Monday, June 30, 2008

A package arrives

What the hell did I buy?

I vaguely recall something...

Something I didn't believe could be real. I was sure it had to be a joke.

All evidence lead me to believe it was real, but I just refused to believe.

I had to buy it to be sure...

It's real.

Complete with little plastic toy guns.

Even though I'm looking at it right now, I just can't believe it.

SF wants gay rights? I got your gay rights right here!

Gay Man Challenges San Francisco Gun Ban

I wanna meet the guy who had the idea of selecting a gay plaintiff, and shake his hand.




From Soft Green Glow

Ahh yes... Fun.

I've been sleeping more lately (intentionally) and began to wonder why.

A while back I decided to become more objective oriented. I listed out some goals I wanted to achieve, and made some tasks that would get me where I wanted to go.

After two months of eschewing pointless fun, I guess I just started sleeping more in my down time.

I had some time this morning, and didn't want to go back to bed. I thought about playing a video game (something I haven't done in a long time), and quickly admonished myself for considering such a waste of time. I played anyway.

I had fun.

I'm going to be playing games again. I guess the answer was always balance. How fucking obvious...

^_^ I see some Dwarf Fortress and Nethack posts forthcoming!
You have been warned. :)

Let's have some sanity concerning guns

Rob notes that articles are coming pre-fisked for our gunny pleasure.

We're winning.

Also, some great reads in the comments at the article in question.

Joe's Hellerbration

He celebrates with a BANG!

I can't wait for Boomershoot.

Feminism kills children.

But the modern West bombards men with the message that their specialty isn’t needed, isn’t wanted, and that they’re assumed to want to prey on women and children.

Is it any wonder, then, that young men are increasingly opting out of college, that the percentage of adult males never married is also rising, and that in the 21st century many men seem to want to opt out of responsibility altogether? When our instititions equate feminization with virtue and masculinity with evil, this is exactly the outcome we should expect.

And it kills children. It kills children.

Via West, by God

"You feel you could be more dangerous!"


At the desert shoot this weekend I began to feel that intangible confidence with a weapon that you can only get with practice. My body felt more acclimated to the act of shooting the AR, and the motions felt much more natural. Methinks I have leveled up!

I need to get back out there so I can shoot up the rest of the wolf ammo I have to get even more used to the action, and the recoil. (felt recoil has been steadily decreasing for me)

IN B4 "what recoil?"

Quote of the government

Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.
~P.J. O'Rourke

From SurvivalBlog

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Playing around with GIMP

A tattoo design meant to go where the butt of your long gun shoulders.

Criminy. I was supposed to go to sleep like 4 hours ago...


Friday, June 27, 2008

Death by Clue-by-Four

Run to her Angela!

Hint: I'm a sap for happy endings.

Chapter 6 teaser

Heller kicked the ever-loving crap out of my writers block, and destroyed the general feeling of unease I've had for a long time.

Chapter 6 is shambling unsteadily toward completion.

(Just exercising the zombie adjectives, it's really coming along nicely!)

The Man In The Glass

Josh recently reminded me of this. It bears repeating.

The Man In The Glass


When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day,
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself
And see what that man has to say.

For it isn’t your father or mother or wife
Whose judgment upon you must pass.
The fellow whose verdict counts most in you life
Is the one staring back from the glass.

You may be like Jack Horner and chisel a plum
And think you’re a wonderful guy.
But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum
If you can’t look him straight in the eye.

He’s the fellow to please-never mind all the rest,
For he’s with you clear to the end.
And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the man in the glass is your friend.

You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass.
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I love that commercial

And XKCD too!

boom-de-yada, boom-de-yada,
boom-de-yada, boom-de-yada...


Cheers to you, Dick Heller, and all the other Gunnies out there.

Here's to going on the offensive!

Check some other Hellerbrations!
West, by God,
Snowflakes in hell,
Sharp as a Marble,
The Brenda Fallacy,
Say Uncle (Get well soon!)

Greg celebrates Heller


(no, he didn't kick in anyone's door, stomp anyone's cat, machine gun any kids in the back, or burn any children alive)

Not a bad idea. A pic may be forthcoming...

Open Carry on Nightline

Seems the open carry movement is gaining notoriety. Impressive.

Go Nightline for the good piece. (er-- no pun intended)

America, meet California gun banning.

Now that there is a ruling that will challenge gun laws all over the country, the antis are going to start looking to California for enlightenment on how to ban guns without actually banning guns.

Expect a rise of things like "safety" requirements, qualifications, Approved FFLs, ammunition banning, ammunition limiting, feature banning, manufacturer banning, and on, and on, and on, and on.

California gun grabbers figured out a long time ago that they can't push for sweeping gun bans, because they lose. What they CAN do, is limit the availability of guns, increase their cost, and basically, tax and regulate them out of existence.

"Mr. Anderson, what good is a phone call when you are unable to speak?"
How are we to buy our firearms when the ATF keeps closing down FFLs for minor paperwork violations?

The antis in California are creative, and their creativity will be spreading to a neighborhood near you.

My pinching fingers draw near my nose

Today's momentous decision was brought to us by George Bush's supreme court nominations.

I have previously stated my... reluctance... at "holding my nose" for McCain, but today's 5/4 decision was FAR too close for comfort. I don't care if the supreme court justices McCain appoints (possibly two) are just .01% more conservative. We need to take what we can get, otherwise we could lose big when important cases come up. Kim got me (re)thinking earlier, and I think this clenches it. I'll do my best to make McCain wish he never won, because I'll likely be fighting him on almost everything he tries to do, but it'll be worth it if it results in just one ruling like the one today. Somehow these supreme court justices have more bearing on the direction of the nation than the damn president.

I'm afraid that this coming election I'll do as Uncle recommends;
I’ll hold my nose, get good and hammered, and pull the lever for John McCain.

I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

It's a double special day!

I know the whole affirmation of the individual's right to keep and bear arms by the highest court in the land is cool and all, but I just wanted to share that I'm also having what can only be described the best hair day of my life. (which is also, incidentally, is my first "hair day" of any kind) Seriously, this is exactly how I've wanted it to look since I was old enough to recognize myself in a mirror. My hair today is the reason I grew my hair out, and suffered through all the hassle. It's sweet.

Just keeping things in perspective. :D

"Well, you won, so ease up, ok?"

"This takes off the idea that you can have a near-total ban on guns, especially guns for self-defense," Helmke said. "We haven't really pushed that . . . The gun lobby, however, has been trying to say that any step in the common sense direction is part of the slippery slope toward confiscation. In effect, [the Supreme Court] has taken that slippery slope away, and that's where the ruling actually could be a benefit politically to folks who are fighting for common sense gun control."

They really don't get it. Defeat strengthens our resolve. Victory strengthens our resolve. Do you really think we're going to just going to leave this precedent unexplored?
Not a chance.

The NRA will file lawsuits in San Francisco, Chicago and several of its suburbs challenging handgun restrictions there based on Thursday's outcome.

Speaking of people who should just die already

Awwww... Dianne "If I could have said Mr. and Mrs. America, turn them all in, I would have" Feinstein is saaaaad...
The decision received a mixed reaction on Capitol Hill. Senator Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, said the decision "opens this nation to a dramatic lack of safety."

She then patted her waist, confirming her personal carry handgun was still there, ensuring her safety and self-defense. She then continued,
"I must admit as much as I knew this decision was coming, I was viscerally affected by the decision," she said in a statement. "I remember both Justice Roberts and Justice Alito sitting in front of us and indicating how they would respect stare decisis and precedent - and this decision takes down 70 years of precedent."

70 years? My 150 years of precedent beats your 70 years. Bugger off.
Feinstein added. "And I believe the people of this great country will be less safe because of it."

And I believe your push for gun control has left the blood of rape and murder victims on your hands.

Wonder what she'll say when crime rates start dropping? Probably attribute it to a statistical anomaly.


About a month ago I planned a desert shoot for this sunday. After I found out Heller would likely be decided this week, I wondered if the trip would be a "last hurrah" followed by a shovel and GPS coordinates, or a celebration of the beginning of a turning point.

I've got to think of something special to shoot to celebrate.

What the hell am I going to do with all this wide-diameter PVC pipe???

Just kidding :)

Won't George Lucas just die already?

Or at least disappear instead of saying stupid shit like this,

Lucas did, however, have one definitive answer: Barack Obama would most certainly be a Jedi. “I would say that’s reasonably obvious,” he said.

Seriously. You should have completed your accidental masterpiece, and just faded away into obscurity, permanently sealing your epic memory. Instead, you fuck it all up, and trip all over yourself.

From David

Keep the change (r)

Heller is all the Hope and Change I need!

I need to be alone to process this to a point of understanding...

Ok, snippets are good, and the main opinion is great, but lets not start to get all hung up on semantics just yet. It'll take at least a day to read, interpret, and understand the full implications of this ruling. Refrain from freaking out, and just enjoy the obvious awesome that has visited us this day.

Holy shit

It may be objected that if weapons that are most useful in military service—M-16 rifles and the like—may be banned, then the Second Amendment right is completely detached from the prefatory clause. But as we have said, the conception of the militia at the time of the Second Amendment’s ratification was the body of all citizens capable of military service, who would bring the sorts of lawful weapons that they possessed at home to militia duty. It may well be true today that a militia, to be as effective as militias in the 18th century, would require sophisticated arms that are highly unusual in society at large.

But the fact that modern developments have limited the degree of fit between the prefatory clause and the protected right cannot change our interpretation of the right.

Maybe I will get my wish.

It'll probably be a bit before we start seeing gun control laws being defeated, but it may damn-well be in the future.


Finally, the adjective “well-regulated” implies nothing more than the imposition of proper discipline and training.

Now I don't have to ever trudge up that hill convincing people that "regulated" doesn't mean regulation!


A day that shall live forever in AWESOME

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

TSA Gangsters

NSFW (audio)

From The Almighty Oleg

It's a Heller'a nail-biter!

But think of the supreme court justices!

Everywhere I turn, I keep being told to hold my nose and vote for McCain because,
"Think of the supreme court justices!"

Well... Have you thought about the supreme court justices?

All the republicans who are afraid of Obama keep telling the conservatives to hold their nose, because Obama's justices will be worse than McCain's justices. Really? How much worse exactly? We ARE talking about the guy that almost changed parties in '01. Lets just say I'm not entirely convinced.

