While open carrying in Wal-Mart, I was hassled by a patron.

He had a large frame and a large, semi-lean body, a black fleece, and a 5.11 tactical hat (no, really). So you already know where this is going. He's a cop.

I noticed him reacting to me, and kept him in my peripheral while continuing to act normal, because when you act like it's normal, other people act like it's normal.

When my wife and I were ahead of him in the girls' toy aisle, he pushed his cart closer and passed my wife behind me.

"You can't carry that."
Turning and smiling, I replied as innocently as possible, "Which?"
Nodding to the gun on my hip, "You can't carry that in here."
"Yes I can."
"Are you a cop?"
"Nope. Just a private citizen carrying openly."
"Well you can't carry that in here."
"I've carried in here dozens of times, and have never had any problems. I pretty much open carry everywhere without any issues. Are you a cop?" (I asked, as if I didn't already know.)
"Yeah, and I have to show up when people call to complain about people like you."
"Do you have a concealed carry permit?"
"No. The state of Kentucky does not allow me to apply for one."
"Yeah, well, there are a lot of dangerous stupid people and drunks around this time of night, and it only takes one of them to make a bad situation with people like you. You're better off just leaving it in the car."

I was thinking "Yeah, well, that's just, like, your opinion, man." so hard that I'm pretty sure he heard me.


So, there are dangerous people around, so it would be better if I were unarmed? It sure didn't look like he was carrying, so maybe he was planning on kung fu fighting any "dangerous drunks" he ran into.

I believe this was the last thing I said before I just turned and walked away. When Mrs ET reads this she might have some changes or updates, I'll add them if necessary.

We continued shopping, and passed by this guy again, who was busy on his phone rather than shooting me daggers or working himself into a huff. My wife felt like he expected us to rush out of the store in disgrace. Not a chance.

To his credit (what little there is to give), he didn't go to the manager and lodge a complaint "as a concerned civvy-- I mean- civilian-- I mean regular normal person." Then again, maybe he did, and they just didn't do anything. I've talked to one of the managers there while open carrying with no issue. He glanced at my gun a couple times, but was professional and helpful.

So, the two times I've been hassled for Open Carrying have been by cops. All the other regular normal people just don't care.

Read more about my experiences open carrying here!

Voting for love of country

I was the first one at a the polls in my precinct.

Up early, I finally saw Orion for the first time since we moved. At no other time, early morning or 2am had I found The Hunter since we moved here over four months ago. It was a cathartic experience.

I overdressed for the cold, wearing my heavy coat over the shirt I set out for today. "TAKE BACK YOUR REPUBLIC" and under the striking snake: "TIME'S UP." Normally a little too provocative for my taste, but this is America, so if you don't like it, you don't have to look at it.

It was about 30 degrees, enough for the cold to sting, but not enough for it to bite. One person arrived shortly after me. We stood outside the door and talked about how glad we were to get it over with, while we rocked and fidgeted to keep warm.

Another man joined our vigil. Then another. Then another.

By the time the polls opened there were over 30 people lined up. There were even more by the time I left.

You don't have to bust the doors to vote. They're open from 6am to 6pm. Absentee and early voting is easy. So why did everyone show up?

You know why.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

So... You got the stuff?

Yeah... That's good.

Glenfield Model 25

Click to embiggen!

Catching up to the new normal

We're moving out of the in-law's basement into an apartment, so we've been busy packing and taking loads over when we can. Mrs ET is getting more preggers but she's doing quite well.

Moving out is a great feeling. Even though we are going to be on a narrow budget, there's something comforting knowing that you are in charge of your living space. Don't get me wrong, the mother in law was a great host, there's just an intangible dull pain you get living under someone else's roof. Maybe it only happens to libertarians.

The gun shop is going well, we had a run on shotguns and carry pistols for a while, but that seems to have abated, which seems to indicate it might have been Sandy-related. The shop has been pretty busy, but not nearly as busy as it was the last election. I think everyone already knows what's going to happen.

I'm still expecting the job front to kick into overdrive the day after the election, but I've stopped taking things for granted, and know that we'll be able to keep on keeping on even if it takes much longer. It's hard to go from making more than enough money to making barely enough, but it's a small price to pay when I remind myself that we live in Kentucky.

This place really is special. Lexington in particular. I have a hard time putting it into words, and will give it its own post where I can try to do it justice, but suffice to say: I still catch myself staring at the beauty around me. I can't wait for winter.

There have been a few must-haves, but nothing too fancy. The shop actually wound up with a Microtech Troodon, which has been on my want list for a long time, but I didn't want it nearly as much as a Mcusta that blew me out of the water. I went home, posted a shotgun on Armslist, took the first offer, met up and sold it the next day, and drove straight to the shop to buy it. I can't believe it's a production knife. This thing is art. A R T. It bumped the 940 I carried since I was 16 from the EDC slot. The Mcusta is so good that not a single fuck was given.

I managed to keep my hands off of all the pretties in the shop (being broke helps!), but just had to have a beautiful Glenfield 25 bolt action .22. I sold another shotgun to a friend and picked up the Glenfield for $80. The spiral rifling is incredibly sharp. So sharp that someone either never fired it, or meticulously cleaned it after every range trip. The sights are a welcome relief from the usual "classic 22" style, which consist of a round bead front sight and horns covering a tiny slider with a notch on the rear sight. I can't stand those sights, so I loved that the Glenfield had a square front sight post, and a flat open rear leaf sight, making the sight picture crisp and clear. Speaking of crisp, the trigger is a short, semi-heavy break that still manages to catch a seasoned trigger finger such as mine off guard. Overall style is wonderful. The stock has a classic cut and the long heavy barrel really adds to the appeal of the rifle. The front sight is screwed in close to the crown, making the prospect moving the sight back and getting the barrel threaded quite straightforward. The receiver is thick enough that tapping it for an aperture sight wouldn't be hard, but so far, I'm enjoying the additional visibility offered by the open sights. I can't wait to shoot it, and will update when I do. Being in varmit country, a long barreled .22 bolt gun can be very useful. Especially one with a can. The bolt is turned down near the receiver, making it more difficult to run lefty, but it's not really built for speed, and I think I'd like it less if the bolt was sticking straight out. The only thing bugging me about it is the balance, which, given the heavy stock and long heavy barrel, is right on the magazine, making for uncomfortable one-handed carry. I have plans to cut into the stock, either to lighten it or to put in a compartment for ammo à la the M6 survival rifle. Oh yeah, that reminds me...

