Friday, January 31, 2014

3D printers, now with expanded versatility

First, a 3D printer that prints in food. A replicator it is not (yet), but getting closer. It can print a pizza.

The next is a 3D printer that can make much, much tougher parts, by printing in carbon fiber. Carbon fiber can actually do such things as withstand pressure (most high end paintball air tanks are thin carbon fiber), making 3D printed guns and gun parts less stupid of an idea.

The last one I don't have a link for, because it was on TV, but there's discussions of building a 3D printer scaled to print out buildings in layers of concrete. Set it up at the site, hit print, and wait until your house is done.

At some point these things will be able to do a heck of a lot.

Everyone wants to be a rifleman/sharpshooter/etc. American Mercenary has some handy dandy tips, cleverly disguised as an avalanche of links.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Space is Bad/Good

Space is bad for you, even if you don't get directly exposed to it. Basically destroyed the immune systems of flies born in space. Except, if you have artificial gravity slightly beyond that of Earth, space is apparently good for you, so there's that.

Space is weird. Lets go to space anyway.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Curse you, Capitalism!

Darn you, Market, and your failure to cater to my absurdly varied and impractically specific desires!

Clearly the problem is capitalism, and has nothing to do with my requirements! And of course the obvious answer is socialism, the master system of meeting all people's specific needs perfectly!

In all seriousness, I am apparently good at finding things that I want that nobody makes. On the other side of the coin, many of these things are things that I can make myself, because engineer, and then make all the money, so it's alright I guess.

A few things I want that I probably can't throw together in my currently-imaginary garage workshop
-A watch with a Geiger counter in it that isn't $500-1500 and limited production (I want one, but not $500+ worth!)
-A pipe-insert version of those e-cigarette things, so I can (kind of) use the pipes I'm considering collecting without cancer, etc.

Hmm, not quite as many things that I can't make as I thought, although I'm sure I'm forgetting some. Now, if you'll pardon me, I'm off to work more on my job hunt so I can afford raw materials for the rest of the list!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Gaming Shenanigans, The List

I came across this a while ago, and have been meaning to post it here several times but have never gotten around to it (that I can remember)

Many of the more sensible things are things that will work in my games. Only a select few of them will get your character killed/maimed/taken away.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Glases/Ear Mount Flashlights

I wind up working in a lot of dark places where I need both hands and have no room to hang a work light (assuming I had one available). I usually wind up holding my Streamlight ProTach 1L in my mouth while I work, which doesn't work as well if I also need to talk to someone to ask for parts or whatever.

There are a few varieties of ear-mount flashlights, but none of them are what I'd call "minimalist"
This one in particular is the most common one that I've seen, and seems the most useful.
I've found a couple glasses mount lights, but they're equally non-minimalist, and usually rather doofy looking to boot, in ways that might work on a pair of work glasses but not for every-day wear.

Has anyone come across a 1AAA or 1AAAA battery LED light? I'm thinking I might need to just make something myself (flashlights aren't particularly complex), designed to either attach to the temples of a pair of glasses or sit comfortably behind the ear like a pen or pencil.

Cap lights are aplenty, but I don't wear a compatible hat particularly often.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Fantasy Gaming Problems

Nothing to do with the mechanics of the game, more to do with me.
Whenever I build an interesting character with an interesting weapon, I want a copy of that weapon. Usually I tend towards practical weapons that actually work, and blades are a good bit cheaper than guns, but with blades as a collection thing it's much easier to find massive numbers of them. With guns, I can at least go "Ok, I need a gun to fill this role, can't buy anything else until I've filled all roles I still need guns for". Since the entire purpose behind everything beyond one good sturdy combat knife is "because why not/cool", there's no semblance of need involved. Just want. Lots of want.

At the moment, I want a second SOG Tactical tomahawk (Highly recommended, by the way. Works great, feels great), because the FancyZerker wields a pair of axes. More on that in some other post.
I also want pretty much every sword-machete made by Cold Steel. And their Grosse Messer, and Basket Hilt Broadsword. And training versions from them or other makers for everything. And more people to train with.

Seriously, every time I use a particular class of weapon in a game, I want one.

At least I'll have stuff to decorate my Dwarven fortress with when I build it...
(anyone can make an underground house, but they're usually ugly as sin, which is just wasted potential!)