But I keep being reassured that things will be different this time, because everyone's on his back now, and he has to change his old ways. While I don't know anything about predicting the future, I do know that you can get a pretty good guess by looking at the past. McCain's past does not lend him to following conservative values. In fact, most of his past doesn't even show him leaning toward conservative values. But maybe he'll change this time, right? A politician would never go back on his promise.

"Think of the supreme court justices" is not a very convincing argument. Quit chanting it. I don't even think I can continue to want McCain to win (though I wouldn't have voted for him). For now, I say, give the people what they want. Let them have their socialism, and when they realize that the government makes a horrible mommy, daddy, nanny, friend, and guardian, maybe they'll learn.

Hearts and minds of the masses need to be changed, not the president.

Don't fucking insult me.

Our VP got into... something with a subsidiary of a customer. The subsidiary said they were secure, and didn't need our service. VP said they weren't secure, and needed our service. Then it got personal between them. Enter me, stage right;

Me: You called?
VP: Yeah, we've got this guy down in oceanside who's cockblocking us from some business down there because he claims his network is secure. If we prove him wrong, we'll be poised to get the account.
Me: ... Okay...
VP: He was all in my face, all like, 'no, eff this, eff them, I don't need them' whatever. I want to show this guy up.
Me: *eyebrow tweak*
VP: This has gotten totally personal. I want this to happen.
Me: Okay... Well... Do they have any internet-facing services, or other means to get in?
VP: I don't know, but I really want to get in this network. I want to go over to that guy, slam a paper down on the desk, and say 'There. That's why you're full of shit.'
Me: Well, it doesn't exactly work like that, I mean, I can't just hack anyone. They need to have services or some form of "in" to the network. If they've just got a cable router and five computers behind a firewall, it's almost impossible to get in without some form of social engineering.
VP: I don't care, I know you can do it. I just really want in to that network. This'll be a big account for us, and it's ours for the taking if we can just prove this idiot wrong.
Me: ... [given up talking to someone who isn't going to listen]
VP: And, hey; [my name]...
Me: ... yeah?
VP: If you get in... [dramatic pause] There's 100 bucks in it for ya.
Me: ...
VP: Yeah. So. We should get in. Ka-Ching!

VP Exulent left.

WHOAAAAAAAA! One HUNDRED dollars?! Cash money?! Well, THAT changes EVERYTHING! Before I was just going to phone it in, but NOW... Well, shit! You know that 30 acre plot in AZ with the quarry? That shit is MINE NOW.



insult me.

I'm a hacker. I'm good at what I do. That's why we're charging a mid-sized customer 10k for security work. That's why I'm doing it all myself, and that's why we have no other security people on staff. But you come to me, and tell me that YOU have made it personal? You tell me that YOU want to get into this network? You tell me that YOU have no idea what the attack vectors are, or even if there ARE any? THEN, you have the nerve to personally offer me one hundred dollars as incentive to get in?!

First of all, what in your experience with me has lead you to believe that I half-ass my security work? Was it the time I didn't get in, and worked on it two extra nights until I found an opening? Was it the time I went beyond scope just so we didn't have an empty report for the customer? Somehow I think not. The idea that by simply offering me 100 smackers, I'm suddenly going to try EXTRA hard to get in, is insulting. Secondly, I have a pretty good idea how much you get for signing a customer, and 100 fucking dollars is a goddamn insult. Especially considering I'm the one closing the deal for you! And yes, I still remember when you promised me a finders fee when I delivered a customer to you, and I still remember when I got that "bonus" of $150 as you closed the 6K account (recurring!).

Fuck you, fuck your "personal" conflict with this guy, fuck your trying to get me in on your conflict, and fuck your hundred dollars!


Ok. Venting is good. I'm going to do the work, because I'm a professional, and because we could use the customer. When you give me the hundred dollars, I'm going to smile and accept it graciously.

If he ever offers me an insultingly small "incentive" to do my job again, I'm going to decline, and leave it at that. If he presses me on it, I'm going to leave the room, for fear I might tell him where he can put his "incentive."

Quote of the quote tag!

I finally got around to tagging all my "Quote of the..." posts (my apologies to anyone with an feed reader), so now it'll be easier to revisit the different quotes randomly firing synapses instructed me to post.


Quote of the normalcy

Today's quote comes from someone very near, and dear to my heart; me! While digging through some old posts I found a comment I left, and thought it was a rather concise statement about my personality.

Ahhh... DI saw right through my veil of normalcy!

Any time I'm not laughing at things only I can hear, daydreaming, or flailing about, it's all an act.

*flail about*

For context (if you must) check here.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

"In a word" meme

As seen from Blogonomicon and over at Liberty's place.

Only ONE word can be used in your answer and it can NOT be used twice.

1. Where is your cell phone? Charger
2. Your significant other? Cute
3. Your hair? Long
4. Your mother? Ill
5. Your father? Working
6. Your favourite time of day? Night
7. Your dream last night? Silly
8. Your favourite drink? Water
9. Your dream goal? Land
10. The room you’re in? NOC
11. Your ex? Crazy
12. Your fear? Providing
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Elsewhere
14. What you are not? Comfortable
15. Your Favourite meal? Sushi
16. One of your wish list items? Barrett
17. The last thing you did? Nodded
18. Where you grew up? Here
19. What are you wearing? Glasses
20. Your TV is? Unimportant
21. Your pets? Bunny!
22. Your computer? Awesome
23. Your life? Good
24. Your mood? Elevated
25. Missing someone? Mom
26. Your car? Unassuming
27. Something you’re not wearing? Watch
28. Favourite store? Target
29. Your summer? Hot
30. Your favourite colour? Blue
31. When is the last time you laughed? Recently
32. When is the last time you cried? Yesterday (Iraq hero ;_;)
33. Your health? Improving
34. Your children? Testicles
35. Your future? Bright
36. Your beliefs? Strong
37. Young or old? Young
38. Your image? Quiet
39. Your appearance? Stoic
40. Would you live your life over again knowing what you know? Feh

If you are reading this, consider yourself tagged.

Mosin M44 - The humble dragon

1945 rearsenaled M44, wood refinished with Minwax Polyshades

Most of us require little from our rifles. We just ask they be reliable, hit hard, and be reasonably accurate. The M44 is all that in a compact package.

I got my rearsenaled M44 at the gun show before last because it was a good deal, and it shot a cartridge that I had a lot of. I thought it might be a good loaner (as I am always in need of potential loaners, living in Ca), and after the initial detail strip, I took it to a local range to test-fire, put maybe 10 rounds through it, and then it went back into the closet.

As it sat there I began to think about it more. The more I thought of it, the more it appealed to me. The idea of a cheap inexpensive, reliable, compact, full power rifle just made a lot of sense to me.
I am a bit biased though, since I prefer full power cartridges.

The idea that for as little as $80, and the cost of a few hundred rounds of ammunition, one can have a viable long range (300 yards or more depending on barrel condition) firearm for property defense, putting meat on the table, or taking care of pests. In fact, the humble M44 should be able to take any creature you can find in North America. Surplus ammo is still inexpensive, and available (though starting to dry up), making practice much easier on your wallet.

There are issues with them; but almost every issue can be checked with a little bit of knowledge, and some time inspecting the firearm prior to purchase. The internet is your friend, and don't be afraid to show up at Big 5 with a cleaning kit and a flashlight!

Certainly, you could complain about recoil, magazine capacity, and the safety (I don't feel much recoil, and happen to like the safety). Certainly, there are better guns on the market, but for the money, the M44 is a lot of gun.

Select one properly, learn to use it properly, and it might surprise you.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Pictures from Mars

I had been looking for a site with a good presentation of some of the better Mars lander pictures, and from Marko comes this great link of 17 pictures (some animations!) from the Red Planet.


Absolutely stunning.

I could stare at these all day.

Go look now, and for a few moments, ponder what it is you're looking at, and all that was required to bring it into reality.

Marko goes on to make a good point;
Those are pictures of another planet, taken by a probe we sent there via spacecraft. Just a hundred years ago, we were just getting a handle on the combustion engine and powered flight.

Exciting times.

The war on cake

From Marko comes this;
how to eradicate chipmunks

I hear that shooting or poisoning them works pretty well. The surefire way to an exploding chipmunk population, however, would be to have the government declare a “War on Chipmunks”. Ten years later, we’d all be in chipmunks up to our eyeballs.

He makes a good point... I sure hope they don't declare a "War on Cake"... Hmm?... Huh?... Anyone?...


Friday, June 20, 2008

Energy saving lightbulbs threaten government

Never before were you more worried that someone might cripple the government by breaking a lightbulb.

How is it we're even a country anymore?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Walking Dead - Chapter 5 - The Road to Ruin

Read Chapter 4 here

I looked at the other unfamiliar faces, and judging by their expressions, realized I probably looked beat to hell. I don't talk very much, so I was glad to see Josh begin to speak. "Guys, this is my buddy Bishop. If you trust me, know that I trust him." A scoff came from a guy to the left, about my age, "What kind of name is that? Rook was taken?" After all the shit I'd gone through to make it there, I wasn't ready to be made fun of by some 20-something smirking idiot with a big mouth. My mind was too tired to select one the witty replies I had developed for people who made fun of my name, so it just defaulted to imagining how easily I could cut him in half. Now, now, that would be bad etiquette. Josh seemed to read my mind and broke in. "No, ass. His name's Perry Bishop. We went to school together, sort of. We call him Bishop because he hates to be called Perry. Something about thermite on our engine blocks if we kept messing with him about his name, so we stopped." It was an effective threat, but I would never carry it out. You just don't mess with someone's car. "Speaking of which, how'd it go?" Josh's lightheartedness on the last question irked me, even though it's clear to me now he was being ironic. I was still in no mood. "What are you looking at me like that for? You think it was a cake walk getting up to your house here in sub-suburbia?" I calmed slightly. "The highway is completely jammed. There are wrecks everywhere, and the occasional zed-head running around--"

An older woman who's look screamed "hippie" interrupted, "'Zed-head'?" More irking. Her appearance, demeanor, and inflection combined to command every drop of annoyance my tired body could muster. "Yeah, you know, the walking abominations out there? The undead? Anyways, there were more than a few limping around, and after the freeway locked up I had to--"

She interrupted again, I unconsciously counted the steps it would take to get near enough to cut her arm off, non-verbally informing her, and everyone in the room that I was not to be messed with at the moment. I really need sleep before I do something I'm going to regret. "Look, I don’t mean to seem ignorant or anything, but these are just people. Sure, they seem to have been attacked by some chemical weapon, or contracted some virus, but they’re people. Surely they can be reasoned with, can’t they?" A smile crawled up my face. Wow. She's like, third-degree hippie. There's no way she'll listen to arguments, so I'll just set her straight the easy way. She continued, digging her hole deeper, "You men, are ready to go running around like this is the wild west or something. Violence first. I think it’s stupid." My smile must have given away my intentions because Josh began to smile at what he knew was coming.