I ran into a Savage 42 at a local shop, and began scoffing immediately. I picked it up and scoffed, I shouldered it and scoffed, I checked the sights and scoffed, I balanced and handled it and scoffed, I looked at the price and scoffed. By the time I was done scoffing, much to my chagrin, I liked it. Alright Savage, you did kind of alright. It's not the right kind of style, but it is a kind of style.

More detail on all of the above will follow as things slow down. See you guys on the other side.

Ratatat - Shempi

[direct link]

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Open carried to the bank, Jet's Pizza, ReStore, Hancock Fabrics

I really wish I had something to add here. Almost nothing happened. I held the door open for an older woman at Hancock Fabrics, and her husband chuckled at me and asked if there was a robbery going on.

Read more about my experiences open carrying here!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Town Called Panic

This movie was fucking hilarious.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

"this video represents everything that is right with the internet"

Also this one...

What is a gun?

They're entertainment, and yet objects of deep sentiment, but a gun is not an argument.

Personal weapons are objects of affection unmatched by any other inanimate object.

They can change the course of history, tell a story, offer moments of zen, or therapy.

They are peace of mind, they are security, they are confidence.

They can save your life in a terrible situation and harden resolve ravaged by vicious and pitiless cruelty.

A gun can heal.

A gun is a human right, but at the end of the day, a gun is just a tool.

Death Merchantry

I don't suppose it should come as a surprise, but I rather enjoy selling guns to people.

Some guns are just for fun, and selling fun things to people who want to have fun just can't help but be fun.

When I recommend a 10/22 to someone and know they're going to be able to do the tin can dance for hours for about $20, and feel great afterwards, it makes me feel great.

Other guns serve more serious purposes, and being part of that is still very fulfilling.

Talking to someone about their worries and fears, and helping them choose the appropriate means to empower themselves and control their concerns is... solemn? I'm not quite sure. It almost feels like a responsibility of having the technical knowledge to speak to the strengths and weaknesses of different firearms. It's definitely special.

Guns can provide us with so much.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Please stop pointing that gun at me and pulling the trigger.

What's got two thumbs and works at a gun shop?

THIS guy.

The IT job are all mysteriously hanging up. Positions are suddenly "in the air" or "under evaluation," recruiters and placement agencies are reporting a downturn in positions, and I'm still only working part time at Sonic.

That changed today because I got a full time job making a few bucks more an hour at one of the local gun shops.

Hopefully this will keep us chugging along until the passing of the invisible fOrce exerting unBelievable pressure Against the jobs Market At this time.

Of course, if that crushing pressure is not removed, at least I'll still have a discount on guns an ammo. WIN/WIN! (Not too worried about that, I'm calling it a landslide for Romney based solely on the positivity I started feeling a few months ago)

I've bumped into a few electronics projects that might be useful, one that might even be golden, so I'm excited to get those going.

I've said privately that I wouldn't want to work at a gun shop because I wouldn't be able to stand being muzzled every thirty seconds, but unemployment does strange things to people.

Ratatat - LP3 [Full Album]

0:00 - Shiller
4:18 - Falcon Jab
8:13 - Mi Viejo
10:53 - Mirando
14:46 - Flynn
16:42 - Bird Priest
19:49 - Shempi
23:47 - Imperials
27:21 - Dura
30:29 - Bruleé
34:12 - Mumtaz Khan
36:50 - Gipsy Threat
38:28 - Black Heroes

This looks sweet...

The M1 Carbine always had a certain allure to me. Sadly, the cartridge sucks and it's expensive, so it didn't fit into my practical gun purchasing schedule.

But now Citadel is making an M1 .22 Carbine to give you that retro feel while you do the tin can dance for 2 cents a shot.

I don't usually see much appeal in making a .22 match the looks of another gun because it's just aesthetics, but there's something very cool about the M1 Carbine.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

It's a Girl*!

We found out two weeks before we left, but we had been trying for some time, and decided not to give up just because of something minor like quitting my job and moving cross country to fates and fortunes unknown.

We joked that the life change wasn't big enough so we decided to have a baby too.

I can't wait to meet Peanut (she was the size of a peanut in our first pictures of her, and the name stuck), I only wish I could have done more to make this world a better place. I wasn't kidding in my Romney post, I'd much rather be the generation that has to struggle through hardship than let it be hers.

None of this is her fault, but she's going to have to deal with it. Someone's going to have to explain why she owed $51,000 before she made it home from the hospital.

Not to put a damper on the festivities, I'm just really worried about the future of this country.

* Probably. The technician was 80% sure

Hold your nose rifle and vote for Romney

The tiniest thread of support was all that allowed me to vote for McCain. That thread was the supreme court justices and the Heller case.

When the highest court in the land was able to find a right to bear arms in the constitution BY ONE STINKIN' VOTE I realized that we were in worse shape than I was willing to admit. So I voted for McCain solely because of the supreme court justices.

But after Roberts found the government has the power to tax you for NOT doing something, that thread snapped, and all bets were off. The highest court in the land was now subject to popularity contests and political considerations. So nuts to them.

With that final tether gone, will I hold my nose and vote for Romney?

Not technically.

I've considered "throwing my vote away" on a third party, and were Obama not the alternative, I likely would. If this election were McCain vs Hillary, I'd vote Libertarian with smile.

But we're not facing the usual flavor of liberal. We're up against one so hopelessly lost in ideology that he will drive us off the cliff and tell us we'll be fine all the way to the ground. He's such an amateur that he can't even recognize his destructive actions will doom himself along with everyone else. He is so arrogant that he almost lives in a dream world where he is the hero and literally everyone else is wrong and against him.

He's an existential threat to this country, and I honestly believe the country we love won't survive another 4 years of him.