Thursday, January 23, 2014


Just went from home to Rockford IL to Southfield MI and back to home in two days. All total, after weather (more on that in a sec) and such things, around 20 hours of driving. All time not spent driving was spent at interviews, with a short rest in a cheap hotel room, so not particularly relaxing.

Snow's, fine. I can drive in snow. What's less pleasant to drive in is surprise snow. Doesn't start to snow and gradually get worse and worse, just suddenly SNOW. From clean and clear to zero visibility in the blink of an eye. There were a LOT of cars beached, rolled, and slid into ditches. I kept my car within my and its limits. Those new tires it got relatively recently were darn nice.

When adventuring, maps are invaluable. Self-reading maps are a particularly great convenience. Should have gotten one long ago, but at least I got one while it's still useful for stuff instead of once I was all settled.

Having a car decide it would like to face a different direction than it is presently traveling seems like a good way to test the nerves of the driver. In that case, when my car decided to do so after the person in front of me stomped on the brakes on a slippery offramp, I passed the test with flying colors and barely an elevated heart rate. Car managed to make it 90 degrees before I got the wheels to grip again and brought back into my lane, but I kept it on the road and mostly in my lane so the few other cars could go around me easily.

Don't think I've ever seen as many semis as on 94 to/from Detroit.

And that's just the way out there.

On the way back, got caught in another instant snowstorm, narrowly avoided getting caught in that colossal traffic jam by Michigan City. Decided to pull off for some dinner and to use the restroom, saw traffic grind to a halt on literally the other side of the bridge from the offramp. Met a gentleman at the Pizza Hut, who offered me free pizza (it was the same price for a personal and the full size daily special, so he got it to share with any other refugees from the traffic), who turned out to be an engineer who was looking to hire more engineers. He also gave me directions to get around the traffic jam.

First solo trip to far distant places, complete. Now if you'll excuse me, my wrists hurt from holding the steering wheel. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

About time with a tip of the hat to

Folks have been waiting for this since the RFB was announced, I think.

I've had thoughts on doing that while thinking of ways to make a simpler ambidextrous bullpup. I like bullpups, and I like that they moved the magazine forwards slightly, which should help with balance a bit. Reloads will still be weird by comparison to standard pattern rifles, but sometimes compactness is very desirable.

I'll keep an eye out for one, when they're actually buy-able in 2-3 years. Should even have money for it then!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Hate to break it to you, H2

But some programs have a "best by" date.

An "Is 2012 the END OF THE WORLD?!?!?!?!?!?" program doesn't work so well in 2014...

Make way, coming through

That's one way to clear roads clogged by abandoned cars, bandit blockades, and just about anything else you could run into in the varying flavors of apocalypse.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

I wonder if they listen to themselves when they talk?
Miguel has a run in with someone who pretty much says we should throw out the entire bill of rights, because it applies to people she doesn't like.
Moms Demand Whatever claims that they aren't extremists who want to ban everything, except that they believe that completely banning the sale of guns is the only common sense thing (I mean, you can still HAVE guns, if someone died and gave them to you! Heaven forbid you BUY them though!)

I've had my own run ins with leftists of extreme degree. Two people I knew from high school actually work for the Democrat party. My sister and her husband (both of who's parents were teachers) are also diehard "liberals", although working in a prison has helped my sis figure out that a lot of the laws that will supposedly fix everything forever are basically bullshit. Here are some things I've heard them say in debates, paraphrased but left as closely to what they said as I can remember;

"Defense against tyranny isn't a valid reason anymore. The government has so much power that if it wanted to by tyrannical, there's nothing anyone could do to stop it!" while arguing to give the government more power by disarming everyone.

"We already infringe upon a bunch of rights, so that's not a reason not to do it more!" while arguing that who cares about rights? Lets just infringe more upon the ones he doesn't like, instead of infringing on all of them less.

And of course, one of my favorites,
"I don't believe your facts" with regards to the Zimmerman bullshit
Must be nice to just invalidate any evidence that doesn't fit your worldview with the power of your belief.

Another good one was the claim, with no evidence of any kind, that background checks are inherently racist, and the only way to make them fair is to demand universal background checks.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

WWII London

When you have to turn all the lights out to avoid getting bombed, you need to take measures to help folks get around. Honestly? I think the town looks better in stripes, gives a bit of something extra to what would otherwise just be bare concrete.

