Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sorry for the delay. I'm starting to feel it again.

Hello, the one reader that stuck with me :) I'm starting to hit my stride again, and I'm reigniting my relationship with my muse. The problem with my smart post is that it's hard to follow it up with a post of my usual caliber. So I've been waiting until I've had something smart to say. How long this will last (or if it ever started) is completely up to you.

Who cares? Enjoy a ketchup post!

I just finished my 6 months probation at the new job, and have become a valued member of the team due to the fact that I actually do work. I was happy to get away from the small company BS, but now I'm getting an introduction in big company BS. It only bugs me a little bit, because instead of taking tons of time measuring how much work I'm doing compared to everyone else and adjusting so I only do the bare minimum, I just do my fucking job as much as I can without dropping the ball. It's amazing how much time and effort people put into not doing their jobs. Maybe amazing isn't the right word. As for that promotion I was working toward, I was assured that I would have gotten it had the job existed by the end of the trial period. More big company BS meant a reorganization in the middle of my trial period for the job. The job I was going for was one of the casualties. I aired my disappointment at the situation, and moved on. I know I'm good, and so do they, so I'm just going to keep doing what I've been doing.

I'm not sure that I've said much about my hunting intentions here, but I'm going to change that now. A few years ago I took an interest in hunting, and without a friend or family member who hunted, I reached out to the online community. Bad idea. I'm not sure if it's hunters or just Californian hunters, but they were almost uniformly dismissive, derisive, and even discouraging. Most seemed to think I could only hunt if it did it their way, and the rest were more than happy to help so long as I paid to join their club, paid for their land, and paid for any game harvested. "Ranches" were the next place I looked, but most in the area were canned hunts. I started seriously considering saving up for a trip out of state, but the more I read about Southern Californian deer, the more of a challenge it sounded like. Very few people hunt Deer zone 15 because of the few deer and continually low harvest rates. But if you know me, and you might, you know I like a challenge. So I figured; at worst, I go hiking, get some fresh air and exercise, and enjoy some nature. And at best, I go hiking, get some fresh air and exercise, enjoy some nature, and do something other people don't/won't/can't do because they think it's too hard. And I do it all myself, without paying dues, fees, and respect to people who don't deserve any of the above. So for the last couple years I've been slowly gathering enough information to feel like I'm starting to know what I'm doing. As I've drawn closer to that point, I've been getting more aggressive. I know my way around all the dfg and usfs sites, and I've called ranger offices for the details I couldn't find online. I've been hiking more, and spending lots of time on Google Earth plotting game trails and identifying accessible areas to inspect more closely on upcoming hikes. My boss's boss was a hunter when he was younger and is getting back into it, so he's been giving me tips and advice that have been really helpful. It's starting to get exciting.

I found myself in a magazine. I looked at the cover, and there I was, the headline article. I didn't know it at the time, of course, but something in the back of my mind told me to buy it from the airport duty free shop. As I read the article on the plane, I began to assemble the puzzle pieces in my life that made my story tragic and victorious. Having never seen the box the puzzle came in, I was a little afraid of the picture the puzzle made. There were very few happy endings for people like me. After some research and soul-searching, I decided that whatever may come in the future, I should embrace my gifts now and enjoy their fruits later. I dare believe that my triumphs over what I thought was my disease (could still be, I suppose), would apply to this congenital mental whimsy. Events have aligned since this decision that have lead me to believe it was the right one. All that is left is practice.

Part of the above has been more writing. "Tac" and many others are swimming around in my head, and they need to be let out. As with writing this blog, the exercise is more important than the result. But in practice, I'm trying to make the two of equal import. Half for you, the reader, and the other half for any potential publisher. And yes, The Walking Dead series will continue and be completed (under a new name, of course). Any other bits that don't quite fit in will wind up here, so I welcome your cheers or jeers.