I'm voting for Mitt Romney, not because I'm holding my nose, but because I'm holding my rifle, and I'm afraid I'm going to have to use it to defend my family in the civil unrest that will unfold after 4 more years of spiraling debt, dangerously incompetent management, and the unspeakable horrors not even Obama felt safe unleashing before his second term.

The reason I'm voting for Romney because I don't want to shoot anyone.

That said, we've been building some of these problems for decades, and I have no illusion that Romney or anyone would be able to stop The Great Correction from taking place, but I'm positive that Romney will buy us more time than Obama. While many advocate taking your medicine now instead of later, taking it later means more time to buy food, water, and ammo, so I'll take every second I can get.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

DayZ and games that make you feel.

DayZ is a mod for a "realistic" shooter called ArmA 2, envisioned and written by Dean "Rocket" Hall as a game that more accurately depicts the zombie apocalypse.

His ideas for games very closely match my own; permanent death, real consequence for decisions, open world, emergent story, simple and harsh rules, and the wildcard of other players.

I enjoy games like this because only when there are real consequences to your actions do you actually feel emotional about the game.

Nethack is unrelenting and unforgiving, but it also has enough flexibility in rules that if you die, there was almost always some way out of the danger that you failed to think of. Yes, the game will try to kill you in brutal, subtle, and inventive ways, but those rules apply to you as well, and if you fail to remember them, you'll be smacking your forehead after your 20+ hour character dies with the object of his or her salvation staring you in the face. There is technically a story here, but much like Fallout, what you do in between story points is where the real story emerges. Because death is permanent here, you feel loss when your character dies.

Minecraft is a random world with simple enemies, simple rules, and no story. Yet this world has been more engrossing than any other game I've ever played. Your only enemy is the world you live in. You can do things to make this world safer, but it will never be truly safe because the randomness of the game will always conspire to create difficult situations. There are some in-game consequences here, but because you respawn (unless you play hardcore mode where the world deletes after you die) back at your bed when you die, that's not where the fun comes from. The fun lies in the exploration and finding rare resources. If you have a bad mining technique, you're going to waste hours of real world time, but if you come up with a new plan to optimize your discovery and it pays off, you feel good that you saved yourself time and became more efficient. The challenges within the game are waiting for you to come up with a creative solution, and it feels good to succeed.

Dwarf Fortress is an interesting strategy game where instead of controlling your workers directly, you merely issue orders, and it's up to the Dwarves to decide how and if they carry out these orders. This game added an interesting element for each worker by giving them experiences, relationships, and emotions. You are an overseer of some kind, and can check the status of your Dwarves' lives. If your champion digger loses his wife in a horrible smelting accident, he may not want to dig anymore. If you badly manage the resources and the Dwarves don't have any mead, they won't work as quickly or happily. You have to help your Dwarves survive and thrive in the harsh world, and when something terrible happens, it ripples through the community in unexpected ways. These rules and situations give rise to tales of civilizations which come crashing down because of some minor trigger, and always leave you wondering what kind of experience you're going to have when you start up a new fortress.

Recently, I was replaying New Vegas on hardcore mode (trivial additional challenge), and was advancing beyond my level (like normal), and got into a bad firefight. I realized I hadn't saved in ages, and was going to lose hours of my time if I my character died here. It was at that point that I started to feel panic and fear. I ducked behind a rock and tried to get pot shots off to keep them from flanking me, and scrolled through my inventory, looking for something that would give me the upper hand. Finding nothing, I had to flee on a broken leg, serpentining all the way, bullets whizzing around my head, and hobbling for my life. I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I made it out of that situation, because my lack of saving meant my actions suddenly had consequences, and my performance was going to determine if I had to deal with those consequences.

This is what I wanted out of my games. The emotional experience, not a canned story I trudged through. This is why DayZ was so appealing. DayZ takes all of these elements and mashes them together with the most unforgiving thing in our modern era: People on the internet.

DayZ starts you out with nothing on the shore of a 225 square kilometer area of towns and forest, and only asks that you survive in a world where zombies have taken over. You'll need to go into a town to get weapons, food, and water, to keep you living, but with those supply runs comes risk of being discovered and mobbed by zombies, and an increase in your chances to encounter another survivor.

What will these survivors do when you encounter them? That's a good damn question. It depends on the survivor. Because there are some healing methods that require another person, and two guns are better than one, it makes sense to team up with another survivor. But do you trust him? What are his motivations? Will he draw zombies off of you to save your life, or will he shoot you in the back of the head for your baked beans as soon as you turn your back?

There is no "leveling" in this game, only equipment. The entirety of the game must be played knowing that you could be killed by a newbie with a lucky swing of a hatchet. You remain vulnerable at all times. Even a lucky shot at you with a 9mm could break your leg, leave you sprawled on the floor, trying to bandage yourself or keep from going unconscious while your underpowered opponent kills you with whatever strikes his fancy. Similarly, because the world is persistent, you can be shot by a sniper at any moment. At which point you simply die, and have to start over. This might leave you bitter.

Because trust is an element of the game, you can also feel guilty or ashamed of your actions, because you are affecting real people somewhere in the world.

If you run into another survivor, and yell at him not to point his gun at you and that you're friendly, and he does not respond, you start to wonder if he's chatting on a side channel with some friends who are going to come up behind you, or if he's sizing you up and deciding if you have any good kit worth taking. You might shoot first, feeling threatened, and discover that his mic wasn't working, or he doesn't speak English, and you just killed him even though he needed help and wanted to team up. Alternatively, you could approach everyone with a big smile, completely unarmed, and offer your assistance, only to be shot in the back over and over and over and over again. Who could fault you for becoming bitter, and shooting others on sight, even if they were claiming to be friendly (but can you trust them?). Maybe you've got some good kit, and you don't think it's worth the risk to team up or help others. There are so many possibilities for user interaction that it's impossible to know what is going to happen next.

If you have any interest in this kind of game, do a youtube search for DayZ and see how people are playing now.

