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12/31/2011

Apparently It's a Holiday

We've got the cheese ball out, the "Hough-hough-hough!" cheap champagne cooling off outside, and we may even have a few illegal fireworks (hmmm... well, bottle rockets, at least) in a box out in the garage.

New Year's Eve is GO.

A Minecraft Joke





Stupid lily pads.

Books of 2011: Last Minute

I read one of those books that you're never quite sure if it got you put on a watch list or not when you bought it. You know the type--out of control government, someone pushes back, some, um, very practical advice on doing some not very nice things, that sort. Needless to say, it goes towards my count but I'm not going to put it out on the internet for all to see--it's one of those that makes you a little paranoid about such things.

Hey, my blog, my book, my rules.

I guess tomorrow I can start a new label for the books of 2012!

Dr. Worm

Because my brother was singing it and now it's stuck in my head.



TMBG excellence.

12/30/2011

w00t


Mmmmmm... 200 more rounds of 308...

Cute or ugly?

Baby ostriches:



You decide!

A pertinent scripture

Proverbs 28:2 (HCSB):
When a land is in rebellion, it has many rulers,
but with a discerning and knowledgeable person, it endures.

While you might take this to say that the Proverbs are pushing an "Only Ones" mentality, I sure can't say that right now we don't have any "discerning and knowledgeable" people in charge of anything, and the "enduring" part doesn't seem to be very realistic, and between all of the entrenched bureaucracy, states trying to get back their power, justice department trying to start a war with Mexico, tea party, OWS, Republican, and Democrat bickering, and a president who flies off to Hawaii at the drop of a hat, there isn't much leadership floating around out there either.

Interesting times...

Flower Warfare: The Beginning

I love Freddiew's videos. I think I'm pretty close to the target audience, though, so I may be a bit biased. The first flower warfare video was pretty cool, and so is the prequel:

12/29/2011

How To

Quote: "Soldiers must be cautious when throwing grenades up stairs. This is not the most desired method of employment."

Something you may not have known, but now you do

So much random stuff on the internet.  It's a wonder how all those tubes don't clog up.

One of these things is not like the others

A list in the newspaper this morning about all the different things I will be able to vote on next year. Can you spot the one issue that separates the real hippies from the pretenders?

Avalanches

The Avalanches were first introduced to me by Butch, I then showed them to my brother, who then went out and bought the album.

12/28/2011

Hot Springs

I'm taking the day off (Monday was a holiday, then worked yesterday, then today off? SLACKER!) and we're going to venture out into the mountains go go to the Ouray Hot Springs, one of my favorite places on Earth. Hopefully it won't snow us out like it did last Christmastime--though it is always fun to sit in the pool with the snow coming down around your ears.

So you all have a nice day, too, I'll be back this evening if all goes according to plan!

Traveling



From my world-traveling friend in Montana. He's probably been to most of those places...

12/27/2011

More Christmas Cleanup

A Transformers gingerbread house?



Sure, why not?

Sweet

Between a couple gift cards and a deal of the day special, I ordered a can of .308 and another PMag from Cabela's for [ridiculously good price]. And now I am happy.

If only that front sight from Bushamster would get itself into the mail...

Gaming Frog



I bet you weren't expecting that!

Familiar meme, with a twist

Butch Cassidy posts about not all of what is in his pockets, but the three items he uses the most.

In my case it is my Kershaw Leek, my Droid X, and my little Key-Mate light. Much like a pocket knife, I never realized how often a flashlight comes in handy until I started carrying one around all the time.

You?

Cleaning up my inbox from all the Christmas stuff

Here's a good one, from my brother:



I am willing to be you couldn't do that as fast as that dog can--even if you were wearing Santa pants!

12/26/2011

'Twas the day after Christmas

What to watch for the evening's entertainment? Hmmm... Blazing Saddles?

It's kinda christmas-y, right?

The Christmas Tree

Appears to be very surprised that it is nearly time for it to be taken down already.

Books of 2011: Playing Catch Up with My Slacker Self

Since 2011 is nearly over, I thought I should probably finish listing the books that I've read in 2011. I was doing pretty good until October, and then for whatever reason I really slacked off on both reading and keeping track of what I was reading. But here is what I have read (or at least, remember reading) since the last Books of 2011 post.

The Looking Glass series by John Ringo and Doc Taylor, which consists of "Into the Looking Glass," "Vorpal Blade," "Manxome Foe," and "Claws that Catch." A physicist finds a way to open a trans-dimensional door, aliens invade, a space ship is made out of a submarine, hijinks ensue. For the most part, Dr. Taylor's hard scifi tendencies are tempered nicely with Ringo's pulpy violence (and vice versa), though, like many of Ringo's series, the later books seem to overstay their welcome. I'd rate the first two as solid 9/10's, the third as 7/10, and the last as maybe a 6/10. You can find it (or most of it, anyway) free from Baen if you have a kindle or other e-reader.