"Yes, ma’am, I’m sure they can be reasoned with. How about this - next time one manages to come onto this street, you go outside and ‘reason’ with it. We’ll stay here, you go out there, unarmed. Whaddaya say? Any takers? How do you feel about becoming a four course meal?"
"That’s just absurd…what…how…" she stammered.
"Look, I know it might seem to be going a little slow at first, but if they aren’t listening to you, get right up in their ear. If you can’t hear a response, make sure you put your ear right in front of their mouth and stand still. I’m sure it will work perfectly. Then come back and let us…" Shoot you between your hippie eyes. "...know what happened. We’ll be right here." That should be the end of that.

"So, anyway, I was saying…" She stomped off. Good riddance. "Right, so I basically had to hoof it the last few miles up here. A lot of my stuff got left in my car. I had my carbine, some ammo, a pistol and this thing." I braced the sheath as I untied the top, and pulled the sheathed sword from behind my back. Everyone's eyes widened, and Josh's face had a hint of a smile. I thought he'd like this. "Guy up in Oregon or Washington makes these. Criswell. It’s tempered tool steel, a cord wrap handle like those Strider’s you like, and these cool G10 laminate sheaths. Never thought I’d use it for more than a conversation piece, but this thing kicks so much ass its not even funny. When I left the freeway, first thing I ran into was a group of zombies trying to get into this car. Young woman driving, stuck on the off-ramp, two little kids in the backseat. And like thirteen of the bastards rocking the car on it’s springs and carrying on. I had to help, but I didn’t have so much ammo with me. A couple miles up the road and it was all gone and I’m down to my pistol. Another mile or two, and it’s dry. If I didn’t have the sword…" I figured they would understand better if I could just show them, and drew the blade from its sheath. Wide eyes widened even more. The blade was stained with different hues of dried blood, and I noticed everyone except Josh shift in uncomfortable realization that I meant business. And I didn't even have to cut anyone's arm off. I drove the effect home more solidly by extending my smirk into a crazy grin. "Well, lets just say I'm glad I watched Kill Bill like a billion times. Some of it must have worn off on me."

"And on that note," Josh said, "Let’s get moving." Get moving? Did he not just hear me?! "Where are we going to go? The roads are all bottled up. I just told you that. What are we planning on doing, knocking our heels together three times and wishing we were somewhere else? You have a tank or a helicopter you haven’t told me about? A hovercraft?!" Easy now; Josh is smarter than that. My anger lessened. "I mean, unless you know the forest like the back of your hand--" Wait a minute. "Of course; you already thought of that, didn’t you?" Josh smiled, "Yup. How do you feel about driving my Jeep?" I shouldn't have doubted.

Everyone began getting ready to leave, and I took the opportunity to take a break. I stripped down to my undershirt, and tried to cool off. As I stood in the coldest corner of the house I could find that was still out of the way I realized I should probably be drinking water, and found the kitchen. After downing three glasses of much-needed water I started to cool down. I noted a chair, and was getting ready to take a much needed sit when Josh walked by the door dressed heavily enough to ride a motorcycle through a briar patch. Good idea to avoid bites, but he'll be cooking in this weather. I reluctantly put my vest and shirt back on, and joined the group. A young skinny-looking kid handed me directions and introduced himself as Pat just as Josh started. "Alright, so here’s the deal. The route that we’re taking is going to be about twice as long, distance-wise, as going the freeway. And since we can’t take the freeway, its also our best chance at getting to my parents place. It cuts through the heart of the Cleveland National Forest, away from populated areas, and gives us an almost perfect avenue of egress from here." It sounded like a good plan. I had no doubt he had already planned this out quite completely. Chris, the smartass from earlier, spoke. "And why exactly are we dead set on getting there?" Josh replied, "You’ll see when we get there. Until then, just trust me."

Josh finished explaining the plan and looked around for questions. I piped up, and asked the only question I cared enough to ask, "Where can I get more ammo?" Josh smiled and started toward the cars, "Let's mount up!" Beth, who I'd met before, and I followed Josh back to his truck where his trunk contained several green ammo cans. Josh popped one open, "I think I've got you covered there." The ammo cans were full of loaded AR-15 magazines. Zombie food. I grabbed six, replaced the can and walked back to the Jeep I was going to drive. The skinny kid, Pat, caught me half way, and started walking with me. "Hey! We're riding buddies; I'm taking the jeep too. Pretty crazy about the zombies, huh? I mean who would have ever thought this would really happen? I said my name was Pat, but it's really Atticus Patrick Flynn, but people call me Pat for short, like how they call you Bishop instead of Perry." I shot him a look, and he shut up. "Pat, hold these." I handed him the six loaded magazines and he fumbled a bit, but managed to get a hold of them. I pulled the 9 empty magazines from my mag pouch, and stacked them up. "Now hold these." Pat moved to accept them, but wasn't quite ready. He fumbled with them, and wound up cupping them loosely with his arms against his chest. Heh. Not bad. "Now give me those." I said, gesturing to the 6 loaded mags. Pat didn't move for a moment, thinking about what to do, then carefully handed me the magazines, 3 at a time, without dropping any. "Well done, Pat. High five." Pat began to raise one arm, then dropped a magazine from the other side of the pile, then tried to catch it, spilling all of them onto the ground. I stifled a chuckle as I walked on. Man, I am such as ass when I'm tired.

As I approached the door to the jeep I wondered if I should have gotten more ammo, just in case. I opened the door and sitting between the two seats was another green can. Great minds think alike. Pat had gathered the magazines, and hurried to catch up. I stepped up to the cab, and began unpacking myself into the jeep. I put the AR between the seats, and tossed the mag pouch and backpack into the back, keeping the satchel across my chest, and away from any dangerous impacts. Pat managed to open the door, and spilled the loose mags onto the seat. "Toss those into the backpack, if you please." Pat complied, reaching for the backpack. The wind blew again and cooled my brow, I relished it for the short while it lasted, and pulled myself into the Jeep. As soon as I sat I felt my weight double as I began to sink into the chair. It was the first time I'd done anything close to resting in a long time. My eyelids gained weight, and muscles that were quiet until now, ached at me to rest. Wake up! No sleeping yet! I willed myself awake, and tried to look ahead to see if we were leaving, but my eyes kept shifting out of focus. It's no use. I turned to Pat who had finished with the backpack and was now furtively eyeballing the AR so close to him.
"Pat, can you drive?" Pat's face turned into something close to surprise that I couldn't quite place.
"Uh... Well, technically, yeah... I guess."
I eyed him curiously. "You... guess?"
He got nervous. "Well, I can drive, if that's what you're asking, it's just that I'm not technically able right now. Legally, I mean."
I sighed deeply. I was too tired for this. "Pat, are you capable of operating this vehicle at this time?"
"Kinda-yes, or yes-yes?"
"Yes... I mean; yes-yes."
"Ok, I need sleep, and this is going to take at least an hour. Lets change seats, you're driving."

He jumped from the jeep, and ran around to the driver side while I moved across the seats. I put on my seatbelt under the satchel, and put my AR between my feet, muzzle down. "You heard Josh, all you gotta do is follow the guy in front of you, and keep an eye out. Since we're at the end, keep an eye on your mirrors. Don't forget, you're not just looking for zombies, they probably won't even be able to keep up, look for cars following us. If some armed gang has a few automatic weapons and two cars, they'll be able to make mince meat out of this little convoy, so watch your mirrors." Pat looked a little sick. Ease up a bit. My voice took a more comforting tone, "Don't worry; this is simple. We probably won't see anyone the whole trip. All you have to do is drive behind this car, and keep an eye out for anything that looks suspicious. If you're not sure, just wake me up, and I'll make the call, ok?" Pat nodded, a little more confident. I didn't like putting Pat in this position, but I was going to fall asleep one way or another. I tilted the seat back, and began to drift away when Pat spoke, snapping me from my reverie. "Perr-- Uh, Bishop?" I lifted my eyelids, annoyed. He looked unsure, then continued, "What happened to your face?" What the hell is this kid talking about? "Something's about to happen to your face if you don't let me sleep." Pat reached for the mirror, and turned it so I could see myself. My face was covered with a thin layer of soot, with a few track marks where the sweat had trickled down. Patches and lines of road rash were on my eyebrow, cheekbone, nose, chin, and jawline. Guess that happened while I was lost in space. Pat was still waiting for an answer. "I cut myself shaving." Pat didn't get the joke, "Shaving?" I looked at him, "Shaving with C4... I wouldn't recommend it." I relented to the pull, and fell asleep almost instantly.

I dreamed that I missed the knee shot back at the offramp. The zombie made it through the back window of the SUV, and growled and hissed. Suddenly, I was above the SUV, but I could see inside. I couldn't look away as the two girls and the woman were ripped apart. Then I was floating above the camper I was shooting from, watching myself run out of ammo as the zombies surrounded me, and tore me apart.

My eyes opened as if I had just caught the last half of a blink. I didn't feel like I got any rest. I became aware Pat had his hand on my shoulder. I turned to him, not groggy, but still tired. We still seemed to be in the suburbs. "How long has it been?" Pat was looking into the rear-view mirror, "10 minutes." "What's up?" He nodded his head at the mirror. I leaned forward, and looked back through the side mirror. I could barely make out the color of a car behind us. It's still pretty damn far back. Why would-- Then I read small message, "Objects in the rear-view mirror may be closer than they appear." Duh. I turned around and saw an older Cadillac with tinted windows a little under half a mile behind us. It was too far back to determine if it was a threat, but I wanted to get back to sleep, and it obviously wasn't a cop car. "How long?" I asked, without looking away from the car. "Two or three miles. There were plenty of spots to turn off." Pat sounded a little worried. "Well," I said, releasing my seatbelt, and picking up my AR. "Better safe than sorry." I rolled down the window and turned around, wrapping my leg around the seat. "You're not gonna--?" Pat started, but I couldn't hear him finish as I squeezed my AR, and upper body out the window. I faced backwards, and held my AR up sideways so it would be easy to see the shape. The car's bumper dipped noticeably as it braked hard. The message had been received loud, and clear. Dragons be here. In another few seconds the car resumed motion, and turned down a side street revealing another similar car behind it, which turned revealing yet another similar car, which followed the first two out of sight.