I don't own DayZ, and probably won't buy it until the standalone version comes out. Unfortunately, because a mod is essentially a hack, there are many security issues which cannot be addressed due to lack of access to the ArmA engine. So there are serious problems in the game with cheaters. Many of these cheats and game bugs have been fixed by third party apps run on individual servers (servers which do not sync with the "world" servers), so there is still the possibility of enjoying the game in its pre-alpha state (which over 1 million people do), but Rocket is working on fixing these issues in the Standalone version of the game to be released this year.

Good overview video.
More advanced play through video.
Advanced team tactical play video.

Obama Phone

[To the tune of Raffi's Banana Phone]


Ring ring ring ring ring ring ring Obama phone!
Ring ring ring ring ring ring ring Obama phoooone!

It's so revealing, of the stealing,
That goes on under the left wing. WING!

Ring ring ring ring ring ring ring Obama phone!
Ding dong ding dong ding dong ding Disenfranchizoooone!

Sounds like stagflation, the death of a nation!
It's the knell, of our bell!
Cellular, Marx-ular, Class Warfare-odular!

Ring ring ring ring ring ring ring Obama phone!
Ping pong ping pong ping pong ping, Poll-bating phone!
We'll need some burkas after this bread circus!
My welfareist, Obammunist PHOOOOONE!

Don't need quarters, don't need dimes,
To call a thousand times!
Don't tell me my lunch ain't free,
Cuz, buddy, I got mine!
I'll call for pizza, on EBT!
The welfare office; "What else is free?"
My vote's for sale! I'm a coffin nail! This country's set to fail-ail-ail-ail!

(Soprano Sax Solo)

Oh my God!
(Piano Solo)

Ring ring ring ring ring ring ring Obama phone!
Yin yang yin yang yin yang ying, your country's blown!
It's a real live proof of what you dread,
Those entitlements will crash down on your head!
They'll be looking for you, when the money's through! Oh no!
My welfareist, Obammunist PHOOOOONE!

Obama phone, ring ring ring!
(There's just more takers than makers!)
Obama phone, ring ring ring!
(Rome's looking pretty good right now!)
Obama phone, ring ring ring!
(They'll drag you outta your homes!)
Obama phone, ring ring ring!


New Normal Loading... Loading...

Few updates, been busy lately. The business isn't exactly rocketing off to the moon, and I'm looking for proper work now (as opposed to the night job I took to hobble along while working on the business), and I'll just have to see what happens with the business.

Before I moved here, everyone was ready and eager to share with me their predictions of my experience when I got here, and I can't think of a single one that came true. Now that I'm looking for proper work in my field, I disproved another one:

"You won't be able to make 'California money' in Kentucky!"

Actually, I can make more. If anything, my talents are more in demand out here (though I'll be the first to admit my selection is limited). I'm entertaining some high paying offers and a slew of others 10-15k less than my California money. A few cost-of-living calculators indicated I needed to make 50% of my California pay to maintain my lifestyle in Kentucky, so even 20k off should still put us quite ahead.

Actual cost of living here is a little hard to pin down. Mostly, I think, because we've been scraping and saving while looking for work and living off savings. Some foods are cheaper, while a few are more expensive. Oranges are definitely more expensive, but meat is cheaper. Housing is the main difference (which is most welcome, as it's usually the highest).

What we paid for a medium sized 1 bedroom (we had downsized to save money) will rent us a 3 bed 2 bath house with a 2 car garage. I can't wait to have a garage to fill with fun tools for fun projects.

I told myself that because the weather was the only thing good about California, I wasn't allowed to complain about it after moving here. But I think I like the variety more. With the weather comes nature. Birds, bugs, and butterflies, all contribute to the experience out here, and I really like it. The paved-over desert that California is, had crows, brown sparrows, and coyotes that stalked into the suburbs to eat your pet. Here, there's colorful songbirds, geese, (fenced) horses, deer, just kind of hanging out. This place is more colorful and more alive.

I should note that I've only been able to enjoy the passive freedoms Kentucky has to offer, because without regular income, I'm not ready to spend money on all the new goodies available to me.

Despite only recently shifting into job hunt mode, I'm already antsy for instant gratification. I'm applying to other places, but some of these companies are big, and it takes them time to process resumes. Meanwhile, I'm trying not to gnaw my arm off waiting.

Working at my part time job has been kind of nice because it's such a change of pace. I'm working at Sonic, which is the second time I've been able to put my money where my mouth is.

Before we moved, I told everyone I wasn't going to get a job because I was going to start a business. Understandably skeptical, they would answer, "But what if you can't find one?" To which I replied, "I'll work at Sonic if I have to!" When the local Sonic put up a big banner trying to get people to work there, I made it my first stop on my part-time job search. It was a fry cook job that was part-time, nights only, and should pay barely enough to let us eek by. Surprisingly, it was a good fit. As a bonus, I wouldn't enjoy it, which would drive me to work harder on the business instead of taking a proper job and settling in (which I have done in the past).

The other reason I wound up going with this job was the lack of mental stress. I tried to start a business while at my last employer, and found that when I came home I was mentally exhausted. Not like, "I'm tired, I don't wanna." More like, "I-- I'm-- uh... *DROOOOOOOOOL*" I had plenty of interesting and fun projects that I wanted to do, but just couldn't get myself to do them. I'd just stare at the blinking cursor, devoid of any creativity. Eventually, I couldn't even do my hobbies! I wouldn't go to the range, wouldn't draw, wouldn't write (explaining my hiatus), I couldn't do anything except veg out on video games or Netflix.

But when I came back from Sonic after working for 8 hours, eased into bed at 1am, thumbed through my emails, and found some potential work? I shot up like a bolt, and stayed up until 4am working on the project. The mental energy was ready and waiting.

I surprised myself when I realized that I didn't think I hated the job. In fact, I felt like I liked it. The work is simple, I'm constantly moving, a good rush is fun, and I like the people I work with. There is the added bonus of knowing that something real was done at the end of the day, which is a feeling you miss on a primal level only after spending years flipping ones and zeros instead of burgers.

In the meantime, I've been engrossed with the DayZ mod for ArmA which will get its own post. Not engrossed in playing (not buying stuff, remember?), but engrossed in researching, learning, and watching youtube videos.