I also read "Storm Front" by Jim Butcher, the first of the Dresden Files, because a friend wanted me to read it. Not being a very big mystery fan, this one was pretty "meh" for me. I am told they pick up in the later books of the series, but I'm not sure I want to. 5/10.

Another was "Ghost Ship," by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, a Liaden Universe book--more specifically, finally the book that picks off at where "I Dare" ended. A 9 year cliff hanger. I was starting to hate the authors quite a bit, actually. I think this one still focuses too much on Theo and not enough on the rest of Korval--I mean, Miri and Val Con are mere sidestories. Still, it is good to advance the story, and I can't wait for the next one. Thank goodness they were picked up by Baen, it would be a shame if these authors were put out of print!

Next was Larry Correia and Mike Kupari's "Dead Six." Military Fiction, in a world only sightly devolved from our own. I read the "Welcome Back, Mr. Nightcrawler" on The High Road back when, the story that this one came out of. Very similar in some parts, a bit changed in others, I found it pretty entertaining, if not as much so as Larry's other books (just not as much of a Military Fiction guy, I guess). Written from two character veiwpoints, two guys who don't like each other, competing and collaborating eventually to accomplish the same end goals. The first half of the plot is a little slow (though still heavy on action), but it picks up. I'll definitely buy the other ones when they come out, but I just don't read through them in 12 hours straight like MHI or the Grimnoir books. Speaking of which, the next one is out and I need to read it... Anyway, I'd give it a 7.5/10.

Last, included here just because, I finally finished reading through The Message paraphrase of the Bible. Highly recommended if you are sick of the high vernacular most translations are put in to. It puts the Bible into more common modern language, making it more readable. I wouldn't recommend it as your only go-to copy, but perfect for refreshing your perspective. The introductions to the books by Eugene Peterson are worth the purchase price alone. 10/10.

I've got a few more books in progress, and a huge number on the pile that need to be read--hopefully I'll do better at reading them than I have been doing the past few months.

I think I'm going to pick up this album soon

More Yello:



There's just something about Dieter Meier--like how he is a Swiss millionaire industrialist who moonlights as an new wave/electronica artist. He's like the real life version of Buckaroo Banzai!

12/25/2011

Merry Christmas!

And as promised, here is another song from David Crowder Band:



I bet you weren't expecting a cover of that version of the song, were you? That's one more reason I love those guys, they can go from a bluegrass version of "Angels We Have Heard on High" straight into an excellent TSO cover. What other Christian Worship band does that?

Anyways, have a very merry Christmas, safe travels if you are going over the river and through the woods, and we'll check back in tomorrow!

John 1:1-5
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created. Life was in Him, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, yet the darkness did not overcome it.

12/24/2011

Bravery

My mother and brother just bundled up and went out into the cold for some last minute grocery shopping. They tried to go out yesterday, but the parking lots of both nearby stores were completely filled up, and so they were foiled. Hopefully at 7:30 in the morning things will be a touch more sedate. Cross your fingers, anyway.

Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel

A song for Christmas Eve.



Courtesy of David Crowder Band. A good rendition of it, one of my favorites. Expect another DCB song tomorrow.

Hope you have a good day, leading up to another!

12/23/2011

Deep Philosophical Questions

Can it be a casserole, or "hot dish" to those of the more Northern Midwest persuasion, if it doesn't have some Cream of Something soup in it and cheese on top?

Airplane Errata

I seem to remember this story going around a year ago (was it at Tam's? I can't remember) but thought this video was worth the watch again:



I just love that story!

Cool!

I just found that Pandora Radio has a "Electronic Christmas" station! 

Because I get sick of hearing the same version of "Jingle Bells" over and over, so throwing in some loops and drums can freshen it up a bit.  Maybe I'll make it to Christmas day without going insane, after all!

Excremental Driving Skills

Not sure if excremental is a real word or not, but I think it is accurate.


Another few feet and they would have come through the front window.  Apparently this semi-sentient excuse for humanity doesn't know the rule "SLOW THE HELL DOWN WHEN YOU ARE GOING AROUND CORNERS ON ICY ROADS!"  With the corollary, "ESPECIALLY IF IT IS RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY HOUSE!"  Hopefully they do now.

I want to know what it would take to put in a concrete barrier right there.  Maybe one with embedded tungsten-steel spikes for that extra "I love you, too."

A Yello Christmas



Yello is awesome, even if this is actually a kinda crappy quality video.

12/22/2011

So Hard to Concentrate

Boss not here...

Just finished one of my tasks that I've been working on for the past couple days...

Mother just texted a picture of a plate full of Christmas cookies...

Stay strong! Must... stay... strong...

Slip Slidin' Your Life Away

So yeah, it snowed last night, enough to to stick, and I had to choose between driving to work on the interstate, which involved higher velocities than through town, or the town way, which was slower but would have more traffic, stopping and going, and potential for sliding into others. Chose interstate, and got here ok, despite the best efforts of all those people who just don't get what black ice is. Saw several people on the side of the road, backwards and/or bent, looking perplexed at their vehicles, as if to say "What, you mean my mother was WRONG when she told me that I was a good, rational human being?"