Since the iPad, I've been hoping for an Android tablet to come along and sweep me off my feet. Even as the first real contender arrived, I argued against software, hardware, and price, and waited. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Motorola XOOM arrived with honeycomb fully executed, but at a price I was simply not willing to pay. As I patiently pined for a proper price point, there were some rumblings about the nook color e-reader making a splash in the third party ROM scene. Starting at $250, it certainly looked interesting. Only recently did CyanogenMod 7 start to really come into its own on the nook, just as Barnes & Noble started selling them at $200 (see coupon code), and the decision was all but made. I put up a good fight for a few weeks, but lost (won?) in the end. The Nook color running CM7 is a perfect fit. I get a day of hard use out of the battery, movies played from any format I choose, netflix, the excellent browsing experience Dolphin Browser HD provides with Flash 10.1, e-reader apps (nook app not working for me, fixes available, but I haven't cared), unfettered android market access, multitasking, vnc/rdp on a usable screen, very usable soft keyboard (thumb tap, vertically) all in a light package. There are some issues, of course, the case seems plastic-y and feels like it might shatter if dropped, the screen can seem really sensitive doing actions beyond a quick tap, there's a little chop in my scrolling, it's heavier than the e-ink nook/kindle versions, none of the usual android home/back/menu/search hard buttons (replaced with a hide-able soft button bar which works fine, but still isn't hard), few hardware features (gps, compass, keyboard, camera, flash, etc), and a few minor polish problems with CM7 on the nook. Most of the cons are because it's supposed to be a $200 e-reader, and are severely outweighed by the pros. Plus, most of the missing features aren't required for my use. It has been an excellent improvement to my workflow, and just like my Droid, I know it will only get better with future releases.

A few weeks ago (not really sure when) our cable box, purveyor of mindless entertainment, killer of time, and server of empty mental calories, ceased its assault. When I discovered this I made some halfhearted attempts to fix it, and I told my wife, who said it had broken some time ago, but she forgot to tell me. I confirmed the internet and game consoles still worked, and decided to bring in the box for replacement later. Except I didn't. It's been a month, and we haven't missed it, so the obvious questions arises. Do we really need it? I know the answer is "no, we don't need it," and I know I'll miss some great shows (I can always find them online if I need to), but it really is only for entertainment, and it seems we're getting our entertainment elsewhere. After writing this out, the answer seems obvious.

I brought the M1A out to the range a few more times after finding a great deal on some American Eagle 308. I was reminded of what Jeff Cooper said about ammo stored being potential skill left to gather dust, and decided to shoot it up. A few hundred rounds later, I was ringing the 10 inch gong at 400 yards off irons. I've still got a couple hundred rounds of skill left, and expect to improve. The M1A seems to shoot right when it gets hot, but in its defense, I was getting it too hot to hold. I was getting ready to adjust the sights, when I just let it cool down a bit, and it was right back to normal. That rifle is still very nice.

My wife's employer decided not to renew their lease, and her job disappeared with the building. Fortunately, my new job affords a high enough degree of stability for her to take her time looking for the right job instead of just any job. She's taking some of her time to get crafty with some paintings she's been meaning to make and sell on etsy, giving her that time and opportunity is something I'm happy to do for her.

That's about it for now, see you soon.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Welcome to Tactical Black Ops Martial S.L.A.P. Fighting

Alright, it looks like everyone is here, lets get started. Welcome to Tactical Black Ops Martial S.L.A.P. Fighting. If you are here, it's because you realized that there is only one way to survive a gunfight; my way.

Introductions: you can call me Tac. I know some of you are probably thinking, 'Where have I heard that name before?' the answer is, 'Everywhere.' I've been involved in every major gunfighting development in the past forty years. Only problem is, they were all stolen from me. So now I don't open my mouth unless someone's writing a check. Just a note; Tac is not my real name. It's a name that was given to me by a hundred year old Buddhist warrior monk while I was training at his temple on my travels through the far east. Also my real name is a killing word in twelve languages. So Tac keeps me safe, and therefore, you safe. I know you're probably thinking, 'Tac, should I make out all my checks to Tac?' No, stupid question. Remember to make out all your checks to my corporation, The Combat Assault Slap House or CASH. I see there are now a few questions, stow them. In a gunfight, questions will get you killed. Pay attention to that. I'm going to tell you countless things that will and won't get you killed in a gunfight. In case you miss some, don't worry, almost everything, including nothing, will get you killed in a gunfight. If you have a question about whether or not something will get you killed in a gunfight, the answer is yes. In fact, the only things that won't get you killed in a gunfight are the things I'm about to tell you. I know you're probably thinking, 'Tac, people survived gunfights before your system was invented.' Wrong. If anyone survived a gunfight it was because they were using my techniques, whether they knew it or not. But enough about my groundbreaking gunfighting system, lets talk about what you do before you get into a gunfight.