There's some exciting news coming up next week which may frame my faith or insanity (depending on your perspective) in this series of life changing events, so look out for that.

Right now, I'm just trying to chill whilst waiting to hear back from the companies to which I applied.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Time for an impromptu draw Mohammad day!

Yeah, I know it's my old pic, but twitter killed it for offending Muslims violation, so now it's hosted here, nice and safe.

I just think now is a good time to remind everyone in the world that in America, we have freedom of speech, and are free to say, print, or draw any stupid, idiotic, offensive, nonsense we want without fear of the federal government coming to our house and making us stop.

If anyone from the white house is reading this, please mention this to the agents who "investigated" the douche who wanted to burn a Koran, and the (literally) brown-shirted agents who suddenly had an interest in questioning the guy who made an anti-muslim video that looked like a middle school film class project about possible parole violations that had nothing to do with the film.

If this is my final post, check google maps for the smoking crater from the drone strike on my house.

Monday, September 17, 2012

If you see Franz Ferdinand, tell him to duck!

American soil in Libya is invaded as our embassy is burned and our ambassador is dragged through the street, possibly raped, and murdered.

Our embassies in Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Sudan, Lebanon, India, Balgadesh, Indonesia, and Afghanistan are coming under different degrees of attack.

Japan and China are developing some serious bad blood.

Israel says Iran will have nukes in 6-8 months (while we sat on our hands) and that they will strike before this time (HOPEFULLY) leading us into a war to support our ally.

We're starting some international joint war games within spitting distance of Iran.

And if all that wasn't enough, Helicopter Ben will be dropping (read: PRINTING) $40,000,000,000 into the US economy to "stabilize it." But this printing of money will be different from the last two, because this one will print $40,000,000,000 EVERY 30 DAYS until things improve.

There has never been a better time to check your preps.

For further reading and links check Tam and Zero Hedge

Open Carried to Target and Chic-fil-a again.

These repeats get their own post because there were some open carry rumblings about Chic-fil-a.

Definitely saw some people glancing at my waist, but no one ran screaming or threw their waffle fries at me. We actually wound up there right as school was letting out, so it was pretty busy with parents feeding their kids. I even heard one of the kids mention a man and a gun on my way out. I'll let you know if they suddenly post a sign next time we visit, as some other Chic-fil-a's reportedly did.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Open Carried to 5 Guys Burgers, Kohls, Sam's Club, Bed Bath Beyond, and K-Mart

Having a hard time keeping track of all the places. I just open carry everywhere.

Read more about my experiences open carrying here!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Yes, you do need to show your license

The Blaze: Texas cop drags 77 y/o grandma from car for refusing to show her ID while driving.

At this time, driving is a privilege, and is subject to you following the rules while doing so. Much like signing your ticket, failure to do so is a jail-able offense. It's only for convenience that the cops let you sign something or only require ID while you drive. Otherwise they'd haul everyone to jail who broke the speed limit.

I can't say the cop overreacted, because he was really doing his job. The only point of discretion he had was pulling her over. After he did, he had to either do his job, or say, "Well, you win lady. No ticket for you. Bye!" and that's not going to happen...

I'm reminded of something I wrote earlier.
It was a surprise to learn that "Don't mess with Texas" wasn't a warning to oppressors to leave them alone, but a warning that the state is set in its ways and may fine you $10,000 for littering. To me, there isn't much difference between oppressively restrictive and oppressively polite.

How to make a G21 feel comfortable

Pick up a USP first.

Open carried to Downtown Lexington KY and Fayette mall. BONUS: Ex-cop derision!

While at the gun shop an older patron commented on me open carrying. I politely asserted that it's my right, and I choose to do it because I think more people should.

Patron: Well you probably shouldn't, because you might get the cops called on you and you'll be arrested for disturbing the peace.
Me: Actually, I open carry everywhere, and haven't had a single problem. What I'm doing is not disturbing the peace.
Patron:Well, if someone is afraid then you're causing a disturbance, and the cops would have to question you.
Me: No, if someone's afraid because you're doing a lawful activity, that is not disturbing the peace. What's a cop going to do to me if I'm not breaking the law?
Patron:Well, cops already have a hard job, so what are you going to tell them when you're making their job harder?

At this point, my friend the behind the counter (who doesn't care for cops much), chimed in; "You can tell them to get a job that doesn't involve hassling people who aren't breaking the law all day."

Patron: Well, you shouldn't say that, I'm a retired with 30 years on the force.

Ahhhh, that explains why a random guy in a gun store was getting on my tits for open carrying.

Patron: You may be able to do that around here, but you just try that downtown, and see what happens.

Me: Thanks for the tip, I will.

With that as a preface, I had a business event downtown that I did NOT carry to. The only reason for this was because I wanted people to talk to me about my business, not the thing I was doing that was not socially normal. Though it might be a good way to drum up business for a firearms training program...

After my business was concluded, I walked across the street and holstered my XD before getting into the car. About to get into the car, I remembered what that former cop had said, and remembered a sandwich place right around the corner. It would be a short jaunt, but I could still say I did it. Well, the world won't change unless individuals are willing to change first!

So I open carried in Downtown Lexington, for about 200 yards down Main street to the Jimmy Johns sandwich place, ordered, sat in a booth going over my notes from the meeting, then walked the 200 yards down Main street back to my car. Done. Nuts to that guy.

Fayette Mall is a small indoor mall in Lexington with a few major department stores connected to it. I open carried into the Macy's and throughout the mall and a number of establishments. I expected some eyeballs from mall security, or to be asked to leave by them, but I didn't even see them.

Someone finally acknowledged that I was carrying outside of the gun shop! In the Wet Seal one of the workers talked to me after I asked her a question about their clothes.

Worker: Are you a cop?
Me: I'm sorry?
Worker: Are you a cop? *Gesturing to gun*
Me: Oh no, I'm just open carrying because I want to make it more normal.
Worker: I get that. It kind of seems less sketchy that you're not hiding it.
Me: Actually, it used to be like that. Everyone carried openly, and people wondered why you would want to hide it.
Worker: Oh, I didn't know that.