Here's some hints: If you can see the reflection of the headlights on the road though the skiffs of snow, that means THERE IS ICE. If you can feel your car shimmy and shake a little bit, not only is there ice, but YOU ARE GOING TOO FAST. And for the love of all that is good and holy in this world, please, PLEASE turn on your headlights. Believe me, not only is your life, as idiotic as it is, worth the $10 to replace a headlight bulb if you are worried about burning one out, but MY LIFE IS WORTH IT TOO. I know I've said it before, but here it is again: "I don't care if your goal in life is to die screaming in a fire, as long as you don't take me with you."

From a soundtrack



Never really played Bastion, but the soundtrack it pretty fantastic. Nice simple, depressing, bluesy stuff.

Here's another one:

12/21/2011

Hopelessness in 3D

Alternative title: "...and that's why I hate Statistics."

Parts, bit by bit

Ordered the clamp-on front sight from Bushmaster with some more Christmas money.  Guess that means that I'm sticking with the stock gas block.  I think that I'm going to stay with the carbine length barrel for now, and if/when I decide to go further out than 500 yards or so (the longest range shooting range I have available besides the desert is only 300 yards), I'll maybe look into building a whole new upper.  This whole "LEGO gun" pop out parts and stick in new ones is pretty entertaining, I'll just keep saying.

Red Sky In the Morning


Supposed to snow tonight and tomorrow.  If old sailor's tales have anything to do with it, I'd say they're right.

What dubstep sounds like to your parents*

*And probably most of you



It's ok if you just admit it. But it won't stop me from posting weird techno from time to time.

12/20/2011

A Short Movie Review: Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows

Went to see Sherlock Holmes 2 over the weekend. I really enjoyed the first one, but I wasn't expecting much from the second. Came out pleasantly surprised. The first one was good because, I think, it was so unexpected--a different style than most other action-y movies coming out nowadays. The only reason the second one isn't as good as the first is because you go in to it knowing what to expect. This doesn't mean that the quality is any different, though.

The plot involves Prof. Moriarty, an arms buildup in Europe, Dr. Watson getting married, and averting a world war, culminating in an ending that will separate those who know their Sherlock lore from those who are just looking to kill a couple hours (seriously, lady in the back who gasped--you didn't know enough about the story to expect that?).

While the slow-mo may be a little bit over used, it is so much better than the jerky shaky cam that most action movies use these days--and it will lend itself well to dubstep remixes on Youtube once it comes out on video! 

If you enjoy a good Hollywood flick, especially one with nice Victorian era trappings, or if you are a Sherlock Holmes fan who can stand to have their heroes put in to a bit more action than is possibly canon (though I do remind you that Sherlock was an amateur boxer, and Dr. Watson did always carry his revolver), I highly recommend this.

And it has made me want to go and dust off my copies of Sherlock Homes again, which is never a bad thing.

inexplicable favorite



Pomplamoose is awesome!

12/19/2011

Scary!

Dear Santa,
Ok, this is how it's gonna go down. You know where I live, and you know what I want, so unless I get it on Christmas morning, Blitzen's going next. I’ll work my way down one sleigh-puller at a time. I got eight more bullets.
Make it happen fat man.
Make it happen.



(From an email I got)

Kim'n and Ill'n

From The Onion News Network, the only one that is overt in it's attitude towards the news:

"Kim Jong-Un Privately Doubting He's Crazy Enough To Run North Korea"

My favorite line: "While emphasizing that he was definitely completely insane and would likely become even more so as leader of North Korea, the younger Kim nevertheless wondered if he could ever be enough of a lunatic to truly replace the most unhinged dictator on the planet."

You have to wonder, don't you?

Added:



Added more:

Reports say Kim Jong Ill still alive?
NOPE Chuck Testa!

Broken eggs and omelets

Maybe a year or two ago if you had told me that Eric Holder might have been involved in providing Timothy McVeigh with his explosives, I would have pointed and laughed at your crazy conspiracy theories.

Now I just go "Hmmm. Yeah, I could see that."  Considering that both the justification and the method of this and Fast and Furious are pretty much identical...

Added:

ASM826's link has been Memory Hole'd.  Bells a Ringing has more.  And now that I've stewed over it some more, the more I'm convinced that, much like the TSA, I am sure there are good people working in the Department of Justice, but every second someone doesn't frog march "Mr." Holder out of his office and straight to a trial, more and more of them become accomplices.  "You have to break a few eggs to make an omelet" you say, but why did you have to take a weed whacker to the egg section in the grocery store and then hit it with a flame thrower?  I got news for you--over 200 dead Mexican citizens, and 168 dead Americans ISN'T A FUCKING OMELET.  You need to come out of your sheltered DC life and get back into the real world, where when someone even proposes an action like this you beat the little mentally-insane moron up.  Your ends are not even justifying your means!