Surprisingly, the time you spend not in a gunfight can be up to 100% of your life, that's why I include this section as part of the training, even though it doesn't apply to me. I'm in gunfights a good 30-40% of my life. Ok, so, how many of you think I'm talking about situational awareness? Hands? No, wrong. In a gunfight, situational awareness will get you killed. What you need is Confrontational Awareness, which is a patent pending technique developed by me, Tac. Now I know you're thinking, 'Tac, how is Confrontational Awareness different from situational awareness?' Well, why don't you wait a minute, and I'll tell you. Situational awareness means you pay attention to what's going on around you, but confrontational awareness means you do something about it. Example; I was in a bar, drinking a beer, minding my own business, when this guy comes rushing up on my blind side. Bad idea. First; I don't have a blind side. My sides are all scanned for threats at all times, including aerial and subterranean. Second; I can kill a man in eight ways using only a beer. Anyway, I flip him into a wrist lock, smash his face against the counter, and shatter his knee, thus eliminating the threat. However, in this particular instance, I wasn't technically in danger. Turns out he was just trying to get a beer, turns out he was a lawyer, turns out I can't go back to Arkansas for a while. So what, my bad then? Hell no. I just eliminated a potential threat. It may not have been an actual threat, but it was still a type of threat. And to be fair, who's going to come up behind me after I did the same thing to four other guys? I mean-- four other people. Situation awareness could have gotten me killed there. But instead, Confrontational Awareness potentially got me the rest of my life, and definitely a few warrants. Arkansas sucks anyway. Full of sheeple.

Ok, I'm seeing more questions. Remember, questions get you killed. Hands down folks... Ok. Another example; I was at an amusement park, drinking a frozen lemonade, minding my own business, when this kid comes up to me. No time to think. In a gunfight, thinking will get you killed. And I know I said 'kid,' but you guys should have been thinking, 'Kid, or midget assassin?' I see some nods, that's good, but remember, in a gunfight, nodding will get you killed. So I react immediately by drawing the Strider Tiger tactical knife I duct taped to the inside of my Mickey costume, and put that between me and the potential threat. This one didn't turn out to be an actual threat either, but the important thing is that I would have been safe if it was. Funny story. I still got the costume, but it's covered in stun gun burns. Good conversation piece. Or it would be, if I ever told anyone my address. In a gunfight, telling people your address will get you killed.

Alright, enough of that passive hippie stuff, lets get into some real, no BS gunfighting situations. Once the threat has been identified, and you know it's time to shoot we start the PEDSMASS system. That is not to be confused with the PADSMESS system, which is a slightly modified version that was stolen from me by a certain instructor who I'm sure you all know. Now, I'm not here to issue personal attacks; but him and his weasel friend are both liars and thieves, and they should die in a fire. I was in a bar in San Francisco, drinking a cosmo, minding my own business, when Weasel One and Weasel Two come up and buy me a few appletinis. Unfortunately, my leather collar was a little too tight, and the booze hit me harder than I expected. Remember that. In a gunfight, wearing a leather fetish suit will get a you killed. So the weasels start pumping me hard for information. Just pumping and pumping and pumping, and before I knew it, I had blown my secrets. Not a proud time for Tac, but at least I get residuals on the video. Alright, enough about those weasels and their rock hard abs, lets talk about PEDSMASS.

PEDSMASS is an anachronism for each part of the SLAP fighting system. The letters and their meanings are like this;

P stands for 'Push.' Science numbers show that 94.56666667% of gunfights take place at the ranges people usually encounter in phone booths. The 'Push' means you push your opponent as hard as you can to get some distance between you to use your gun. Keep in mind that if a gunfight starts inside an actual phone booth, pushing will not work. And that's why in a gunfight, phone booths will get you killed.

E stands for 'Eliminate.' Now I know you're probably thinking this is where you eliminate your opponent. Not quite yet. When I say 'Eliminate' I mean you vacate your bowels. When you're in a life or death situation, you're going to shit your pants. I have personally shit myself in gunfights on every continent. Yes, Antarctica counts. Polar bears want those baby seals you've got hanging over your shoulder, and not for the expensive pelts either. Anyway, shit just happens. I say, why wait? Do it now before the gunfight gets started, and you'll save yourself time later. Hey, quiet down! You think that you're going to have time to find a john in a gunfight? No way. In a gunfight, toilets will get you killed. We will be practicing this step later, which is why I locked all the bathrooms and poured a laxative into the coffee. Train as you fight, people.

D stands for 'Draw.' This is when you draw your gun. Try not to screw it up. I highly recommend you complete the previous step before starting this one, because it can be very distracting. When drawing, how many of you think slow is smooth, and smooth is fast? No hands. Good, you're learning. If a = b and b = c, then a = c, right? Well slow doesn't equal fast. It's basic math. Throw that out of your mind, and replace it with this; 'Fast is fast and faster is faster than fast.' So for fast and faster, which fast is faster than the fastest fast? It's ok, you can answer this one... 'Faster' is wrong. I was looking for fastest. Faster is the fastest fast and faster than fast and faster. Wow, you ever say a word a lot and it starts to sound weird? You shouldn't, because saying a word a lot until it starts to sound weird will get you killed in a gunfight. Actually, I guess it depends on the word. I'll get back to you on that one.