Read more about my experiences open carrying here!

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Obamacare summed up in one sentence

We're going to be gifted with a healthcare plan we are forced to purchase and fined if we don't, which purportedly covers at least 10,000,000 more people without adding a single new doctor, but provides for 16,000 new IRS agents, written by a committee whose chairman says he doesn't understand it, passed by a congress that didn't read it, but exempted themselves from it, and signed by a president who smokes, with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes, for which we will be taxed for 4 years before any benefits take effect by the government which has already bankrupted social security and medicare, all to be overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and financed by a country that is broke.

What could possibly go wrong?

~Dr. Barbara Bellar

Monday, September 03, 2012

Peltor Sound Trap power LED mod

Peltor Sound Traps are great...

...When you don't accidentally leave them on and drain the batteries.

Most models come with this "external audio connector," but that's not a standard plug. It looks like a proprietary fail connector to me.


It doesn't look so bad. It's not like it costs $30 or something stupid.

Oh wait. It does.

Well I don't need audio in one ear that much. But this plug is a good way to get a connection from the inside without disturbing the earmuffs.

Why not solve both problems at once? Lets set these plugs to run LEDs that turn on when the power is on, so we don't accidentally drain the batteries.

This shouldn't be too hard. Lets start with the right side (with the microphones facing forward).

Click images for full size

Lets get our bearings...

After doing some testing with my multimeter, I found the two power leads that had the same voltage with the dial high or low, and no voltage with the dial clicked off.

Notice the empty dial mounts and used dial connectors are mirrored. This is so the circuit board can be used on the left or right earmuff depending on which side the dial is on. Because both sides are connected, we can solder onto these power leads without disturbing the original soldering.

I traced the connections to the left side of the board, desoldered the stupid plug wires, and put some solder on the mirrored connections (they're the two on the bottom).

The normal operation draws 4.72 mA, with the expected 1200 mAh from a AAA jibing pretty well with the advertised battery life of 200 hours.

The LED will need a resistor in series, so we have different options for LED brightness. All will impact battery life in some way, but none will be as bad as forgetting to turn them off when you're done.

Your selection will likely hinge on where you put your Sound Trap away after use. If it's bright where you put them away, you need a bright LED. If you put it in the dark Man Cave, you can get away with a dim one. I'm using cheapo low output LED, so Your Multimeter May Vary.

At 470 ohms we get brightly lit LED drawing a good 2.3 mA at about 1.8v, and will reduce battery life 49%, making runtime about 102 hours. This brightness is suitable for inside a dark closet or cabinet.

At 3.3k ohms we get a semi-lit LED drawing only .37 mA at about 1.9v, which should only reduce battery life 7.8%, making runtime about 185 hours. This brightness is suitable for inside a dark range bag while outside.

At 10k ohms we get a poorly-lit LED drawing a mere .1 mA which should only reduce battery life 2.1%, making runtime about 196 hours. This brightness is suitable for dark closets.

I'll be using a 470 ohm resistor, because I don't have any damn 3.3k resistors at the moment.

The resistor has been wired in series with the stupid plug wires. The resistor can be on either wire, but the pos/neg must be standardized. I'm keeping my negative toward the mic, so we can see the wire coming out of the plug that is closest to the mic is black. So black one goes to the negative lead.

You can do positive toward the mic if it works out better for your soldering, but just remember to do both sides the same otherwise your LEDs will need to be marked for which side they go on.

Since I don't have any rods that fit into the stupid plug and make a good connection, we're just going to test by bending up an LED.

With the LED facing the preferred direction, make sure your LED's negative pole is in the right hole!

Now we can test it out!

I found a 5/64th" allen fit and conducted well into the stupid plug. Maybe a trip to harbor freight is in order.

The permanent plan for the plug is to insert two rods into the stupid plug, solder the LED to the rods, kink or notch the rods so they will attach firmly to the medium, then surround it with putty epoxy or some other non-conducting material.

This would give you two power lights to remind you to turn off the power, that you can easily remove for when you have to go into stealth ninja operator mode when the tangos come. All with no damage or significant modification to the original function. (C'mon, you weren't really going to spend $60 just to get stereo music into your Sound Traps were you?)

I'll update with the plugs when I get the materials together.

For the left ear muff, there is a slight modification. Because the dial is the same right or left, there is some cross on the leads. Below are the correct solder points.

Click images for full size

NOTE: On the left side, the Yellow wire was the closest to the mic, so it is the negative wire.

DISCLAIMER: I'm not a rocket scientist! If you fuck up your Sound Traps don't come crying to me!

ELECTRONICS DISCLAIMER: My understanding of circuits is still pretty limited! If you know more than I, and I've made a significant mistake, let me know!

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Rifle Marksmanship with the M1 Rifle 1942

The fundamentals never change, and they work.

Quote of the pejorative

This is what comes of the gradual shift of the word "elitist" from an aspiration to a pejorative.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Open Carry Clueless Douchebag

I had seen some of this guy's videos before. He was a bit of a douche, but when the cops infringed on his rights by claiming a complaint equals probable cause for a legal activity, it's hard to blame him. Unfortunately, this video proves that he's just a douche in general. The cop did pretty much everything right, and the OC'er revealed himself to be poorly versed in the law, and failed many other tests of his knowledge.

Here's a distilled script with commentary;

OC: I'm recording.
COP: Keep your hands away from your firearms, you're being recorded too. 

Cop reminds them they're being recorded so they can't do something and edit their own video. Semi necessary, I suppose. This is the closest thing to offensive the cop says during the whole encounter.

OC: What are you up to today?
COP: Just exercising our rights and walking around.

The previous videos I've seen of this guy have him walking around downtown with a big scary rifle on one shoulder and a Ron Paul sign on the other shoulder. I can only assume he did the same thing in this case.

COP: Had a call from a concerned citizen saying you're carrying automatic firearms. It does look like an automatic firearm in my experience. So with that being said, you're required to carry a name, identification, and -- 

Check, and mate. The cop has used a call of a concerned citizen to engage in an encounter with the OCer. This is legal. Once on the scene, the cop indicates that the firearms may be full automatic in his experience. 