A continuation of last night



Sometimes it is good to put away your cynicism, sit down with your family, and watch a Christmas movie. It may be harder at some times than others, but it may just do a body good.

Oh, and great minds think alike?

And even more serendipity with today's music?

12/18/2011

Muppet Christmas Carol

A real true family tradition. Hard to beat Michael Cane as Scrooge, and Gonzo as Charles Dickens.

Gunundrums

What follows is a stream of consciousness discussion with myself over some different stock options for my Bushmaster ORC 308 (I'm not crazy, I just have a blog).

Current Stock

Weight: ~0.45 lbs
Slightly rattle-y, black, sling mount catches on things (like your breast pocket and such). Works ok, but definitely upgradeable.

Magpul Stocks:

MOE
Weight: 0.53 lbs
Reviewers mostly seem to say that this one locks up nice and tight, and to not waste your money on a CTR.

CTR
Weight: 0.58 lbs
Has two locking bits for extra... lockiness. Reviewers seem to say that this is the best... stock... evahr! and they wouldn't think about buying any other.

ACS-L
Weight: 0.78 lbs
Same double locking system as the CTR, but now with added storage compartment.  I like the idea of the storage compartment, but I am not sure what you would store in it.  Extra springs and parts?  Why wouldn't you just keep that stuff separate rather than carrying it around with you all the time?  I'm not planning on tons of field abuse--though I suppose the zombie uprising could happen at any time and it's good to plan for the worst.  Is the extra weight of it going to be something annoying, or will it not be noticeable? 

There is also the regular ACS, which has battery storage tubes on the sides.  Weighs and costs more, I don't like the size of it with the extra bulk, and I don't think I need to carry around 6 batteries all the time.

So, to sum up, leaning toward the MOE, or maybe the ACS-L (though I am not sure if the latter has been released yet--Midway has a "out of stock, back in stock by 12-30-11" message, and everywhere else seems to be similar). So yeah, gunundrums.

12/17/2011

Should I be worried, confused, or excited?

Saw this in my sitemeter, and it was a little bit puzzling:


What do you think? Am I being staked out, or was there just a really really bored police officer killing time on a slow day?

Almost looks like a cartoon


Doens't it look like it's been cel-shaded?

Cat Blogging Again

video

How could I not?

12/16/2011

New Write in Candidate?



You know, a platform of "I'll turn all the alien Frisbee's around, and then we can all play!" is kinda appealing right now. Not any worse than anyone else...

Virtual Shackles

This.

So, from all of the Youtube videos I've posted, I'm pretty much hosed.

A "How Not to do Steampunk" Song

"Just Glue Some Gears on it and Call it Steampunk"

12/15/2011

Unobtanium

What She Said

I know you probably already read Tam, but really, I have to link to this.

If there is one thing that I just don't get these days, it is how a handful of millionaire quasi-aristocrats and their hangers-on have such an influence over little ol' me in flyover land. Why does the entire country have to hang in the balance over some random decision involving two groups of people who are worse negotiators than kindergarteners? And why do we all seem to think that if "our guy" gets in, he will fix everything? I mean, it's not like you can go ALL THE WAY BACK TO OUR OWN STUPID FOUNDING FATHERS to see where that gets you...

Feh. 

Surf Guitar, Mexican Wrestlers, and Gogo Dancers

Los Straitjackets:



Who I never would have heard of it it weren't for The Gormogons. Another piece of their vast, overarching plot for world domination has now fallen in to place...

12/14/2011

Load off my mind

Little bro got home safe and sound.  Now I don't have to worry about him till January when he drives back up to Wyoming...

Recommendation

Watched National Geographic's "Lost Fleet of Guadalcanal" last night on Netflix, and I have to say, this is a very good documentary.  Made before the Nat Geo devolved into complete and utter global warming alarmism (seriously, have you tried to read any article in one of those magazines lately? The pictures are still pretty as always, but the writing is only pretty sad), it comes in three main parts--Dr. Robert Ballard's expedition to find all of the sunken warships in Iron Bottom Sound (that guy was a childhood hero of mine), historical footage and commentary about the Battle of Guadalcanal (covering the land sea and air), and interviews with veterans from both sides of the war, getting together with Dr. Ballard to see again the ships they served on after being at the bottom of the sea for 50 years.  For me, someone who has been interested in the history of WWII, particularly in the Pacific Theater, since elementary school, it was very neat, and even moving at times. 

Two thumbs up.

Not Bad

Got a whole half an inch of precipitation yesterday. 

Hopefully no more today, as my brother is finally coming home for Christmas, and I don't think my mother could stand it if he went off the road in the middle of nowhere... again.

Love is for the Middle Class

Sorry, the same band in two days is probably some sort of faux pas, but House of Heroes is just so good! This time a song for all of us who just want to get through life:



That whole album is called "Suburba" if you didn't gather that from the video, and it is all about small town America. It's good stuff.

12/13/2011

Yep, it snowed

Complete with all the idiot drivers who either think that the small skiff of snow means that they are going to slide off the interstate if they go faster than 50 mph or think that the small skiff of snow makes it so they can finally try out their 4WD at 80 mph.