S is for 'Shoot.' Now, believe it or not, this is probably the least important part of the whole system. If you've ever been on the internet, you know that once your adrenaline starts pumping, you won't be able to hit the broad side of a barn from inside. I remember this story of these guys who were in this apartment when some other guy comes out of the bathroom with a huge 357, and shoots all 6 at them from 4 feet, but hits nothing but air. Jules thought it was a miracle, but it's really because of adrenaline. I see hands again... I can wait as long as you can... That's better. Anyway, it's a proven internet fact that you won't be able to hit anything, so the shooting part of the gunfight is pretty much a formality. You might stun or scare him with the sound though, so make sure you get a really loud gun.

M is for 'Magazine.' How many people know what a magazine is for? ... One? Ok, what's a magazine for?... You just got killed. You think you're going to have time to reload in a gunfight? Hell no. How long does it take the average person to reload? Too long, that's how long. In a gunfight, reloading will get you killed. So you take that magazine, and throw it at him. You ever been hit with a loaded magazine? It hurts. One time I was at a Navy Ranger Team Spetsnaz shooting competition, drinking some Tabasco sauce, minding my own business, when these Operators start begging me to demo my draw technique. So finally I break down, and draw my Glock 61, which is a custom deal Gaston Glock handmade for me when I saved his daughter from snow terrorists, but that's all classified. It's not a big deal, just a 10" extended barrel, extended capacity mag, extended beaver tail, extended trigger guard, extended forward and rear cocking serrations, extended mag release, extended slide release, extended sights, extended trigger, and extended accessory rails. Anyway, I draw my Glock 61 so fast that I actually bend the laws of physics, which is the only explanation for why my magazine release activates, and the mag goes flying, bounces off the ground, and hits me right in the head. I know you're probably thinking, 'Tac, why would your magazine fly out of your gun so fast?' The answer is obvious. I triple stack all my mag springs to guarantee reliable feeding. One magazine spring is good feeding? Then Tac says three are three times better. Oh yeah, make sure you bring a high capacity one so it's heavier. Also, aim for the face so he'll have to close his eyes, that's important for the next step.

A stands for 'Advance.' This is where you advance on your opponent. Now I know you're probably thinking, 'Tac,' by the way, you don't have to call me Tac every time you know, I know who you're thinking at, 'Why would I advance on my attacker when I've already put distance between us?' Well if you can't figure it out for yourself, you're just not a real Operator. Plus the Advance put us in range for the most important part of the PEDSMASS system. The SLAP.

S stands for 'SLAP.' Now, when I say SLAP, I don't mean slapping someone. I'm talking about my patented SLAP fighting system. The S doesn't stand for one thing, it's an acrobatism for my patented SLAP system, which it, in then of itself is an attackonism for more words. So again, SLAP doesn't mean slapping. So, what do the letters in SLAP mean? Glad you asked.

The S stands for 'Slap.' This is where you use your support hand, to apply an open palmed hand to the side of your attacker's face. Now I know you're thinking, 'Tac, why would I slap someone in the middle of a gunfight?' The answer is obvious because slapping does many things at once. First, you break line of sight by pushing your attacker's face to the side. You can't shoot what you can't see. C'mon guys, this is kids' stuff. Second, you disorient your attacker. You ever been slapped by a real operator? No. You haven't. Third, he won't be expecting it. He thinks you're going to shoot him. Wrong-o Tango. Bullets are just what you'd be ready for, so you get the slap. Fourth, that shit stings. Like, a lot. Pain is distracting. Everyone knows you won't be able to feel gunshot wounds in a gunfight because your adrenaline is going to be pumping, but slaps come in right under that threshold. It's simple physics.

Now, believe it or not, I've been slapfighting my whole life. You just ask Mama Tac, and she'll tell you the first time I started perfecting my technique. I was in a crib, drinking a bottle, minding my own business, when Mama Tac comes up and tries to take the bottle and put me to sleep. Bad idea. At 6 months, I could kill in 4 ways using just a blankie. Lucky for Mama Tac, I only slap away every attempt at that bottle. Finished the whole thing and threw it all up. I've been doing this forever folks, I know what I'm doing. Anyone want to take my bottle? Huh? Ok. I think I've made my point. Oh, one note about slapping; in many cases, but not all, a gunfight could turn into a slapfight. Did you know that over 60% of all gunfights end in slapfights? No, you didn't. That's because the fatcats in the firearm training industry knows that I hold 16 patents on different styles of slapfighting. You ever heard of a movie called Equilibrium? Well there was this guy in one of my classes who was asking all kinds of questions, and after the class, he shakes my hand and says I've been a great help to him. Yeah, ok, I don't think anything of it, but two months later? Equilibrium comes out, and that last gunfight is right out of the textbook I would write if writing textbooks didn't get you killed.