Cops are allowed to use their experience to investigate situations further. If you are dealing with a smart cop, they can use their "experience" in legally favorable ways to do almost anything. The only way to prevent a cop from using their experience is to exercise your rights. Those are pretty much the only cases where the cop may not interpret actions as probable cause. This is why you are supposed to refuse the search, ask if you're free to go, and refuse to speak without a lawyer present. PERIOD.

If you try to out-talk the cop, you will lose. They have the advantages in this field. 

Back to the situation; the cop has a legal avenue to stop them, and has used his experience to determine the firearm carried MAY be a fully automatic one. Open carrying a gun has few or no requirements for interactions with the police. However, being in possession of a FA firearm DOES have requirements for interactions with the police, making the investigation quite legal.

OC: But it's a semi auto.
COP: I don't know that until I can--
OC: Well you don't have reasonable suspicion that --
COP: I do, actually.

He does, actually. There may be a time when, after a long and expensive court case and many appeals, the supreme court determines that a cop can't "suspect" that every gun that has an FA variant could be an FA version. But that day is not today, and this not the place or the case for this fight. The douche doesn't have the money or the public favorability to be a test case.

OC: Uhhh-- No.

Brilliant legal retort!

COP: So, here's the lawful order you're going to be given; [regular instructions for interacting with someone who is armed]
OC: But! But! But! I don't consent to unlawful searches! Terry vs Ohio! Am I being detained?
COP: Yeah.

Oh boy. He's been dealing with dumb cops so long he doesn't realize he has already lost. The fact that the cop affirmed that he was being detained should have changed the entire encounter for the OCer. If the OCer believes that what is happening is illegal, and the cop affirms that he's being detained, this is instant court case and cash money payout for rights violation. It's all on tape, right? What lawyer wouldn't take the case? Yet, he blows right past this change in the encounter, and continues with the arguments that expired at the beginning of the encounter.

COP: *inspects firearm* Ok, due to my training and experience this does not look to be a fully automatic firearm. I will do a function check of the firearm... and it operates as such. I no longer have any reasonable suspicion to detain you. Do you have any question, comments, or concerns?
OC: Well! Terry vs Ohio! How do you know it's FA? This is illegal!


The cop has just told you that you're free to go, and you are still arguing that what he did was illegal. What is it you hope to accomplish here? To convince the cop that what he just did was illegal? What do you expect him to do even if you convince him? If you really think you've just caught a blatantly illegal search on camera, you take the first opportunity to whip out your cell phone, call your lawyer, and ask him what kind of BMW he wants to buy with his share of the settlement money for the illegal search you just caught on camera. You don't stay there and argue with the cop like an idiot.

This guy has no idea what the hell he's doing.

COP: You know what you guys should do? You should come to our training program, where we let you fire fully automatic weapons, or you can join our reserve program! I'd love to have you guys, you can pick up forms at the police department.

Oh wow, this cop is so professional and polite it's almost sickening. What an excellent cop. Hats off. Truly.

OC: Well, yeah, but!
COP: *Educates them about a cop's experience and how he may use that experience to obtain reasonable suspicion, then says he's glad they're exercising their rights, and that with open carriers around, there will be less crime*

Ack! My blood! It's turning to sugar water!



This encounter should have taken one minute, and been completely avoided by carrying a firearm that didn't look so "evil."

"But ET! Open carrying EEEVIL firearms is our right! I should be able to carry a Barrett 82a1 over one shoulder and a sign that says 'FUCK DA POLICE!' on the other!"

Yeah, you should be able to... But doing so would not be a good idea, and will likely lead to more encounters with the police, more negative opinion from the public (you know, the people whose minds you SHOULD be trying to change), and increase your chances of flubbing one of those encounters and finding yourself in court on a case that is in the gray area of the law.

That said, I feel compelled to admit something about my open carrying... 

While open carrying, I... *sigh* ...make a conscious effort to appear non-threatening.

I know! I know! Prepare the boiling oil, I'm a traitor to the cause for acquiescing to public opinion in some, teeny-tiny way. But before you warm up the tar and fetch the feathers, have you ever heard of the phrase, "You'll catch more flies with honey than vinegar?"

I suppose I'm asking you to check the root of your reason for open carrying.

If you are Open Carrying because you want to walk up to Ma and Pa Kettle, and yell "SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!"in their faces whilst firing your Bowcaster into the air, enjoy it while you can, because your actions will ensure this right becomes illegal.

But if you are Open Carrying because you want to change the way Ma and Pa Kettle think about guns and the people who carry them? Well then you should take any and all additional steps that help you achieve your ends.

Even if it means the inconvenience of not wearing your Angry Libertarian Eyebrows™, skipping your ATAK NiNJA COMBAT-ENGAGE boots and 5.11 MOLLE-enhanced tactical kilt, leaving your "Sheepdogs save Sheeple" hat at home, and removing the SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED chip from your shoulder while open carrying.

I know, it's hard to just wear sandals and cargo shorts below a shirt that says "I helped at the 2012 charity day!" while smiling politely, and offering to help old ladies cross the streets, but it's a lot easier than fighting to stay so angry all the time.

Read more thoughts about this encounter from the Gun Blogging community here and here.

Open carried to Jimmy Johns Sandwiches, Dollar Tree, Goodwill, Scuba shop, and the rest

No issues. Also did the same to places I've been to before, Babies 'r' Us, Walmart, restaurant, no issues there.

Read more about my experiences open carrying here!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

*Yawn* Open Carried to Whole Foods, Target, the library

Super boring but obligatory post.

Saw a cop at the library too, waved at him.

Zero response from everyone.

And no, I don't wish something would happen so I could have something interesting to write about. These boring posts are just fine with me. They can match my boring experience open carrying.

Read more about my experiences open carrying here!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Quote of the A gun is not an argument

But the bottom line is that theories of rights, though interesting, do not matter here. The benefits of gun ownership do not matter either. Nor do constitutional matters and the history surrounding the construction of the Declaration of Independence, US Constitution, Bill of Rights, and other documents of our founding generation.