Don't worry, I made it to where I was going aok. Despite everyone else's best efforts. And despite having a few flashbacks to the jeep experience.  But I do think I'm going to go home through town.

Added: aaaaand now it's raining.  So much for our snow.

Quote of the Day

From Sean Sorrentino:
Whenever someone openly worries about being shot by the most law abiding people on the planet, I wonder what he plans on doing to deserve getting shot. Think about it. If you’re worried about shark attacks it implies that you are planning on getting into the water. If you’re worried about getting shot by a concealed carrier, doesn’t that pretty much admit that you are planning on violently attacking that permit holder?
It is a very good point. And when you consider that the members of anit-rights cults like Mayors Against Illegal Guns have a far greater percentage of felonies than the general population, much less a segment of the general populations that has to spend hundreds of dollars on the equipment, permitting, and background checks just to be able to exercise a "God-given right," well, is it any wonder?

Why isn't there more Zombie Music?

Yes, it's a Halloween song in December. What are you going to do about it?



I justify it because House of Heroes is always just good solid rock with a little goofiness thrown in for spice.

12/12/2011

Is it finally the day?

It looks like it might actually could snow this afternoon/evening.  After the weather service has predicted such an occurrence to happen at least a couple days a week for the past 7 weeks, and nothing has come out of it--could today be the day that I finally get to see the white stuff?

Quote of the Day

This entire post.

Why is it that Mike started posting at the same time Breda stopped?

Bushmaster ORC Brief Range Report

So made it out to the range yesterday with my rifle (pt1 of my escapades here, pt2 here). We got off 40 rounds before the dark and the cold drove us home, which was enough to get the red dot sighted in and to get a feel for the rifle. We started at the 50 yard berm and then tried a few at the 100 yard--which is about as far as we could go with the red dot, anyway.

100 yards, 3 shots from me and 3 from my friend, can't remember which ones are whose

I am happy with that, considering that I have been mostly a pistol shooter--and all those holes are within the "dot" of the scope. I could see a person going out further with a red dot if they knew what they were doing, but...

As for the gun, I was pleasantly surprised at how little recoil it had--while it was of course more than my 10/22, it was less than my dad's .222. More of a "push" than a "jerk". That's a semi auto vs a bolt for you. While the 30 some odd rounds I shot might not be enough for a real test, I had no discomfort whatsoever. And again, 40 rounds isn't enough for a real test, but so far no problems functionality-wise. I love those P-mags, too. So much nicer than the metal one that came with it.  The only complaint I might have about it right now is that with the generic stock on it pulls hairs off your face at times. 

I hope that I can get out there some more sometime soon. As they say, shooting is converting money into smoke and noise, but it also converts money into experience and skill. Probably ought to spring for a range membership so I don't have to work around my friend's schedule.

Oh, and the obligatory shot of the gun (notice the redneck shooting rest!):


It's a good thing that no one else was there, we spread out over three shooting benches!

As always, fun was had by all.

Christmas cover, with a nice bass line

Though I don't care for the singer.



Someone should do a mashup with the instruments from this one together with Thurl Ravenscroft singing. That would be pretty sweet.

12/11/2011

If all goes according to plan

I will be coming home this afternoon with a dirty rifle. Hopefully a rifle that functioned flawlessly, is sighted in correctly, and is ready to go again.

And now for a completely different Christmas Carol



Oh how I love Family Force 5!

12/10/2011

Be LIke Han

I like this. A lot.

Han Solo was always my favorite character from Star Wars. If I ever get around to starting an interstellar shipping consortium, I want him and Malcolm Reynolds captaining under me. Much as I enjoy Star Trek, every time I see it I can't help but think "If this were real, those people would be dead before they left the solar system."

Saturday Explosion

Why do I not do so many explosions? I used to do them all the time...



Mine clearing with C4! What fun!

12/09/2011

Hello? Are... You the... Future?

So I just ordered a pizza over the internet from my phone. No human interaction required.

We'll see how this works...

Cranberry Cake

My ranch family friends in Montana would make this dessert around this time of year.  We seemed to have come into possession of a couple bags of whole cranberries, so I hit up the Montanans for the recipe.

9x9 pan
3 c cranberries, rinsed and sorted
1 c sugar
2 c flour
1 c milk
3 TBS butter
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
350 degrees 35-40 minutes

Now, at this point you may be saying to yourself "Big deal! There's only one cup of sugar in this.  Not much of a cake, if you ask me," but you would be oh so wrong, for the simple reason you haven't seen this next part of the recipe yet:


Sauce:
1 c sugar
1 TBS flour
1/2 c butter
1/2 c cream
1 TBS apple cider vinegar
Put all in a pan, bring to boil, remove and add 1 tsp vanilla

That is what the recipe says, but then I upped the ante by adding another goodly sized glug of some Blackstrap rum.  Mmmmm, rum.