It seems that you're not convinced of the legitimate combaticative applications of the slap fight. So my first question to you is, have you ever been slapped in a gunfight? No, none of you have, because you're still alive. You ever seen that guy who was shot like 80 times and he still could walk to the police car after they cuffed him? One slap would have eliminated all that trouble. Sidenote: when I saw that story I went right to the Chief of their department, and told him that for 5 easy installment payments of $29.99 I could teach his department my patented techniques and increase officer safety. He'd been drinking too much training industry kool-aid, and kicked me out of his office. But he wasn't laughing at me when I waited for him in the parking lot and gave him an impromptu demonstration. I know you're probably thinking, 'Pretty ballsy move, Tac.' Well, yeah, it kind of was, but he didn't see it that way. The details aren't important, but I'm not allowed in Oklahoma anymore. Eh, big loss right? Who cares. His willingness to press charges should show you this isn't your playground sissy slap fight, this is real life and death slap fighting.

You know how we've been going over what will get you killed? Toilets will get you killed, reloading will get you killed, textbooks will get you killed, guns will get you killed, and yes, even gunfighting will get you killed. Sometimes even if you win. You kill a guy, go to jail and get the chair? You lost the gunfight. That's why killing will get you killed. You know what won't get you killed? Slapfights. ... Hey, I see some snickers. Do not snicker. In a gunfight, snickers will get you killed. This includes the candy bar. Too much nougat. Hey, sit back down, I'm getting to the L in SLAP.

L stands for 'Lunch.' This is where the gunfight gets mental. You gotta get inside his OODA loop. You ask him what he had for lunch and when he stops to think about it, -boom- you hit him with the next step.

A stands for 'Another Slap.' You think he was reeling from that first one? You switch gears on him with the mental play, then right back to the slap. He'll never see it coming. I have seen people lose control of their bowels on the second slap. That should show you what effect switching up your methods will have. Most people just aren't prepared for it. One time I was at a fondu party, drinking some cheese, minding my own business when this Seal DEVGRU Ranger Recon Scout gets all up in my face. So I decide to give him some schooling. His supposedly elite training made him completely unprepared for my slapfighting style. He was so unprepared for that second slap that he went into a coma immediately. Still in it, as far as I know. Hey, he knew the risks when he put on the Dominos uniform. Of course, the state of Arizona didn't see it that way, so I'm not allowed back there anymore. I know you're probably thinking, 'Tac, aren't we in Arizona right now?' Well, yeah, I guess we are. What are you, a cop or something? Moving on.

P stands for 'PARTY,' which is an acrocombe for another set of steps that you can learn about by taking Tactical black ops martial SLAP fighting 2. I won't give away the keys to the castle on this one, but I will give you something to think about when you go over the brochures I put under your windshield wipers over the break. Here it is; the T stands for 'Tactical.' I've said too much already. If you want to know more, you call the number on the brochure and tell Sheila you want to sign up. Sheila's kind of like my secretary, but also, my girlfriend. Tac can't be tied down. He's like a wild animal. You think you can put a wild animal in a cage? No way. I'm the wild animal that'll be waiting behind the door at feeding time with a shotgun. How'd I get a shotgun? Wouldn't you like to know...

Now that I've explained every part of the SLAP system, we're back to the last letter of the PEDSMASS system.

S stands for 'Scan.' This doesn't mean you scan the horizon for threats, this means you leave the area as quickly as possible, and listen to the police scanner you keep in your car. Apparently the police trust a lot of these potential threats, and come looking for you even though you were only defending yourself preemptively. I know, our legal system is flawed, but we've got to work within it the best way we can. Or just avoid it. So you listen to the scanner for a bit, and maybe lay low at a girlfriend's house until things die down. If they don't, then hey, that state probably sucked anyway.

Alright, so now we can start practicing these steps-- Hey, we're doing training in here, you can't come in unless-- ... No, my name's Tac. The name was given to me by a hundred year old Buddhist-- ... No, I don't know who that is. But you should be careful, because that name sure sounds like a killing word in twelve different languages. ... Hey, I don't know anything about any assault charges. ... Well, you say she was, but have you ruled out midget assassin? ... Ok, ok, no need for that, just let me finish up with this class, and I'll go with you and get this all sorted out.

Alright class, there's one more thing that will get you killed in a gunfight, and I can't stress this one enough. Getting caught. WINDOW SLAP ASSAULT! *CRASH*