I wiggled back into the jeep, and carefully replaced the AR, checking that the safety was still on. "Pat, is there any way they can go around and get in front of us?" Pat shook his head, "Not really. We'll be on dirt roads in another few minutes." "Good." I said, quelling my regret. A shape appeared in back window of the car in front of us, it was Angela, and she was giving us the "OK" sign with a concerned look on her face. I gave her a thumbs-up, and she gave it back before disappearing. I adjusted myself in the seat again. "Good job, Pat." He smiled a goofy smile, "Thanks... Say, you didn't really cut up zombies with that... sword, did you?" I wondered why he would ask me a question when the answer seemed so obvious. "Of course." He kept looking straight ahead and swallowed obviously. I was struck by the thought that he might be a little afraid of me. "Well," I started in a lighter tone, "I only threw up once." Pat smiled and then laughed an infectious laugh. I held out as long as I could, and started laughing too. Pat paused between laughing fits to check the mirrors. Seems like a good kid.

I dreamed of running. Zombies were running after me, but I wasn't afraid of them. I knew I could run forever, and I did. The zombies trying to follow tired, fell, and turned to dust, until I was running alone. I thought I should stop, but I had run so long I felt like I should just keep going. A tiny dot of black appeared in the distance, and slowly grew as I ran toward it. Slowly, the dot began to rise from the horizon, like a sun. I ran faster so I could see it while it was still close to the ground, but running faster only made it move upward faster. I ran on as the dot grew large, and raised high into the sky. At the top of the sky it stopped, and grew until it met the horizon on all sides. I kept running, even though there was nowhere to run. The black was miles away, rushing along the ground to meet me from all sides. I just kept running.

Pat shook me awake. "We're taking a break." I was a little cranky. "I was taking a break." If people are out of their cars they'll need protection. Get up, you lazy ass. "Excuse me, Pat. You were right to wake me." Pat nodded briefly. I jumped to the ground, noting my thigh was still numb. We were on a bit of a plateau on a mountain side overlooking a canyon, the view was incredible. I grabbed my mag pouch, and pulled out the binoculars. Everyone was milling about, stretching, and breathing the mountain air. It smelled sweet. I walked to the edge overlooking the canyon to get a good view. Chris saw where I was going and walked to meet me at the cliff. The smug look on his face told me he had spent the entire trip thinking of a clever ways to make fun of my name. I made it within five feet of the edge, and began scanning the valley with my binoculars. I'm a sucker for nature. "Hey," Chris had caught up, "Hey, guess what I decided to call you?" The guy who's gonna cut one of your limbs off if you keep messing with him? I tried to look as uninterested as possible when I heard something faint. Chris was preparing to deliver his punchline when I raised my index finger to his face, and turned to the canyon, straining to hear the sound again. Startled, he stopped, but quickly grew upset with my finger. He began to speak just as I heard it again, "What's your prob--" "Shh! Did you hear that?"

I walked to the edge of the canyon, and looked for the source of the noise in the valley, Chris followed, and took up the search. He pointed to the side, "There! By those rocks." I looked through the binoculars and saw an RV being rocked by several zombies. How the hell are they all the way out here? My distance estimation was a little rusty, but they were at about 500 yards, well out of my range. Chris squinted at the RV, trying to make out the details, and I handed him the binoculars without looking away. He paused, then accepted. After a short look, Chris handed them back to me, "Thanks, I've seen all I wanna see." I looked again. These guys are in trouble. Josh spoke from behind us, "What’s going on, guys?" Chris turned back to him, "Well, there seem to be some people down there who are…well, about to get eaten." Josh spotted the RV, and gestured at me, "Lemme see." I handed him the binoculars, and pointed into the valley, "See that big rock formation, maybe 350 or 400 yards east. Go right from there a hundred yards…looks like a family in an RV, and maybe a dozen zed." Josh found them and studied the situation, no doubt trying to determine if we were going to be able to help. I wanted to help, but Josh was the one with the scoped rifles, and the familiarity to use them accurately. I wasn't even sure how he'd feel about shooting so close to the people in the RV. Suddenly Josh spoke, "Bishop, will you go back to Beth’s car, reach behind the seat and grab that Pelican case and bring it over here." Good man.

The case was way too heavy for a regular rifle, and I wondered aloud what bit of nastiness I had just brought him. He opened the case and revealed two rifles, his AR carbine, and his scoped CZ rifle. He pulled the CZ free and spoke while he set up to shoot. "Chris, go ahead and grab the AR, load up and watch my back. Bishop, get everyone back in the vehicles and ready to go. Once I start shooting, we might attract company." I hurried back to the group, which had now begun to gather. "Back in the cars, everyone. We might have to bug out quickly." Josh's rifle echoed in the canyon. "Lock the doors, and roll up the windows; we should be out of here soon." Everyone started toward the cars rejoined Josh and Chris at the cliff. Josh shot again, and Chris turned to hand me the binoculars. He looked sick. I began to tell him to scan for zeds while I spotted, but Chris just turned, and lost his lunch over the edge. Must be a helluva show. Back through the binoculars I could see that Josh's time at that long range rifle clinic was well spent. He was prioritizing targets, and ensuring his shots didn't go into the RV. Just then, a zombie broke through one of the windows, and was reaching inside. I remembered my dream, and before I could wince at the memory, the zombie's rear end exploded, and it fell backwards. Did Josh just shoot that zombie in the ass?

I started chuckling, but that wasn't enough, I began a hearty laugh. Josh stopped, and sheepishly looked back, hoping my laughter was at something other than his shot. "Did you just shoot that thing in it’s ASS?" The look on Josh's face got me laughing again. "Shut up. I…calculated the drop wrong…" "Dude, you shot a zombie…in it’s ASS! That’s just…mean spirited. I mean, what will the other zombies think…’Hey, John, want to sit down and--ohhh you can’t, can you?’ which would really sound like ‘Arggh-arggg-ucck-uggggh-rrrrgh’ but whatever…" Josh gave in, and started laughing too. After a short relief he returned to the rifle to finish off the last four low-threat zeds while Chris and I walked back to the cars. We were quiet. I extended an olive branch, "Don't worry about the puking. In fact, when I--" He interrupted defensively, "I'm fine. I just wasn't expecting it right then. It's not like I have a weak stomach or anything. Besides, we're not all named after chess--" He stopped and quickly raised his carbine to point at one of the cars. I couldn't believe what he was doing, "Careful! There are people in--!" Then, all at once, I saw the mountain lion standing cautiously on top of the truck. I leveled my carbine at the big cat as Josh joined us, "Uh... guys...?" Chris replied uneasily, "Look on top of your truck." Josh didn't seem to move. After a moment I spent wondering what the hell to do, the mountain lion leapt off the truck, and charged straight at us.

My first reaction was fear. Primarily because the 5.56 bullet I was shooting wasn't going to stop this huge cat in time, secondly, because if I fired I risked skipping rounds into the cars. It was a bad situation, and the cat closed blindingly fast. Take the shot! Don't shoot! Shoot! While I flustered the cat ran right between Josh and I, and jumped down into the valley. My heart pumped in my throat. Holy shit! That was really bad! I looked back at Josh to see if he was as freaked out as I was, and saw him walking back to his bike, while staring at the top of the mountain. I tried to see what he saw, but didn't see anything on top of the mountain. The ground shook slightly with a minor earthquake. Small earthquake, nothing to worry about. Josh fired up his bike, still mesmerized by the mountain. I gave up and looked where the mountain lion ran, and was confused to see the sun behind me. The sun was behind the mountain. I saw the light. But that would mean we would be in the shadow of the mountain, and we're not. What the hell? Josh disappeared over the trail, and his motorcycle's buzz stopped. I started toward the cars as Beth called Josh on the radio, and ran back to the car. Pat already had the car running, and as soon as I was in, he followed Beth as she tore down the fire trail before stopping sharply. We broke the ridge and slammed on the brakes. There's no way... Pat gasped, "Is that--?" It wasn't an earthquake. Numbly, I exited the car, and walked to Beth and Josh to see if they saw the same thing. It just can't be... It was hard to breathe. A mushroom cloud hung over San Diego. It was dark, but somehow glowed orange/yellow, and was slowly getting larger as the superheated air expanded. How could they do this? I could hear someone crying.

Read Chapter 6 here

Lee Enfield No.4 MK1

The wood is not in the best shape

The metal is covered with some cheap oven spray paint, that is flaking off.

Not sure what that screw is for, or what that hole near the chamber is for.

The metal shows signs of wear.

The stock is a different wood than the body, it seems to match the upper handguards, and has some lettering on it.

The rifling looks strange, there are only two valleys, and the twist seems to be very slow. It looks like it has been shot a bit, so I'm not expecting tremendous accuracy from it, but it should make a good project gun.

It's awesome.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

May I see your papers, Daddy?

When I got into work a link was awaiting me from a friend of mine.

A link to the Playmobil Police Checkpoint from

I chuckled, certain that it was fake. I scrolled around the page and was impressed by how well it was faked. Then I realized it picked up my name because I was logged into Amazon. The site was real. The toy was real.

One of the reviews sums it up nicely;
This playset is one of the best purchases I have made for my three-year-old. In the past, when we have been stopped at roadblocks, or when during one of Daddy's arrests, he would start crying uncontrollably. Now, after playing with this for the past several months, he is perfectly docile.

As an adjunct to this product, I would also recommend that you purchase the Playmobil Armed Standoff Playset, Fisher-Price Little People Battering Ram, and the Nerf Tear-Gas Canister Deployment Gun.

Bill of Rights sold separately.


Another reviewer can't help but ask; "No taser?"

The internet has no shortage of nutters, especially certain corners of the internet. You'll hear them rail about X, Y, and Z, and chuckle softly to yourself. "Pure comedy." you mutter under your breath. But a day, week, month, or year later you pick up the paper and read X. "Huh," You say, fondly remembering the raving crazy, "I guess if you throw enough crap at the wall, some has to stick." Then a day, week, month, or year later you pick up the paper and read Y. "Hmmm." You wonder, remembering the slightly less crazy person from two days or two years ago, "Ok, I guess if X, then Y is possible... But Z is right out. There's no way Z could ever happen. Then for the next day, week, month, or year, you begin to think about Z, and what it would take to bring Z into reality. You question your beliefs, and review old items. You change the way you think about new events, and powers, and begin to see that Z could be possible.