Had a post, this ain't it

Been musing over it a while, was going to type it up because I was inspired by anti-gun Australians, then realized that 7+ hours of driving in one day, with less than optimal quantities of sleep, and an extra long interview have pretty much left my mental faculties nonfunctional.

I'll write something when I have the resting mental capacity to do more than stare blankly at a screen.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

So Majestic

Watch them walk, watch them qwop, watch them get things hurled at them.
These are the parts of simulations you don't usually get to see. Interesting watching the computer learn how to walk and run and such under all the different conditions.

For reference, this is qwop

Tech Tuesday
high efficiency cheap solar panels. We'll see if they actually work remotely as well as they claim, but the design definitely looks to solve some old problems. Last I checked, photovoltaic panels have a threshold, below which they do nothing but take up space, and concentrating light with an orb (cheap) onto a small, high efficiency receptor (cheap-ish), is much more cost effective than trying to build a full size panel of the same stuff.
3d printer pen. Sounds like it's kind of hard to work with without a lot of time and practice, but seriously; 3d printer pen. Cheaper than a full 3D printer, and doesn't require any modelling software, which can get pretty darn spendy. Actual retailer's site is here 
Heatvision in your phone case. If they can make it that small, they can make NVGs or equivalent that aren't obnoxiously massive. If they make one for a phone I get/have, I might take a look at it.
Day by day, we get closer to virtual reality that isn't obnoxious. Next step will be implant/neural stuff
Last but not least, this drone/truck/copter is ugly and probably won't work and I want one anyway.

You might be a GURPS GM if...

The pay and benefits of a job offer are automatically translated into GURPS terms, and calculated to determine the increase in your point cost.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Named Weapons

Not GURPS related, they have adequate rules for handling that.

I've found that a lot of people, both on blogs and that I know in person, have named at least one of their guns. The rule I've heard is your first gun needs a woman's name from the country of origin.

Usually weapons get either the name of a member of the opposite sex, or genderless. Presumably a gun named for the same gender is for homosexuals (Now I want something of vaguely Spanish origin named Enrique).

I have two guns with names, one of which I don't even own yet.

The first is my glock 17, Hammer. I'm not entirely sure when it received the name. I never consciously selected a name, or decided I was going to name it, or anything similar. It's just that Hammer is linked to it as a name in my mind. The only explanation I can come up with is that I began to carry the pistol while regularly playing as a Dwarven cleric. In case of trouble, I drew my hammer, that my character carried in a belt loop right where the Glock rides on my hip.

The other gun is Dragon Slayer, the .50 BMG I will someday purchase. This was decided while watching The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Once again, I didn't decide upon the name, it just kind of attached itself in my head to the eventual .50 BMG I will get.

So what guns do you have that have acquired names, deliberately chosen or otherwise, and how were those names selected?

Purpose of the Modern Militia

I've seen a lot of authors contemplating the place and purpose of the militia in the modern era. I think I might have figured it out.

AmericanMercenary takes a look Popehat's and asks the question a few others have "And then what?", and proceeds to elaborate on the problems involved with losing the system entirely. Read the whole thing, then the other whole thing that gets linked to, and whatnot and so on and so forth.

Ultimately, it reminds me of something I saw a while ago, around the time of Egypt's uprising.

Essentially, when Mubarak's regime was falling, they turned loose all the prisoners as a "Hah, we'll show you!" and communities had to band together. To keep from completely degenerating into lawlessness, neighborhood watches and such had to be set up, and communities pretty much had to take over everything you'd normally expect to be taken care of by civilization.

That's the purpose of the Modern Militia.

Civilization is a precarious thing. It takes forever to erect, but can be toppled in very little time. Over and over through history, it has been seen that when society and civilization crumbles, it's a long time coming before it struggles back to its feet. The job of the militia is to keep civilization from falling due to the punch. It can rock and stagger from whatever blow may come, but if civilization keeps its feet, the odds are much better of coming through whatever transition about as painlessly as possible. If civilization hits the mat, it will likely be a long while before it regains its feet.