Perfect for those cold winter days!  Have it for breakfast, even!

Coupla links: Holder holds out and what GM owes you for the Volt

The Dread and powerful Gormogon, the Czar of Muscovy has a good rundown on the AG's hearings yesterday, saying, "Well, at least Eric Holder makes Janet Reno look like a competent professional by comparison."

Sigh.

Seriously, the dude is either completely evil and malicious, or (by his own admission) completely incompetent.

An interesting question to ask yourself is "why aren't more democrats calling for his resignation too?"

Then, the Adaptive Curmudgeon has a nice post up highlighting the complete and utter FAIL that is the Chevy Volt.

Go and read.

A question

If I make a post for the sole reason of telling you that I don't have anything to post about, does it count as a post?

12/08/2011

So quiet...

My boss is out of the office at a meeting.

I am running out of things to do.

I think I am going to leave early and swing by the liquor store.

There is no more gin, no more rum (Bacardi bulk doesn't count), and no more Jameson's at home.

And maybe a Christmas present while I'm there...

Bushmaster ORC: Next Steps

About a week has passed, and this is what my rifle looks like now:


Magpul MOE handguard and grip, a couple P-Mags, and a Vortex Strikefire red/green dot scope.

I really like the feel of the Magpul stuff--the stock handguard was loose, as I mentioned in my first post, and I really dislike grips on any gun that have finger grooves, leading to the elimination of the stock grip.  The MOE handguard is nice and tight, with no slop that I can feel; though it is meant for an AR-15, with just a little bit of tweaking (had to bend the two rearmost metal tabs inward just a titch to get it to go on), it was a drop in part.  The MOE grip doesn't have finger grooves, is a little bit fatter than the stock grip, and has a nice, slightly rough surface, as well as having a snap out core to store random stuff in.  I should mention that I chose "foliage green" for absolutely no reason whatsoever. The P-Mags snap in and fall out easily, a great improvement over the magazine that came with the gun, which fits in the magwell too tight.

I decided to go with the Vortex red dot because it was the fastest, least inexpensive way for me to get into the game.  Time will tell how it holds up under recoil, but Vortex seems to have a good customer service reputation, so hopefully it won't all end in tears.  If all else fails it can go on another gun.

Next on the list is hunting down my friend with the range membership to get it out in the real world, then (in a couple pay periods from now, for sure) comes some sort of iron sights (I still haven't decided whether to get the clamp on front iron sight that Bushmaster sells (about halfway down the page here) or to switch out the gas block entirely for a railed one.  Then, a nicer stock, then a telescopic scope.  And dashed liberally in between all those steps, a ton of .308 Winchester. And maybe a nicer sling than the bit of nylon webbing it came with.  And probably a bayonet, since it has a lug for one.

As always, I welcome any thoughts or advice, and offer no guarantees that I will follow any of it.

And, I will just say, I am probably having more fun with this than is strictly necessary.


Insert Standard Disclaimer here: FCC FTC FAA FFA FGH FAC F ET AL.: You'd think you guys would get the idea that blogger write about stuff for the simple reason they like to show off their cool toys, not because there is some sort of grand conspiracy of being bought out by the companies who make the products they write about.  But, I guess not.  Go suck eggs.

There you are

A hard bit detective with steely blue eyes, a green '68 Mustang, and a snub nose Diamondback, when suddenly...



...those horns... those cymbals... that suspended chord... a base line...

It's time for a car chase.

12/07/2011

Like a kid in a candy store

So through my church (and most churches, I think) there is a program with the Salvation Army where kids who may not be having a great Christmastime get their name put on a tag on a tree in the lobby, and members can pick a kid to buy a present for.  Being that I am a bit of a geek, I made sure to pick a kid who wanted LEGOs.  And being a bit of a geek, I used this as an excuse to go into the LEGO store that opened in town while I was away at college. 

Oh man. 

It's a good thing that this place wasn't around when I was 12--that probably couple thousand dollars I've got sunk into little plastic bricks from years worth of allowances would probably have been doubled.  Seriously, BEST STORE EVER.

I walked out with a nice yellow steam roller set for the kid from the tree (slightly crumpled box, about 30% off), and a graduate minifigure and giant raptor for my friend (the one who sends me all the links I use pointing to cool LEGO things) who is graduating from School of Mines next week.  Because my order was over $50, I got a free LEGO Star Wars mini set, too!  Gotta love it.


If this whole "engineering" thing doesn't work out, I know what door my shadow is going to be in, begging for work...

News for Pearl Harbor Day

Lee Soucy decided five years ago that when he died he wanted to join his shipmates killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Soucy lived to be 90, passing away just last year. On Tuesday, seven decades after dozens of fellow sailors were killed when the USS Utah sank on Dec. 7, 1941, a Navy diver took a small urn containing his ashes and put it in a porthole of the ship.

The ceremony is one of five memorials being held this week for servicemen who lived through the assault and want their remains placed in Pearl Harbor out of pride and affinity for those they left behind.