Others pass by without a second look, with no alarm or hue and cry, as if they are blind, as if they don't understand what they see before their very eyes. We want to shake them, to grasp their heads and turn their faces, shouting, "LOOK! Do you see what this thing is? Do you see how it might be put to use? Do you know what can happen if this thing becomes fully assembled and activated?"

But I digress...

Familiarization with a militant police force, becoming accustomed to arbitrary searches, and making submission to both routine is one of those evil letters I see repeated by those "nutters."

Police checkpoints may have been determined to be legal, but that doesn't mean they pass the Jews In The Attic Test. Maybe I shouldn't worry because the checkpoints help police crack down on [INSERT POPULAR CAUSE HERE]. Don't think about what the device is being used for now; think about how it could be misused.

Perhaps a Playmobil Jack Booted Thugs set will be forthcoming. Why stop there? Maybe kids will soon be able to pretend they're some heavily armed JBTs, firing tear gas into a church, then burning it to the ground. Maybe they'll be able to send out a toy press release to toy reporters that says the people in the church were child molesters, so it's OK they accidentally burned the plastic men, women, and children alive. Then they'll get the toy court, and have it do nothing.

Of course, I suspect nothing sinister from Playmobil, but the simple fact that this was even an idea for a toy that children are meant to play with, is beyond comprehension.

The toy set has apparently been discontinued, but I bought one on ebay so I could remind myself.

Bah. Maybe I'm just sensitive. I've been reading a lot of Kevin's work..

UPDATE: oh yeah, THIS

Monday, June 16, 2008

Gays can marry

As of now, gays have been able to get married for one hour in California.

As far as I know, no one has married any horses, pet rocks, or chia pets.

Marriage is a legal contract entered by TWO CONSENTING ADULTS. Shut the fuck up about people marrying barnyard animals.

Two 80 year-old chicks women got the ceremonious first marriage license. You know what happened next? NOTHING.

Hey, I've got an idea; lets try to make it illegal for people with red hair to get married! Or perhaps we could pick on some other minority? C'mon people! We live in a democracy! That means the majority can rule over any minority with an iron fist!

No, gentle douchebag, we live in a republic, which means that EVEN minorities *gasp* get representation, and laws that are unjust, but supported by the majority, get smacked down! This also means when the government is in charge of marriage, marriage must conform to fit the will of all citizens. Gay, straight, yellow, green, or dinosaur. (Dino-Americans)

Don't want gays to marry? Take the government out of marriage, and let whatever church (a private organization) do whatever it wants, coupled with a government equivalent of a civil union. Homosexuals can get married by their own churches, heterosexuals can get married by their own churches. Then those who don't agree with homosexual marriage can plug their ears, and pretend their marriage is different from teh ghey marriage. DONE.

Got tax problems in California?

Maybe you forgot to file? Maybe you used some interesting methods? Maybe you think you don't owe enough to draw attention?

Better get your shit straight. The tax man cometh.

California's in a financial crunch, and apparently they're trying to resolve it by getting caught up on back-taxes.

I've had two coworkers in the last month be visited by late notices on tax problems up to 3 years old for at little as $128.

Each missed the first notice in the mail, and freaked the fuck out when the State franchise board initiated wage garnishment. In both instances wages were garnished to the tune of $600 before a simple phone call was made, lowering subsequent garnishments to $100-$300.

Resolving the issues (nothing sinister, just honest mistakes, AFAIK) was as simple as a 30 minute phone call. The garnishments, however, extend to 10 weeks no matter the cost, whereupon the citizen will be reimbursed for all the garnishments minus the amount owed in taxes. (no interest, of course...)



NO, performance systems international; we do NOT sanitize our input in java!
That is how we get our boxes hacked!

Java is on a different layer than the traffic transmission. Setting a java script to limit input of a record search number from 1-100 will do nothing when someone modifies the HTML POST on its way out, and changes 50 to 1000000, instantly tying up your database with a single request. Or perhaps you are trying to remove special characters? Can you say; SQL INJECTION?

We sanitize our input on the BACK END...

You know how you defeat back end limits?
If you code it right; you can't.



Friday, June 13, 2008

The Walking Dead - Chapter 4 - A Leisurely Stroll

Read Chapter 3 here

She started driving. I guess you could call it driving. She really just floored it, and spun the wheel in different directions. After she drove over the small car in front of her, she turned down the embankment and almost crashed into a damn tree. She's gonna kill me! "Whoa! Whoa! Slow down!" She plowed through a car parked on the side of the street, and swung the wheel to the left, putting the top-heavy vehicle on two wheels. If we flip, we're dead! "Stop! STOP!" She must have felt the weight shift, because she straightened out of the turn, and slammed into a car on the opposite side of the street. The familiar flash of white, and the heat, once more.

I pushed the airbag down, trying to hasten the deflation. I'm getting fucking tired of these things. The woman was gasping, and riding the deflating air bag down to the steering wheel. Neither of us had seat belts on. The girls! I turned around and saw the girls twisted in a heap behind the front seats. They looked shaken but uninjured. "Are you ok?!" They replied weakly, in unison, "Yeah..." As they untangled themselves, I returned to the woman, who was still gulping air, leaning against the steering wheel. "Ma'am? Ma'am! Are you ok?" I cautiously pushed her shoulder back, pushing her back into her seat. "Yes," Came an exasperated reply, "I'm ok." The crash wasn't bad enough to stop the engine, which was still running, idly trying to push the parked car out of the way. I drew my pocket knife, and began cutting the airbag from the steering wheel.
"Can you drive?"
"Good, can you get me to the other side of that river?"
"What?! We need to get out of here!"
"I know, and I know a way out, but I need to get to the other side of the river."
"Don't you understand?! They're crazy!"
"Of course I understand! I just saved your lives! I just need to get to the other side of the river!"
"Why? The military base is back that way! Can you people take care of us?"
"I don't need to go to a military base, I need to get to the other side of that river!"
"But aren't you in the military?!"
I was becoming upset, "NO!"
"Then why do you have an assault weapon?!"
"So I can help the people who don't!"
Then she was quiet.

"Mommy?" A voice from the back seat asked, "Don't we ride our bikes across the river?"
"Yes, Honey, but be quiet; grown ups are talking."
Hope! "Can you get me to the bike path?"
She thought a moment; considering something. "Yes. Can you get us out of here?"
"Yes; if you go--" I stopped, realizing I might not be able to trust this freaked out lady.
"Go on! Where do we go?"
"Please, take me to the path first."
"No! We need to get out of here now! Everyone's crazy around here, and we're not staying!"
"I need to get to the other side. How far away is it?"
"It's not far, you can walk, now where do we go?!"
"I'm not walking! There aren't that many down here, and I can clear a path!"
"We need to get out of here, not drive some gun nut around! I have kids!"
I paused. Unbelievable. "Ma'am, I just stuck my neck out to save you and your girls, and nearly blew myself up in the process. With all due respect; you owe me." Anger grew in her face.
The little girl pointed to the zombies crawling down the embankment after us. Without words, the woman backed the SUV up, and drove down the empty street.

The streets were almost completely empty. The occasional zed shambled around, but apparently the curfew helped slow the spread. Curfew isn't going to keep the people fed in two days. Whenever we passed a zombie, the woman advised her kids not to look, and they covered their eyes in a rehearsed fashion. After a few minutes we came to a small group of zombies on the sidewalk to our right, maybe 10. She told her girls not to look, then looked again, and slammed on the brakes. The girls lurched forward, and fell to the floor. The woman turned her head back to them, and hissed, "Seatbelts!" The girls scrambled back into their seats, and clicked their seatbelts. Kids. It's the fucking zombie apocalypse, and they still won't put their seatbelts on. The woman looked at the group of zombies, and then honked. "What the fu-- heck you doing?!" I asked, trying to keep my language clean for the kids. She didn't break her gaze of the zombies, now slowly shambling toward us. "Do you see the one with the Hawaiian shirt?" I looked, and saw a middle-aged, balding man with white socks on under sandals. "Yes, I see it. Can we go now?" "HIM!" I jumped, and she continued, "Him. You can see him." I began to understand. "Yes. I can see him..." I looked at the woman and realized here eyes were beginning to tear up. I sheepishly cleared my throat, "Did...? Did you want...?" "Y-- Yes." Her voice cracked. "Jenny? Sharry? Look at the yellow car over there and cover your ears, ok? Mommy needs you to be strong, and do what she says." As the girls looked left, the woman joined them. I shouldered my rifle, clicked the safety off, and lined up my sights on the zombie-- man-- she designated. Rest. As the rifle barked I thought I heard a stifled sob from my left. Wordlessly, she drove on.

The streets here were confusing. I never would have been able to take surface streets and get there in time. There was no way I would have been able to walk. After a series of endless turns, we came to a street that paralleled the river. Immediately I could see the covered walk way that crossed a thinner section of the river. She stopped as we pulled up to the path. "We're here. How do we get out?" "The freeway--" Her face flashed to rage, "The freeway is jammed for miles!" I raised my hand to calm her, "Wait. Yes, the freeway is jammed, but it's totally open at the exit before the valley. Just get past it, go up the off ramp, and go north in the southbound lane. You won't see any cars. Just keep going until it looks pretty clear, then exit, and get back on the right side, and keep going." The woman calmed, then looked lost. She asked rhetorically, "Where will we go after that?" "North. Just keep going north until this blows over." This will blow over, won't it? She nodded blankly. I opened the door and as I jumped to the ground, my right thigh jolted with pain. I cried out in surprise. "Are you ok?" "Yes. Thanks, it gets easier when I walk." I started for the empty walkway, trying to walk off the pain, when behind me the car shifted into drive, and the windows rolled down. The woman called in a sing-song voice, "What do we sayyyy?" I turned around and saw the two girls hanging out the side windows as they called to me, "Thank you, Mister Gun Nut!" I laughed, ignoring my ribs.

The walkway was made of wood, and while it looked rickety, each step telegraphed its strength to me. This has been here for a while. This will be here for a while. It was two lanes wide for bicycle traffic, split by a railing, and covered from the sun by a wooden roof. The sides were reinforced railing, allowing the wind to push through the structure. My pain had just began to dull when I caught my toe on a slightly raised board. My body didn't react. Uh oh. *Wump* I fell almost flat on my face. Ugh... I felt as if my energy fell free of me when I hit, sinking through the floor and into the river below. I could feel a splinter in my cheek. I didn't move. I didn't want to move. What am I doing? I should have just gone with them. I should have just gotten out of here. Why am I even down here? The answer was obvious. Because Josh asked me to come. Josh wouldn't have asked me to come if he didn't need me. My friend needs my help. I numbly moved my arms up, and braced them against the floor, pushing myself up. Come on. You've already come this far. I held on to the side railing, and pulled myself up. Well, I'm getting up, but I'm still drained. I stood and leaned against the railing, looking out on the river. The wind blew strongly for the first time, somehow snaking under my vest, cooling my hot chest for the first time. I hooked my thumbs under the vest, and pulled it forward, allowing more cool air in. That feels perfect. I breathed in easily, chest unencumbered by the elastic of the vest. My nose filled with the sweet smell of the ocean. I squinted at the horizon, and watched the sea shimmering into the distance forever. I looked up and saw a deep blue, cloudless sky. I drew a deep breath, tasting the air, and smiled.
What a beautiful day.