It's been said that something that can't continue forever, won't. When things break down, it won't be pretty, but it's absolutely imperative to keep things from devolving into complete lawlessness. Be active in your community, get to know your neighbors. Various disasters have shown that people can band together in times of duress. Wherever happens, wherever the telling blow comes from, it's the job of the militia to keep civilization standing, because the alternative is worse.

As a side note, the relative armament of the USA, combined with the ingenuity and production capacity, would allow the militia could well and truly ruin anyone mad enough to invade's day. but that's not really their most pressing job, with the state of the world and the military and everything else.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Humanity F*** Yeah

I have a couple of posts on a couple of topics marinading in my brainmeats, but until then here's this

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

GURPS Power Ups

I have a giant folder of GURPS 4e books I got from somewhere. I've been going through and trying to buy the real deal of any book that I find myself using regularly (which is a frighteningly large amount. My players are welcome and encouraged to use ANY book, in part because using other books means they actually are reading the rules and putting thought into their character).

I have the first two GURPS power ups, but have never taken a look at them until just recently, thinking they were Superhero genre stuff, which isn't of much interest to me.

I was mistaken.

Power Ups I; Imbuements is nice, gives options for people that can supercharge whatever weapon they use, where the ridiculous power is in the user, not the weapon. Good for high fantasy and whatnot. Didn't read through the whole one

But Power Ups II; Perks? Reading through it, I feel like I'd be tempted to spend 1/4 to 1/2 of a character's points on perks.Some of them offer significant benefits for the cost, and others just round out a character nicely.

There are apparently a TON of GURPS: Power Ups books, and they're pretty cheap for each. They will probably be consulted any time I'm building a character now if I'm not barred from using them. If you haven't taken a look at them, reconsider.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Exotic Ammo

Apparently there's some kind of fancypants new bullet being shown at SHOT show

I'd embed the youtube video here but the blogger thing for doing it isn't working, and I don't feel like bothering with doing it manually, just click the link.

Basically it's a bullet cut into three parts, that spin out from the rifling and are held together by wires to a central shaft. The reasoning is to give a shotgun like spread that never spreads too far, and doesn't need much distance to reach its spread. I'll have to see some ballistics tests before I'm convinced.

Monday, January 6, 2014

I need to hit the range

Between impossible-to-find ammo, my rifle being presently disassembled (but paying for itself by doing so, woo engineering aftermarket parts. Go throw money at Tandemkross so they can pay me to make more cool stuff), I can't remember the last time I hit the range. I know I went a couple times this past summer and once at some point with my bf.

Here's some motivation, for me and anyone like me who's inspired to train by the knowledge that somewhere, someone is better.

I am not this fast, with either pistol or rifle (although my handgun draw is darn fast). This is unacceptable. In a vaguely related matter, so much for the GURPS: Tactical Shooting rule that all gasmasks prohibit the use of all sights. Some gasmasks don't work with sights, but at least SOME are clearly usable!

Again, not that good, which is unacceptable. I need to practice with my Glock 17. Got it in ~March, and have only shot it once because I couldn't find/afford ammo. Was quite grateful to the gun shop owner for setting aside a box for me when I ordered the gun so I'd have something to try it with.

As a heads up, within my family, I'm basically noncompetitive by comparison. Outside of my family, I'm probably among the most competitive people you will ever meet. On the plus side, the power of ridiculous levels of competitiveness can drive me to be ridiculously good at anything I actually care about being good at.

The blogosphere and/or universe is telling me to build an AR-15

A little while back, I started contemplating building an AR-15. I started looking into the finer details, and mentioned that if anyone had any tips they'd be much appreciated.

Suddenly, everyone everywhere who writes about guns began posting guides for building an AR-15.
Bloggers, magazines, everything short of a TV documentary started talking about their process for building a great gun.

The only other thing I would use the money for at present is a 3D printer, and the software I tried to buy for 3D modelling is/was useless. No working modelling software, no point in a 3D printer.

Clearly, it's a sign that it's time to build an AR-15 (or it's just that I would really like one and coincidences seem to support my desire when viewed in a slightly superstitious manner... nah, must be a sign)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

GURPS: Dwarf vs Dwarf vs Dwarf

When you get to a system with as many rulebooks as GURPS, you're bound to wind up with some overlap. The basic set gives a template for Dwarves. So does Dungeon Fantasy. They are both significantly different. And of course, every setting decides they're going to do it differently, so my dwarves for the Wastelands are also slightly different. This difference happens elsewhere too (how many types of elves are there? Shoemaker elves who are more like gnomes from the standard fantasy template, wood elves, high elves, etc) but dwarves are the fantasy race I am most likely to play, for a variety of reasons.