Go and read the whole article.  I'm glad the whoever is in charge of the Utah Memorial and the Park Service in charge of the Arizona Memorial allows this to happen. 

Rest easy.

Soldiers' Angels Fundraiser and Giveaway

Frankly if you don't already know about this fundraiser Linoge is running for Soldiers' Angels, you're probably not visiting my blog anyway, but since I finally got around to donating, I thought I should direct you to participate as well. Lots of great prizes to incentivize you, and actually more prizes than there are entrants in the drawing. 

Go, donate!

Whoa, psychedelic, man



I bet you weren't expecting a Beach Boys video, were you?

12/06/2011

Wanna hear something funny

Belgium just ended a year and a half with no government. Not sure why they felt the need for one after getting along without it for so long. Those Flems and Walloons just can't get along.

But I just thought it was funny that the place where the UN EU (sorry got my pansy European groups mixed up again) meets didn't have anything but King Albert for so long.

Goldilocks

Cool.

They found a planet that is only a couple times bigger than the Earth with an average surface temperature of 72 degrees F. Of course, it's 600 light years away, so the commute will be a bear...

What this blog is lacking is headband



Mark Knopfler comes in to save the day! Hooray!

12/05/2011

462.67 rankine

What do you think? Am I going to have to warm up my truck before I get in it tomorrow morning?

I know this is slightly old news

But it has been stuck in my head and I wanted to get it out.

Were you aware that a bill was proposed that was supposed to be for limiting regulations
?

While I find the intent of the bill admirable, I just want to let that sink in for a second.

They were trying to pass a RULE to make it so there were LESS RULES.

Aye-ye-ye...

british Climate Change fear mongers moving on?

"Well, at least we'll be able to grow more crops if it's warmer," they say. 

Is this stage of the narrative "bargaining" or "acceptance"?

Random Star Wars Stuff

An AT-AT liquor cabinet! (the one commenter there says "perfect for your Qui-Gon gin... groan)

An Ewok village gingerbread set
! (I especially like the death star hanging overhead)

Just seems appropriate

The theme song from 28 Days Later:



Are you ready for the zombpocalypse? Seems like it ought to happen any time, now.

Fun fact: I got to watch this movie for a social sciences class back in college. Yes, the class was a joke. But the movie was ok.

Oooo! There's a dubstep remix! Those are always good for a laugh!

12/04/2011

Love it when that happens

Just put on my coat for the first time this winter, and found a $10 bill that was left in the pocket from when I last hung the coat up! w00t! Another box of ammo (almost)!

You may have seen this before

Heck, I may have posted it before.



But I just re-watched it, and I think you should too. Because Bearcats are awesome airplanes, the Blue Angels are great, and tributes to our servicemen from the past are always cool.

2 Years Old

What is that in blog years?

Approaching 2000 posts, around 24,000 "sitemeter" views, and around 45,000 "blogger stats" views--not sure which one of those is more accurate. Not a big blog, but enough traffic to make me feel like someone out there is listening.  And I'm still just t-h-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-s close to switching over to wordpress.

Anyway, I will again repeat the opening statement I made lo those two years ago,

BLOGS: Never before have so many said so little to so few.

I will try to continue upholding such lofty ideals and standards.

12/03/2011

Let the madness continue

Just placed an order for a bunch of MagPul stuff.

As for the sights I think I may go with a basic red dot for now until I can work up the nerve to get some real iron sights (should I go whole hog and switch out the gas block for one with a rail, and then mount a separate flip up sight on it, or go the easier but less adaptable for the future route and get the bushmaster sight (part YHM-9360K on this page) that clamps on to the gas block I have...)

This is kinda fun!

Scaredy Cats and Chickens


Let Fractal the Cat out of his shed (for the first time) and the chickens out of theirs this morning while we cleaned everything out.  He wasn't quite sure what to make of those things, decided discretion was the better part of valor and climbed into the willow bush to observe from a safe distance.

Cats and chickens are both funny to watch, and adding them together resulted in a good hour of entertainment.

Swing Zeppelin?



I don't know what just happened...

12/02/2011

Owie


And the price of gas isn't even all that bad. And isn't it a little scary that I can say something like "$3.29" isn't bad?

I'm impressed.

I managed to skin my elbow despite wearing a sweatshirt and a carhartt jacket.

I guess that's what sliding down 20' of concrete embankment will do for ya'.

Unveiled: Bushmaster ORC .308

Note: any technical terms I use in the following is strictly used on a "book knowledge" basis.  This is my first AR style rifle, and indeed could be argued to be my first Evil Black Rifle of any sort. I am most definitely a neophyte when it comes to these things, and I welcome anyone with more/other knowledge to share.

As some of you may have guessed/put together the pieces for, the rifle I ordered via Davidson's (great service, by the way, everything worked wonderfully, three days and it was here) was a Bushmaster ORC (or "optics ready carbine"--which means "we are keeping it low cost and not even putting on iron sights") in .308 Winchester. It comes with a 16" barrel w/A2 flash hider, a bit of nylon strapping, a couple of rail risers, one 20 rd magazine, and a rather ridiculously oversized hard plastic case.