I felt much better after I was on the other side of the river. Everything seemed easy, nothing was impossible. I climbed the incline of the bike path up to the street, and saw the same ghost town I had seen on the other side of the river. Time to get a car. I walked down the street checking cars for keys in the ignition, but finding none. I didn't have the right tools to pick the double-sided locks the cars had, and I had no idea how to hotwire a car. I remembered the movies where the hero jams his hands under the dashboard blindly, waves them around, and the car starts. If only it were that simple. I had enough knowledge to figure out how to short the ignition if I had enough time, but certainly wasn't going to trap myself inside a car, and stuff my head under the dashboard, blinding myself for the 5 or 10 minutes it would take me to get the car started. "What's that? You want to eat my brains, you say? Well, I'll be with you in a moment; I've almost got this 'hotwire' thing figured out." I looked around again. At least there aren't any damn zombies.

I walked two blocks before I saw a car crashed into another car with the door hanging open down a side street. Score? I hurried to the car, and found it empty. I reached around the steering column and found no keys. Damnit! Who the hell crashes their car, flees the undead hoard, and thinks, "Oop! Almost forgot my keys!" I turned back to return to the street I was on and saw a lone zombie about 100 yards back, limping slowly toward me. The single zombie shambling endlessly toward me was hilarious considering what I had just been through. I chuckled, "Hey there, fella. All alone? Did you lose your friends? Are you lost? Ya hungry? Huh? Ya hungry, fella? Well, I'm all out of the flesh of the living, but I've got plenty of lead! What's that? You like it hot? Well, we guarantee it'll be hot and delivered within one second or it's free! Let me wake up the delivery boy for you." I clicked the safety off and centered the sight slightly below its putrid mouth. *CRACK* The rifle sounded different among these buildings, but the bullet did the same thing. It hit right where I intended, breaking through its teeth, and blowing out the back of its neck, dropping it to the ground like a sack of potatoes. I turned back to the car and said to an imaginary companion, "I lose more customers that way."

I noticed a parked car had two bikes attached to a trunk mounted bike rack. Somehow, that's not a bad idea. I walked to the bike rack, and saw a padlock that locked two bars together with the bike frames in between. Padlocks, I can do. I reached backwards into the side pocket of my backpack, and fished for my lock pick set. All those years convincing people my lock picking was just a hobby, and here I am stealing bikes. I pulled out the torsion wrench and the snake pick to perform a simple rake on the lock, and bit the flap of the case in my mouth so it would be available. I held the lock as I had so many others, and inserted the torsion wrench, applying slight pressure with my thumb, while I readied the snake pick. I began raking the pins, and felt a few pop into place, dropping the pins free, when I heard moaning. I turned around and saw that my hungry zombie really did have friends, and they were just waiting for a loud noise to find him. I should have used the sword.

There were quite a few coming out of alleyways and from down the street, some were even moving at walking speed. Open the lock, get on the bike, get out of here. I returned to the lock, and continued raking, feeling a few more pins fall into place, and partially turning the keyhole. There's probably just one more. I raked furiously, and finally stopped and started searching for the pin. It was the last pin, and it was a deep pin behind a shallow pin. Oh, come on! I need my hook pick. Why did I go the lazy way, and rake it? I looked back at the zombies closing in, and tried to figure my time. Letting go of the torsion bar to shoot would mean starting over, and I didn't know how many more were just around the corner, working their way over here. Go for the pin.

I lifted the pick to my face, and carefully returned it to the lock pick case dangling from my mouth, and tried to feel for the hook pick. As I felt the tips of the picks, I pushed the case loose, and it fell to the ground, spilling its contents on the asphalt. Damn! I spotted the hook pick and reached down to pick it up, finding myself a few inches short. I couldn't get close enough to it while holding on to the lock and torsion bar, and the zombies were still on their way. Double damn! I reached for it with my foot, and by some miscalculation, managed to kick the pick further. Seriously?! Then my thumb slipped, releasing the torsion bar, resetting the lock, and dropping the bar to the ground. This was too much. I flustered and yelled, "Arrgh! This is not a fucking horror movie!" I shoved my hand into my satchel, and pulled out some silly thermite and a magnesium fuse. "Make-!" I tore a small piece off the block. "-lock-!" I molded the putty around the lock. "-go-!" I stuck the magnesium fuse into the putty. "-open-!" I kicked two of my picks out from under the lock. "-NOW!" I lit the fuse with my torch.

I stepped back into the street, took aim at the approaching zombies, and opened fire angrily. There were a lot of them, but I had plenty of ammo. Somewhere along the way, the thermite ignited, and burned brightly at 2000 degrees, showering the area with light sparks, but I didn't pay it any mind. It had a job to do, and I had mine. After three magazines I felt much better.

I had cleared them back far enough to buy myself some time, and returned to the bike rack. I picked up my lock pick case, and began gathering my set from the ground. I came to the small puddle of molten metal and slag that was once the padlock. I pointed at the puddle angrily, "Not so tough now, are you?!" I stupidly got my angry finger too close to the melted metal, and burning pain alerted me to the fact that I was very close to adding my finger to the molten puddle. I yelped and fell backwards checking my finger to make sure it was all there. My finger was still whole, but the padlock had the last laugh. I was angry, and was about to yell when I started laughing at the absurdity of the situation. I composed myself and snapped the lock pick case shut, placing it in my front pocket for easy access. I stood and looked at the bikes. Blue. My favorite. I grabbed it, and my hands reflexively jumped back at the burn they received. After the initial shock, I looked down and saw where some thermite had touched it, and dribbled down the frame, melting one side of it. Ok, then I'll take the-- I stopped because I had somehow missed this piece of information until now. I don't believe this. I jerked the blue bike off the rack without touching the metal, then pulled down the bike behind it and hopped on. I immediately felt silly. Maybe this IS a movie... I emptied half a magazine making a path past the gathering zombies and rode down the street on my new Hello Kitty pink beach cruiser.

I started to chuckle as I rode down the street. I must be the most hilarious thing in this city. A guy armed to the teeth with guns and explosives, dropping zombies left and right, and then hopping on my pink bike and peddling away. The chuckle turned into a laugh, and the laugh turned uncontrollable. The more I pictured it, the funnier it got. I crack me up.

There were more zombies the farther I went, I had to shoot quite a bit, but I had to keep going parallel to the freeway so I wouldn't miss my exit. At first I tried to just ride around them, but after some near misses, I realized that it would only take one grab to send me crashing to the ground, and into the jaws of a hungry zed-head. So I rode, stopped, shot, and continued. I had gone about four miles before I began to notice my magazine pouch was getting very light. I was afraid to count how many loaded mags I had left, so I tried not to think about it. Gotta get to Josh's place.

I rode on, fearful that I had somehow missed the street I usually exit on, or worried that it curved off like so many of the other streets, and never crossed the one I was on. There was nothing else I could have done, so I just continued on. Finally I made it to the street I was supposed to exit the freeway on, and found the intersection full of zombies. Except this time, the zombies were very evenly spread out, and picking a path was difficult. I wound up walking the bike, and shooting more than I had at the last intersections. When I made it clear, I only rode up the new street another block before I ran into more spread out zombies. I dropped the bike so I could shoot a smaller path, and move more quickly through it. I made it to the other side, and the zombies I had been used to riding away from were now after me. I didn't want to take the time to shoot them all, so I picked out the ones moving faster than the others, and shot them. My shoulder pushed back with the recoil of three shots, and then the recoil changed noticeably on the last shot, signaling an empty magazine. I reached for my mag pouch, feeling for another upside-down loaded magazine, but I only found right-side up empty ones.

I slung the empty rifle behind my back. Space age plastics and lightweight metals made it a great rifle, but a lousy club. I pulled out my .45 and started running down the street. It's been a while since I ran track in high school. Lets see if I still got it. The pain in my thigh was gone, replaced with a forgiving numbness. That's probably not good. My legs found their pace, and my body settled into the groove it had been in so many years ago. The extra weight I was carrying should have been hell on my knees, but I hit a runner's high quickly. Guess I'm already in a lot of pain, why not trigger those endorphins a little early? I made it to the next intersection and found it just as full of zombies. Why do they congregate in the intersections? With my elevated heart rate I missed more times than I should have, but I was in a rush. This was a mistake. By the second intersection I was out of ammo. When the slide locked back on the last magazine I just stared at it dumbly, as if to say, "Well? Are you going to shoot them or not?" I was about two miles away, and in the middle of a sparse group of zombies. Well, I guess it's Samurai Jack time. I holstered the .45 caliber paperweight, and drew the sword. I stifled a smile at what I was about to do, and swung the sword into what I thought was a fighting stance. "Whachaaaaa!"

I addressed the nearest zombie shambling toward me. "Welcome to Benihana." I raised the sword over my head in a two-handed grip, and grunted as I dropped it on the zombie. Instantly the sword was in the zed's chest, and a clean slice of the side of its head fell to the ground. Wow. I'm glad I brought this thing. I jerked the sword free, and the zombie fell to the ground in a heap. I turned to the next zombie, and pulled the sword into another overhead grip. Lets see what this thing an do... I aimed for the right side of its neck, and swung it with all my strength down and to the left. Holy shit. That was too easy. I had cut clean through. Its rotting organs were visible as the top half fell backward, and they spilled out in a gory mess onto the asphalt as it hit the ground. Ugh. That's dis-- Uh oh. I threw up my apple jacks.
Worst samurai ever.