Basic set dwarves are, far as I can tell, the dwarves from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Diminutive, with stubby arms and legs, gold sensitivity, and resilient health. Good vision in the dark, high strength for their size, and long lives round them out. Given stats for the template are as follows

Attribute Modifiers: HT+1 [10].
Secondary Characteristic Modifiers:
SM -1; Will+1 [5].
Advantages: Artificer 1 [10]; Detect
Gold (Vague, -50%) [3]; Extended
Lifespan 1 [2]; Night Vision 5 [5].

I'd actually thought that they had Dwarfism for their SM -1, which would kind of make sense, but it seems the template doesn't use that. They're typically strong enough to still use standard gear, despite being smaller (which is good, as Basic Set gives no rules for smaller gear). Despite their smaller size, these dwarves can go fast, as they do not have the reduced move found in dwarves in many settings.

The Dungeon Fantasy dwarves are those one might find in D&D. They keep the same resilient health, but they're big. What size they lose in height, they gain right back in width, maintaining their SM 0 status, and ability to use full size weapons. They lose their gold sense, but pick up greed instead to show their love of wealth. Extra toughness and a natural ability to carry weight balance out slower movement due to their broad builds. Given template stats are

Attribute Modifiers: HT+1 [10].
Secondary Characteristic Modifiers: FP+3 [9]; Basic Move-1 [-5].
Advantages: Alcohol Tolerance [1]; Damage Resistance 1 (Tough
Skin, -40%) [3]; Lifting ST 2 [6]; Night Vision 5 [5]; Pickaxe
Penchant 1* [5]; Resistant to Poison (+3) [5].
Perks: Dwarven Gear† [1].
Disadvantages: Greed (12) [-15]; Stubbornness [-5].
Features: Armor isn’t interchangeable with human armor.
* Pickaxe Penchant: You’re a natural at fighting, bashing, and
mining with axes and picks. This Talent adds to Axe/Mace,
Forced Entry, Prospecting, Thrown Weapon (Axe/Mace), and
Two-Handed Axe/Mace. Only dwarves can have it, and may buy
up to three more levels at character creation. Reaction bonus:
Miners. 5 points/level.
† Dwarven Gear: 10% off the final price of gear qualified as
“dwarven” – armor, rations, shields, weapons, whetstones, etc.

Finally, we get to my dwarves. Similar to the dungeon fantasy dwarves, the dwarves of the Wasteland have a few things others don't. Many settings give dwarves the ability to see in total darkness, either by darkvision, or by thermographic vision. A combination of infravision and night vision seemed to make the most sense, particularly for masters smiths, where the ability to see something's color would be of great benefit, and ability to navigate one's way out of a lightless cave could be the difference between life and death. I'll go into a LOT more detail of their history and traditions, but here's my template just for a glance.

Attribute Modifiers: HT+1 [10]
Secondary Characteristic Modifiers: FP+1 [3], Basic Move-1 [-5]
Advantages: Alcohol Tolerance [1]; Damage Resistance 1 (Tough
Skin, -40%) [3]; Lifting ST 1 [3]; Night Vision 5 [5]; Infravision [10];
Resistant to Metabolic Hazards (+3) [10]; Extended Lifespan 1 [2];
Longevity [2]; Magic Resistance (1) [5]
Disadvantag es: Greed (15) [-7]; Stubbornness [-5], Hidebound [-5], Miserliness (15) [-5]
Quirks: Likes Alcohol [-1], Distinctive Feature (Beard/Hair) [-1], Attentive [-1], Chauvinistic (racial enemies) [-1]
Optional Quirks: Staid [-1], Proud [-1]
Features: Armor isn’t interchangeable with human armor.

Template cost: 23 points

Where am I going with all this? Nowhere in particular, just thought it interesting to look at all the different ways to represent what is essentially the same concept. 