All that matters is that our answer is, "No."

~Mark of a Free Man
Now we're getting to the root of the reason.

Open carried to Home Depot, Babies R Us, and a Manhunt

Home Depot was uneventful though I noticed people noticing me carrying. Strangely, they didn't throw their baskets into the air and flee the building, they just smiled.

Babies R Us could (should?) have gone the other way because the sign they had on their window sure seemed to indicate that no guns were allowed, but none of the associates suddenly stopped the conversation in order to remind me of their policy, and I doubt they failed to notice.

The manhunt was a fun one. When leaving a friend's house we picked up the conversation on his porch and while talking, noticed some police were gathering at the end of his cul de sac for somesuch reason, talking to the people who had called them. As we continued to talk, more cops arrived, and we noticed a helicopter started circling. When it was about time to go, my friend asked me if I wanted to wait before I left. "Why would I do that?" "Well, generally, I like to minimize my contact with the police as much as possible." "If you act like it's normal, other people do the same." As I walked toward the jam of police cars, more arrived, and I began to worry that I might be boxed in. I wasn't worried about walking past them, but having to approach them, and figure out who had what car where would be more troublesome. When I made it around the corner (the clot of police on my left side), I saw that the front half of my car was blocked my a police cruiser, and as I walked up to my car, another cop pulled up, blocking me in completely. I waved to the cop who had just pulled up, "Hey! Can you back up so I can get out?" "Oh yeah, sure!" He backed up 30 yards, and I crossed in front of him to my car, realizing that his headlights were completely illuminating my right side. So what? Act like it's normal! I thought as I opened my car door, tossed in my stuff, and hopped in. As I worked on backing my car out of the parallel park (The front tires turn, the back tires don't. That's why it was George's spot), I had to hop out of the car to make sure I wasn't going to hit the car behind me. As I did, the cop left his car, and called to me as he passed, "Hey, sorry 'bout that, Brother." "No worries." It took a tire on the curb to get me out safely, but the cops didn't seem to mind.

Read more about my experiences open carrying here!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Students with gun permits get segregated dorms at University of Colorado

Wow... Just wow...
University officials say both campuses will establish a residential area for students with permits but will ban guns in all other dormitories, according to the new policy.

I've never claimed to understand anti-gunners, but to be confronted with this divide, and go the wrong way is nothing short of insane.

They want to ban guns because of the college shootings, right? How is a big sign that says, "Armed people live here, UNARMED people live there" going to help?

This is the equivalent of that yard sign saying your neighbor supports gun control and is unarmed, except in reverse.

This is like putting a sign in your own yard that says, "My neighbor is armed, I'm not! Please don't rob me."

These people are asking for a real hard lesson.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Amstar Theaters are victim disarmament zones

After weeks of open carrying I finally found someplace that asked me not to.

On our wedding anniversary we went to see Batman at a three o'clock showing at the local theater. There were about four non-employees in the lobby, and when my wife left to to go the bathroom, the assistant manager very politely noted that they do not allow firearms in their theaters. I apologized, said I'd put it in the car, and asked if we could bring in outside food because my wife is on a special diet, he had no problem allowing this.

After returning to the lobby, we entered the theater where a grand total of three people were, and watched the movie in a semi-private screening.

Having not seen a sign, and inspired by Jennifer's posts, I expected the "policy" was enforced by the assistant manager's whim. But I was wrong.

Amstar Theaters corporate conduct policy specifically prohibits:
Possession of firearms or weapons of any kind regardless of whether openly or concealed, with or without permit
Attentive readers may note the first rule was broken for us. ANARCHY!

Normally, this is where I'd tell you that I'll simply be avoiding this establishment in the future, but that's not the case!

I'll be frequenting this place more often because their conduct policy seems to indicate they've invented some sort of anti-firearms force field that repels guns.

That's the only explanation for a policy which prohibits the carrying of any firearms or weapons in any way regardless of local laws.

It would be silly to have such a policy if no magical barrier were in place, because that rule would only prevent those who follow laws and rules from carrying firearms, not those intent on murdering people (which is apparently, already against the law!).

Strangely, I encountered no similarly magical method of carry prevention. Maybe I'll have to ask the manager if they powered it up.

Read more about my experiences open carrying here!

Buck 65 - Wicked and Weird

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The one with Bush stung.

I'll bet this one burns.

Caro Emerald - Back It Up

direct link

HatTip to Liberty (you remember him?) who has been busy in meatspace, so no blog link.

I gotta shake up my music range...

Quote of the enlightenment

There was a slight pause, and then the room thundered, and filled with a shimmering light. A sudden silence fell, and the man's eyes grew wide. Through the blinding light you could see knowledge fill the man's eyes, and sense his grasp of reality strengthen. In a flash, all old thoughts were revisited with new clarity, soundly defeated, and expunged from his mind. He closed his eyes, and reopened them to a new world full of sublime perceptibility. He was enlightened. Though, sadly, as this new level of cognizance spread to the corners of his consciousness, his brain gave way, weak from years of liberalism and cognitive dissonance, reducing him to a vegetative state, and simultaneously increasing his IQ.

Did I mention I love going through the archives?

My thirst for combination guns remains unslaked

For a while now, I've been wanting a break-action combination gun.

It seems like it would be a neat utility piece for hikes and small game hunting. One in .22WMR and 12ga would be very utilitous, and cause many a Sir to grunt and murmur approval through his pipe, but a .22lr and .410 just seems like an inordinate amount of fun to me.

Unfortunately, the Invisible Market Force Committee has decided that combination guns are SO fifty years ago, and no one makes them anymore aside from Springfield's ZOMG PLANE CRASH rifle, which lacks Classical Style and, for that matter, pretty much all other style.

I had been keeping an eye out for the best entry in the category, which was the Savage Model 24.

Clicky to unleash the awesome

So when I heard Savage was releasing a new combination gun with the model designation 42 (see what they did there?), I was excited for the chance to pick up a combination gun that wasn't older than I was.

So I looked for pictures, and found...

Clicky to unleash the... something...