Instead of moving on, I practiced for a bit. A few zeds later I had a good pace down, and the swings felt more fluid. I cut a swath through the loose congregation of zombies, and ran down the street, sword in hand, feeling three kinds of badass. About half a mile later the street narrowed, and a large group of zombies that would have normally been spread out were now quite close together. Lets see. How to go about this? I searched my memory for something that might help me, but drew a blank. The zombies noticed me, and quickened their pace. Well, lets think about this logically. I need to swing, and recover, then swing again, like I've been doing. I can't think about it like a baseball bat. Then I remembered watching Samurai Jack swing his sword through an opponent, then move his body so his arms were ready to swing again, and continue. I'm taking lessons from a cartoon... If I swing, then step into it, I'll be able to keep swinging. Plus I will have moved out of the reach of the other zombie. Swing and move. I spotted an opening between three zombies, and imagined how I would move. Left foot forward, swing forward from the right, spin to the left, step, swing left, move right... left leg in, left leg out, left leg in, and I shake it all about! I chuckled. Why don't I just go over there?

I remembered to do a small skip-jump as I approached to be on the right foot as I swung. I severed the head of the first zombie, and stepped between the next two, keeping my blade where it had been, and extending my body away from the sword, cocking it for the next swing. At fullest extension I swung the blade through my next target, bisecting it at the stomach. As I finished the swing I realized I didn't check for my next move, and wasn't ready to swing again, so I retreated through the hole I had just made. That was pretty good. It must have looked cool until I forgot what to do next. I just gotta check for my next opening after I pick my swing. Swing and move. Move and swing. I tucked my empty magazine pouch behind the backpack strap so it wouldn't swing around, and shifted the satchel behind my back. I picked another opening in my slow moving targets, and plotted another approach. That one first, then that one, then his buddy over there... Wait. Maybe I should try... Yeah. I ran at a zombie with another close behind, and made a short step so I was on the right foot when I got close enough. I yelled as I swung the sword through the stomach of the first zombie, and continued through the stomach of the second. I almost lost my balance as the blade pushed through them with minimal resistance, but recovered and changed direction, swinging at the next head I saw, and pushing my blade forward into the next zed's chest, stepped around the blade, and drew it from the zombie into a swing at another. Somehow this seemed like enough, and I stopped, breathless, in a circle of zombie pieces. Not bad.

For the next minute I practiced my swing and follow through until I realized I was out of zombies. All out? How many were there? That was kind of easy. I should get going... Which way was I going? I sheathed my sword and resumed my run down the last street to Josh's house. Mile and a half? I only saw a few more zombies as I ran, but I was more concerned with getting to my destination. I tried to focus on breathing right, and landing my feet correctly. Remembering all the time I spent in track, and trying to keep my mind off the muted pain. Knees up. In the nose, out the mouth. My breathing rhythm settled into the familiar pattern I had used before. My lungs burned, and I coughed, dislodging phlegm cobwebs from my underused lungs. It really wouldn't have been hard to run half an hour three times a week. I noted the increasing sluggishness in my movements. I can ignore the pain as much as I want, but eventually my muscles will have to give... Nah, that won't be for another few miles. After all I've done today, I can make it a few more blocks. I increased the effort of my thighs to make sure they didn't drag my feet, and trip me. I hit another runner's high, and my legs disappeared. My muscles moved mechanically, but I felt nothing. I forgot how a good runner's high feels. I can run 10 more miles. Easy. I ran on, relishing my high, and trying not to think of what I'd do if Josh was gone.

I reached the top of the small hill that curved down to Josh's house. I could see a few cars in front of his house, and I'd be able to signal him if he left now. Assuming he's still here... and not a zombie... Seeing Josh's house a block away meant more than arriving at my destination; it also meant I'd be able to walk without worry of missing him. I gasped for air as I walked, lifting my legs, and stretching my calves to keep them from knotting up. I made it. I really fucking made it. I casually regarded a zombie shambling into my path from the right, speaking in between breaths. "Hello... Sir... Welcome... toBeni--... Fuckit." I grabbed the sword with one hand, and dropped it cleanly through the zed's outstretched arm, sending it spinning off to the left. "Need... a hand?" I chuckled as the zombie stared at its stump, confused by the sudden change in its physiology. I swung the sword one-handed back to the zombie's neck, snapping my wrist just before it hit. The blade cut just as easily as it had before, sending the head tumbling off to the right. I smiled and walked on, catching my breath. "You'll never get ahead if you don't ask for a hand every now and then." Man, I am on a ROLL!

I sheathed the sword as I walked up to Josh's door. Moment of truth... I raised my hand to knock, and stopped. That might be a bad idea. I listened at the door for a moment, and heard murmurings that could be talking or moaning. Picks. I reached into my pocket and pulled out my lock pick set. Large torsion bar, aaaand... hook pick. I looked at the manufacturer name on the door knob and deadbolt, and chuckled slightly. I told him to buy Medeco... I slipped the bar into the door knob lock and needed only make the slightest effort to unlock it. These damn things practically pick themselves. I moved to the deadbolt, and was careful to not apply too much pressure. I wanted to unlock the cylinder, but not turn the lock open all the way. Just then I clearly heard a curse word from inside. That's Josh alright. I quickly finished the deadbolt, unlocking it loudly, and walked in, making the entrance I was known for. I was grinning like an idiot. I had made it. I looked at the group of people, and saw Josh pointing his .45 at the unexpected intruder. I winked. My lips broke their smile and I spoke, "Sup, fuckers?"

Read Chapter 5 here

7 days left

UPDATE: It's a MK1, and has strange rifling. It's very slow, and only seems to have two valleys... 5 days left.

What? I didn't mention the Enfield I picked up at the gun show Sunday?

How odd... :)

The FFL is close, so I'm going to go visit it (gunjugal visit), and properly identify it (since I failed to properly develop my enfield education before the purchase (which was too good of a price to pass on)

Now I just gotta find some cheap 303... Wish me luck...

More people unwilling to "hold their nose"

Bruce over at No Looking Backwards is quite at the end of his rope at some recent news. An entertaining read, quick, and worth your time. Everything you would expect from Bruce.

As I've stated previously, I will not hold my nose this election, though I will hope McCain wins. (supreme court justices are terrible things)

I want him to win, but I just can't bring myself to actually perform an act of confirmation for him. That's right, your vote is unqualified. There is no checkbox that relates your reluctance.

[ ] McCain
[ ] McCain (under duress)

I'll be "throwing my vote away" this election. I wouldn't even vote for him if he reanimated the corpse of Ronald Reagan for his running mate.

He sets a horrible precedent for the whole party.

Hat Tip to Josh for the link.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Holy shit! Can't stop laughing!

The Walking Dead - Chapter 3 - Friends at 300 yards

Read Chapter 2 here.

I was careful of my footing as I navigated the mangled cars. Blood, dust, and... fluids were everywhere. The fact that I had bags and guns hanging off of me didn't help my balance. There were about 50 more zombies among the twisted cars, fortunately, almost half were pinned between cars. After crashing, drivers and passengers were torn to pieces where they sat, leaving horrifying scenes. That was almost me... As the road got steeper I had to be more careful. Cars weren't made for climbing, and the jagged metal of impacts meant losing my footing now would be a death sentence. I was relieved to make it to the top of the hill, and was eager to check for zombies, and spot my next vehicle. I climbed on top of a smashed truck, and looked over the hill. My jaw dropped. Oh my god. My stomach twisted and the wind disappeared from my lungs. I'm not going to make it.

Beyond this hill, I could see for about three miles. The freeway dipped down into a valley, crossed a low bridge over a wide river, climbed back up the other side, and disappeared. The entire length of visible highway was filled with cars and zombies. The cars weren't as tightly packed as the ones I had just climbed over, but many were burning, and where there weren't cars, there were zombies. I'm not going to make it. I couldn't count them. I couldn't even estimate. I'm going to get stuck in this hell. The car fires billowed black smoke into the air. I spotted two fire trucks among the disabled vehicles. I'm not going to make it. A sound floated by on the wind. I'm not going to make it. The direction of the sound was clearer. I looked for the source, and saw a SUV stuck between two cars on an offramp, rocking back an forth. I refocused my eyes. A group of zombies were shaking the SUV, trying to get in, and in the back window I saw a woman, and two small girls screaming. They're not going to make it either. Some harder part of me slapped the despair from my spirit. Unless you do something!

I jumped off the truck, and ran down the freeway dodging cars and zombies. There were too many between me and the SUV, but I had an idea. "HEEEEEYYYYY!" I somehow found the breath to yell as I ran. "FRESH MEAT OVER HEEEEERE!" Zombies I hadn't seen before stood up among the cars, and began after me. "COME ON! EASY MEAL!" I was closer to the SUV, and the zombies rocking the car started to hear me. I ran on, stopping only to shoot a clear a path, I was rushed, and not every shot put them down permanently. I jumped and dodged among the cars ignoring the grasping hands and snapping jaws, I didn't feel pain in my legs, I just ran. "OVER HEEEERE!" I made it to a point on the freeway about 300 yards directly behind the SUV on the offramp where I'd have the best angle to shoot without hitting the people inside. I climbed on top of a pick-up truck with a camper shell on the back, and looked around. Most of the zombies around the SUV had turned their attention to me, but as I scanned, I saw I was attracting more attention than I had expected. How can there be this many?! I realized they must have been drawn from the surrounding areas by the sound of the car crashes. There were a lot on their way, enough to surround me when they got close enough, far more than I could shoot. Panic struck me as they moved in from all directions.
Stop. Think straight.

Ok. I did this so I could save that SUV. There are five zombies still trying to get in. I need to stop them or this was for nothing. #1: Save the SUV. #2: Save myself. If I get rid of the... 9 zombies within 100 yards, I should have about 90 seconds to take the SUV zombies out at long range. I loaded a fresh mag, shot the 9, taking the time to make sure they stayed down, and took another look around. 70 seconds? I need a shooting rest. I stripped off my satchel, mag pouch, and backpack and laid down in a prone shooting position. I rested the AR on the backpack, extended the buttstock, and set the rear sight to the smaller long-distance circle. 60 seconds from certain zombie death, I just ran 400 yards, my heart is pounding, and now I have to shoot at 300 yards at 10 inch targets two feet from the people I'm saving... What's life without challenges?