EDIT: updated for readability and to update my template because of things I missed because I'd been building GURPS characters for ~4 hours at the time of writing.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

High Speed First Impression Reviews

Time now for a post-holiday, post-birthday gear first impressions

Gerber Multi-Pliers 600
This thing's nice. It's a good, tough, locking multitool for not a lot of money. I have the blunt tip one, but otherwise the same.Works pretty well at everything, wish it had a few more tools since it comes with a belt/MOLLE holster. It's thin enough to fit in a pocket, and well set with the basic tools, but a few extras would be nice. Still wishing someone would make a standard multitool with a hammer on it like the Leatherman MUT without the price tag.

Fury Tactical 2 Dive Knife
Just got this recently, seems pretty nice. Blade is very thin, great for stashing wherever, but the sheathe leaves something to be desired. It's thicker than it needs to be, for such a low profile knife, and while it holds the blade firmly it allows for some rattle. At least for my hands, the grip is too short for how thin it is, it makes me want to use a grip that won't work. The included straps are fairly long, but not long enough to fit where I want to put it, which is right along my upper thigh (at least for swimming. I hate not having a knife, particularly in the water). It fits low on the thigh, just above the knee, and rides incredibly comfortably on the calf like a boot knife. If you have a Cold Steel ti-lite, this is nearly that size, but with a shorter grip.

Drive-on Truck Tracks

Turn your truck into a tank. A tank truck. Truck tank? Trank? Trunk? Whatever.

Basically, truck tracks have been around a while. They're good for snow and ice and anywhere you want a wide footprint. However, so far you always have to bring the thing into the garage (presumably if conditions are bad enough to warrant tracks it's a tad difficult to do the work outside), jack the thing up, pull the wheels off, and bolt on the track system. Now there's one that you just drive up onto like a ramp, and your wheel drives the track, which drives the truck.Their may or may not be a step of locking the tracks to the tires, they didn't show it in the first half of the demonstration video.

Other than the overly dramatic soundtrack, a reasonably good video, although they don't show any of the process of locking the tracks in place, if there is any such process.

Friday, January 3, 2014

GURPS Problems; Small characters

I've finally found something that GURPS doesn't give reasonably clear rules for, at least as far as I've found thus far.

I'm presently trying to build a tiny character, SM -3 relative to the rest of the humanoids in the party. He rides a warboar (a constant companion ally worth a LOT of points), and uses a lance. But here's the problem I face. It's all well and good, making a character is fine, but in terms of strength and dex and such, I'm basing him on the Basic Set house cat (BS 456). Based on this, he'd be ST 4, or 6 to be fairly burly for his size. But he wields a lance, which requires ST 12 according to normal rules. The GURPS Character Assistant has rules for modifying equipment to be larger or smaller, but they only affect price and weight. So, that lance requiring strength 12, still requires strength 12 to wield when scaled down to the size of a beefy meercat. Thus far my efforts to find where the rules for modifying equipment for different size modifiers has been in vain. The GCA has some issues with things, so I suspect that the minimum ST should be reduced accordingly.

Setting 10 as "average" for a scaled down campaign works just fine, my problem is having a very small character able to dish out damage comparable to that of his larger companions by virtue of the power of his mount. I can't very well have a meercat have ST 12 where ST 10 is a human. If there are rules for it, I'd like to use those, instead of just arbitrarily declaring that it works

In case you were wondering, I'm building a twisted knight version of Timon and Pumba for the randomly-generated fantasy campaign I mentioned a while back.