Thoughts and observations:  The handguard feels a little sloppy; reading around on teh interwebs this seems to be how it is.  It appears that it is easy enough to come by aftermarket handguards, however, with some reporting success with using the MagPul MOE, which I don't think is specifically made for the 308 AR's.  I would, however, like some more rail somewhere for mounting some iron sights out front--perhaps changing the gas block to one with a rail built in, or a gas block with the sights built in?

I have also been reading that, as Bushmaster is part of the Freedom Group, their guns are made by DPMS.  Indeed, though it says "Made in Windham Maine" on the side (despite Bushmaster relocating), it also says "Mod: LR-308", the name DPMS uses for their AR-10 style rifles.  I am not sure what those two things together are telling me, but I am assured by the internet that the Bushmaster can use anything made for the DPMS style guns.  Such as some o' those slick MagPul PMags, a major consideration for me.

Some day I think I would like to get a longer barrel, however the 16" does feel rather handy, and the gun comes to the shoulder nice.  Perhaps I am going to start diving into the madness of having multiple builds of rifles... not that I could afford that, right now. 

However, the very first thing I need to do is get some optics of some sort.  Since it is a carbine, was sort of thinking about a red dot... but since it is a .308, was thinking of an actual-by-golly rifle scope.  This is probably the area that I would welcome the most suggestions.  Would like to keep it somewhat reasonable for my bank account, $300 at the very most--for now anyway.

Looking out there at the myriad of aftermarket parts and gidgey-gadgets has made me almost giddy looking forward to taking it all apart and putting it back together again.  Better faster stronger, right?

I've been wanting a 308 "Battle Rifle" (though not sure if a carbine counts for that or not) for some time, and between saving up for it a little bit at a time over the past 6 months, Christmastime coming, a nice deal from Davidson's, and the way the economy seems to be shedding parts as it careens towards the ground, now seemed to be the ideal occasion. It may not have all the features, and it will require more money to get to where I want it, but this way I at least have my foot in the door. Oh, and I also bought this rifle to learn reloading with--when Mr. R offered to bring down an extra press the next time he comes through town that he just has lying around and that "is nicer than the one your dad had here," who am I to refuse?

And lastly, for doubletrouble, who really wanted a pittcher last night, this is the best I could do:


P.S. FCC FTC FAA FGH FAC F ET AL.: You'd think you guys would get the idea that blogger write about stuff for the simple reason they like to show off their cool toys, not because there is some sort of grand conspiracy of being bought out by the companies who make the products they write about.  But, I guess not.  Go soak your fat heads.

Added: Link to what was done next.

Crap.

Now they've changed the Youtube interface as well. 

CURSE YOU GOOGLE AND YOUR INFERNAL MEDDLING! KILL IT WITH FIRE!



I'm going to have to start clicking on the "Report a bug" button on the bottom of all the pages and just say "google".

12/01/2011

Yay!

Today I got covered in dust and mud, got paid, bought a gun, and hung christmas lights. Now I am tired and hungry.

(Don't worry, pics to follow later, just not now.)

I guess it was what you could call a successful day.

Man...

So I'm out in the middle of nowhere taking a break from taking a bunch of GPS coordinates, and I get a call that my gun has come in. This magic talking box I have it's great sometimes, but now I have to keep paying attention to work when I would really rather be elsewhere...

You got an hour? Cry Wolf.

Here's an interesting documentary by a first-time young film maker, detailing the story of the wolf in MT and Yellowstone.

As always, there is more to the story than what the government and its agents tell you on the national geographic.

From a friend in MT, who sent it to me saying:
"It is a rare occasion that I find something of value on the internet worth passing on.

When you have an hour, you should watch this movie made by a local Montana kid. You can watch it for free on his website, or you can buy the dvd and support a local.

Most of you whom I am sending this to I think already know a lot about the impact wolves have had on the western states. Some of you I am sending this to will think I am a right wing conspiracy nut. I really don't care."
Word.

I would have to say that this video is heavily biased in the other direction, and some might not care for the Christian theological arguments at the end, but that doesn't mean it should automatically ignored. The points that interested me the most were that Yellowstone was not the natural habitat of the wolves in the first place, and that Fish and Wildlife used money (the guy in the documentary says "stole") that was supposed to go to the states via the Pittman-Robertson Act to fund the Wolf project.

Pretty good for a first time documentary.

Must Read Posts

First from Low Dog on the Totem Pole, about the current happenings in Iran, and how no one in the news seems to care.

Then from The Smallest Minority comes a whole nother boatload of fun news.

And in case you wanted the nice easy to understand version of our coming financial collapse, Tam has a nice metaphor for you.

All in all, I'm kinda glad I finally broke down and ordered that rifle...

Yep

Got up this morning and looked like I had just awoken into a Japanese cartoon. All that was missing was that my hair wasn't blue.

It's about time for a haircut.