My first instinct was to shoot quickly, but I admonished myself for such a stupid thought. If I'm not calm, I'll miss, or hit one of them. I suppressed every instinct that told me death was near, and I needed to run for my life. Calm. I took a deep breath. Focus. I took another breath. Relax. I took another breath, and began to feel myself calm. Breathe slowly. I took slow breath. You can do this. I took a slow, deep breath. Just like at the shooting range. 300 yards, perfect zero, aim dead center. I reseated my cheek against the stock, resting my head against the stock instead of holding my head against it. Just another weekend at the range, hitting the 300 yard gong. I pressed the rifle into the backpack, giving it a groove to sit in. You can hit the 300 yard gong every time if you take your time. I moved my support hand to the the underside of the stock at my shoulder. You've done this before. This is easy. I took a breath in, and let it out slowly, changing the elevation of the sights until they centered on the head of one of the zombies rocking the SUV. Easy. My finger found the trigger, and my eye shifted focus between the front sight post, and the target; checking alignment. Perfect. I squeezed the trigger with constant pressure, trying not to think of when it would go off, but thinking instead of keeping my sights aligned. A moment hung in the air. *BANG*

Gong. It went down, 300 yards was right on, but I didn't think to celebrate. I was back at the range, impressing my friends with a five out of five on the 300 yard gong, with a carbine, and no scope. My sights shifted to the next target, my eye shifted focus, my finger squeezed. *BANG* Gong. Again. *BANG* Gong. You got this. *BANG* Gong! Don't get cocky, still gotta hit this one just like the last four. I took another breath, and adjusted elevation again. My eye shifted focus to check alignment on the last one pushing on the right side of the SUV. My finger squeezed, not anticipating the break. My hair blew in a sudden gust of wind. *BANG* Fuck.

I called the shot at the side of the head, an inch high on the frontal lobe, but the wind pushed it left about a foot through the top of the rear window. The window shattered, and the three shapes huddled together in the middle of the car jumped, but didn't move. I didn't hit them. I refocused myself for the next shot, and saw the last zombie moving to the rear window I had just opened for him. If it gets to the back he'll be right in front of them and I won't be able to shoot! I took a quick shot at his head. Miss! I took another shot. Shit! Come on! I took another quick breath, and tried to calm down for the last shot I would get. *BANG* I called it a miss again. The zombie lurched behind the SUV right in front of the three people I had just doomed, and reached in the back window at them.

I didn't have time to settle again, I had to force it. I lined up my sights again, and aimed at the zombie's right leg, a tiny target at 300 yards, but if the shot went straight through, it would skip harmlessly under the car. I held as still as I could and squeezed the trigger. Hold still! Please! Every synapse in my head was firing, my muscles strained to hold perfectly still, and my vision kept going in and out of focus. *BANG* The zombie's knee exploded, dropping it to the ground, and clearing a shot at its head. One more! Gotta hold it for one more! The sights felt aligned when I shot. I say "felt" because my unblinking eye blurred and teared up just before the shot. I jumped to my knees as soon as I fired, and rubbed my eyes so I could see. Hit! I got 'em! I did it! I stood up, triumphant, and pumped my fist into the air, "YEAH!" Suddenly the camper rocked, dropping me to my knees. Oh yeah, #2...

I returned to my situation and saw the loose circle of zombies at 100 yards was now a thick wall of undead at 30 yards. There were about 5 on the truck now, rocking the camper, and trying to climb up. One made it to the hood where it could easily get up on the camper shell; I shot it in the head without even thinking. How do I get out of this? Where will go even if I do? The bridge is blocked. There's no way I'll get through it. Wonder how many zeds I can take with me... At least I saved those girls in the SUV. I looked over at the SUV, and saw the brake lights on, the woman back in the driver's seat, and the two girls hanging out the broken back window waving me to come with them. Sure beats blowing myself up! I put everything I was carrying back on in record time, and opened the satchel. I hesitated, then unsheathed my largest pipebomb. Lets make a hole. The fuse lit with the same dazzle of sparks I was used to, and I pitched it at the concentration of zombies between me and the SUV. A perfect pitch. It fell right in front of the slowly approaching line, and was engulfed as they step over it. I knelt on the rocking camper and covered my ears... *POP*

"Pop?" I looked up and saw white smoke clearing, and a small gap of maimed zombies that quickly closed. Idiot! It's too open! There's no area to contain the explosion! I swallowed hard. Shit. I need to use the plastique. Plastique is basically C4, a very stable heavy explosive. This is a bad idea. I needed to work fast, so I could blow it up as far away as I could manage. If they got too close, I'd either blow myself up, or not be able to use enough to clear them. This is a bad idea. I pulled the small brick from the satchel, and grabbed a detonator. Wait, I can't even blow this up! All my detonators are electric! I'd have to wire it up, and I don't have enough wire! Then I remembered how to switch an electronic detonator to a fused one. This is a VERY bad idea! But it was the only idea I had. I put the detonator in my left hand, and pulled my multi-tool out. I'm actually about to dissect a detonator in my bare hand, using some pliers, on top of a shaking camper surrounded by zombies... At least I'm right-handed. I spread my feet apart so I could maintain my balance as much as possible, and flipped the pliers open. The detonator body was surprisingly easy to pull back; so surprising I thought the fast motion was going to set it off. I removed the filament, and carefully inserted a 10 second fuse into the opening, knowing that the moment the fuse body touched the volatile detonator, the chemicals of the two could interact badly, and blow my fingers off. The camper's regular rocking motion was interrupted with sharper push than I had expected. I lost my balance, and jammed the fuse hard against the sensitive detonator.

...One, two, three, four, five! I still have all my fingers! My rejoicing was cut short as a zombie successfully climbed the side of the rocking camper shell. I didn't have time for it, so I just kicked it in the head, sending it flying back into the growing number of zombies trying to get me. I picked up the small brick of plastique, and forced the detonator in place, pinching the detonator around the fuse with the pliers. More were climbing up the side, I could hear them. I grabbed the torch, lit it, and drew it slowly toward the fuse. If I go too fast, I'll burn too much at once and shorten my 10 seconds down to an eternity in the great beyond. This is SUCH a bad idea! The fuse sparked to life, and I cocked it back for the throw. For a sick moment I thought of what an early detonation would do to me. I drew it forward and threw it as hard as I could. Wait! I was supposed to figure out the best distance to throw! The plastique flew through the air awkwardly, just barely flying over the heads of my target zombies, bounced off the roof of a car, and fell behind it. I tried to think of the bomb's effects on the car and zombies, and wanted to extrapolate the physics that were about to come into play, so I could give myself some rough percentage of my likelihood of surviving the events I had just set into motion. I wanted to do those things; but I just hit the deck.

Thunder. Blackness.

I was lost in space. I tumbled through inky blackness. Or, the inky blackness tumbled around me. Little stars of color were my only reference of my position in space. I became aware that I was running into things; black meteors, completely invisible, pelted me. Though I knew they were hitting me, and I changed directions as they transferred their inertia to me, they didn't hurt. I spun and twisted for an eternity. There was no time here, because there was no reference of time. There was no up or down, because everything was everywhere, and I was nowhere. I had no compulsion to right myself, or desire to stop the barrage; but I did want to figure out how I got here. My mind was bothered that I was somewhere else, and then suddenly here. It didn't make sense. The memory of where I was had faded hundreds of years ago, lost in the blackness that engulfed everything.

Wait... Engulfed? If the black engulfed things, then the things would still be there.
As I thought about this, I stopped spinning, and started moving in one direction. I changed direction, but I felt no inertia. This doesn't make sense. I moved faster in the direction. I looked in the direction I moved, and saw I was moving toward a star that twinkled different colors. Why am I going there? I instantly lost direction, and resumed spinning. No! I want to go there! I was righted, and the stars moved around me, drawing me nearer to the multi-colored star (or moving nearer to me?). Everything accelerated to the speed of light, and the spec of a star slowly began to grow. I need to go there to get out of here. The star grew large, and its light blinded me. I squinted, and strained to see through the brightness. A shape emerged as the star filled my vision, slowly I was able to pick out details, and then there could be no doubt. It was a zombie.

I was sitting up, back against a car, legs in front of me, facing a zombie in front of another car, three feet away. Run! I didn't run. Run! I couldn't move. RUN! I was frozen. I stared at the zombie, wondering why it wasn't eating my flesh, and slowly realized that it was dead. I'm not doing anything. I'm not even breathing! Breathe! A wheezing breath fought oxygen into my lungs. A knife of pain stabbed into my chest. I caught my breath and exhaled sharply in surprise. Breathe! I forced air into my lungs, ignoring the pain that cut through my chest. It was slow and excruciating, and the sound of my labored breath echoed in my damaged ears. My throat strained as I exhaled. I was in slow motion. The world was underwater, and out of focus. I could still feel my fingers, I moved them, and made a fist. The fist was weak, and shaky. I need to get away from here. I willed strength into my muscles, and I realized my arms were tangled in the straps of the things I was carrying. Good thing I hung the straps across my chest. I freed my arms, and braced myself against the car. I stood, and fell. I need to get away from here. I took another labored breath. Pain; but less pain. Less pain is good. I stood.

The damage was incredible. There was a clearing almost the entire width of the freeway, centered on a smashed section of highway. The cracks in the freeway made it look like it was hit with a giant hammer. The cars had been tossed and pushed away, pinning and crushing many zombies. I stood in a tiny triangle of safety. I must have slammed into the car I had my back to, which was next to another car, forming an "L" shape; and when the car in front of me flew back to crush me, it hit both cars instead of just the one I was against. The result was a right triangle, with me safely in the middle. I had no idea why there was a dead zombie with me, or how it got to be leaning against the car that should have knocked it away, but I didn't care to find out. I walked to the lowest car, lifted my left leg to climb out, and felt the pain in my chest. Ribs. At least two. Well, I've got plenty more. I fought through the pain, and lifted my right leg onto the car hood. A sickening pain made itself known. Thigh? I couldn't possibly have broken my femur. I must have bruised it badly. I pulled myself up, and over, into the clearing. The SUV was still there, but now the girls just looked with their mouths agape, then seemed to cheer happily. I still couldn't hear. I gotta get to the SUV.

I began walking. The satchel, and AR bounced against my legs and hips, hurting and annoying me. I had to make it. My hearing slowly returned. I was getting closer. I hurried past dismembered and mangled zombies. The girls beckoned me on, the lady still sat in the driver seat, looking straight. My strength was returning, I could now feel the pain in my arms and legs. I'm almost there. I made it down the offramp, and stepped over the zeds I had destroyed from so far away. I made it. I pulled on the passenger door handle, and it was locked. One of the girls climbed to the front seat, and unlocked it. I glanced left before I entered, and saw the broken zombies limping after us. I pulled my right leg into the seat. "Drive." I told the woman. She stared forward, hands on the wheel, foot on the brake, not moving. I slammed the door shut after my leg and locked it. "Drive!" She did nothing. What the hell? From the back seat came a small voice, "Mommy's scared." I grabbed the woman's arm, and she jerked her head to see me, her face full of fear and surprise. "DRIVE!"

Read Chapter 4 here