Trust Your Government megadump

I'm kind of disheartened that I have enough material for linkdump of this size this fast.
SMBC might give too much credit, even. Many such laws seem to be doing exactly what they were intended I've previously mentioned this one, but it fits in with a few others. The government, setting up a show trial to claim legitimacy for banning a whole bunch of things. The argument was that they weren't protected because the military (at the time) didn't use them, but now the military uses all of them extensively, so how about that? Turns out a lot of what some locales try to ban as "excessive or unnecessary for self defense" are simultaneously mandated for self defense to the nobles who are exempt from gun law. Meanwhile, it has been decided that not only can anything you say be used against you, not saying anything can also be used against you. In a related matter, papers please. Police checkpoints have been popping up all over the country, in some cases refusal to use a breathalyzer gets you forcibly dragged from your car to have blood taken. I am frankly astonished that nobody has reacted to this happening in the United States of America with a rifle round. By the way, try to stay calm when you've been forced to exit your car, and hope that there aren't any police with drug dogs who like to watch, or you can be warrantlessly medically raped and handed the bill for the violation of your privacy.  Of course, warrants seem not to be treated as important as they used to be. Don't worry, police only have the power to seize your property and force you to prove it wasn't used for anything nefarious for the public good. That some departments pay around 40% of their budgets by selling confiscated property is completely beside the point. Back on the topic of travel and troubles therewith, don't forget that the wonderful new law so beloved by the American people makes your insurance pretty much only work at home, so you either can't travel or have to buy an extra plan to cover travel or if you tend to live in two different parts of the country during different parts of the year. One more thing to love about it, on top of its collection of all of your personal information on not-very-secure servers
Speaking of privacy, the NSA is pretty sure such a stupid concept is terrible for national security. Far safer to have the government monitor basically everything you say or do, any reasonable person would see that! Don't worry, your government only arbitrarily decides previously fine things are now illegal and that you must be arrested for violation because it loves you! However, if the police decide to open fire on you for whatever reason, some places think it's your fault if they hit anyone else. At least some faint hope remains, as the encroaching bureaucracy's tendrils cause problems in Media Approved (tm) areas, and people actually hear about it. One of the kings of arbitrarily declaring things to be illegal just left office, and here's a handy list of everything he banned or tried to ban. It is of course important to note, he only thinks it's YOUR rights that should be infringed upon. Not his, of course, he's far more equal than you! Still, there's some hope. At least some nanny statists can be consistent! Too evil for the people, too evil for the police! I wish him the best of luck at showing his true colors and what he really thinks of people. Just remember, your government loves you, and all those bad things that happen everywhere else could never happen here. Just remember, 1984 is a warning, not an instruction manual!

I think I need to go snuggle my cat, it's depressing how quickly I wound up with all this material.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Gunny problems

Just graduated, now job hunting. Got a couple of offers, and now I have to check out the gun laws for wherever the job offers come from. WI isn't amazing, but it's actually better than just about everywhere in the vicinity (which is weird, since it's pretty reliably a blue state because of Madison and Milwaukee, even though the rest of the state is red).

Right now I'm looking at Michigan, not really well enthused by the handgun registration and requirement to renew carry permits every 5 years.

Mythbusters for Gun Rights

They keep testing gun myths. On TV. And finding by and large the myths, including those pushed by the media, are wrong

-Suppressors are not a magical mute button that screws onto the end of a gun
-Spray Firing From The Hip is completely and totally useless if you actually want to hit anything
-Intermediate calibers are not "so powerful that hunters don't use them to avoid destroying the game", and are in fact nowhere near as powerful as most hunting rounds.

I'm sure there are others. At some point if I'm feeling ambitious I might try to find the scenes from all the shows and cut them into one big video. It's one thing to have the John Q. Random on the internet tell you you're wrong, that can be easily deflected by reality denial, but having the mythbusters inform you that you're wrong and an idiot (with results that were aired on national TV)? More effective.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Congrats on another trip 'round the sun since we agreed on how we were counting, Earth. In honor of this event, like many people, I'll make some resolutions. Unlike most such people, I'll actually keep them.

First off is the same one from last year. Reach the physical condition to meet the entry standards of any branch of the United States military's special forces. Nice to have explicit goals to hit rather than a general "be in shape". Being in shape is where I try to always be, so it's not even a goal (although I have some work to get back there. Stupid surgery and/or doc's orders against working out).

Next, martial training. Throughout college I've had a hard time keeping my skills up at martial arts (although out of shape, out of practice, and on legs that can barely hold me up I can reliably take on all comers with little difficulty). Paintballing will be done much more now that I'm closer to the team, because force on force gunfighting (particularly if I can work out a custom gun I'm working on, will have 30 round standard STANAG size magazines, so I can practice fighting with a gun that actually shoots where I aim and has the right amount of ammo). Once I find a job, I'll be able to afford ammo if I can ever find it, and I intend to hit the range a heck of a lot more often.

Finally, I resolve to manage my time effectively. Active time (work, paintball, building big and/or complicated things, gaming, etc) will be most of the time, with managed downtime (meditative things like drawing, inventing, and reading). Pending testing, the starting balance point will be set at 5 active to 2 passive.