Friday, February 28, 2014

Excellent Retention

So good, in fact, that it tore the belt loop off my pants. At least the Glock brand Glock holster won't let go of your gun when you don't want it to.

I had thought that this belt was stretching, looks like I was right. I need to shell out for a proper gunbelt to avoid this happening again, I have enough trouble with destroying pants without tearing out all the right hip belt loops on them.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tech Tuesday

Not the usual linkdump related to a particular topic, but interesting nonetheless. Also, not technically Tuesday here anymore, but close enough.

A 10-11th grade student has built a flashlight powered by the heat from your hand, that can produce 24 lumens.
The article talks slightly dismissively about a mere 24 lumens, but that's what my Streamlight spits out on low. That's plenty, if the alternative is "no lumens". I'd certainly carry one if I could get a tiny one.

Military Rations

I love how some of them have actual packaging, and others are "olive drab food delivery pouch".

I can't help but be reminded of the Dungeon Fantasy rule that dwarven rations give poison resist 3 if eaten regularly, but are horrible.

Monday, February 24, 2014

"Justice" system Via Michael Z Williamson's facebook.

Always remember, power corrupts, and the corruptible are attracted to power.

Remember also, there are plenty who've gotten into the rungs of the criminal justice system who have little interest in justice, and will instead pursue the highest bidder or a chosen agenda. The farce that was the Zimmerman trial comes to mind, with its myriad issues.

Try not to fall into it, but remember that you probably commit 3 felonies a day. Just remember, whenever someone says "there ought to be a law!" that it will almost certainly eventually be enforced by SWAT team, no matter how trivial it is.

Still, when the system is/was actually working properly, it works/worked fairly well.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Post Convention Thoughts

Convention was quite a bit of fun, made me think of a couple things though.

First and foremost, I was reminded of how vastly superior my combat abilities are than most people. Took part in the Combat Cosplay Chess, which is basically where everybody gets assigned to represent a chess piece, and rather than just "go here, the other person leaves the board", you go up on stage and 'fight'. I was assigned to be the Queen, and won every fight I was slated for except against the enemy King (because obviously that would end the game early, although I took part in the final battle the first round). Watching everyone else attempt to act-fight was almost painful it was so bad, throughout the whole rest of the con I had people coming up to me and telling me that I was their favorite fighter. If I can track down video of it (which I know exists), I'll post it here. I played Boxer Batou, and knocked my opponents around a bit before arresting them (but mostly it's much more amusing than that, you'll just have to watch when it gets posted). Then, I went to a "Samurai Sword Class", and was driven mad by the degree to which people weren't picking up on the skills being presented to them.To be fair, this WAS an anime convention, so I wouldn't be surprised if that made them even less capable than most, but every time I see people fight that aren't martial artists, they're just so bad it hurts.

Second, I went to a very interesting panel on the history of beer and brewing in Japan. There's nothing in particular beyond that to this bit of the post, other than the guy had a book he was working on based on the research. It's interesting if you enjoy beer and learning facts about things.

Third, I finally found a sticker I'm willing to put on my car. It's a Euro-style oval sticker, with SEC-9 on it (go go ghost in the shell). Low profile enough to not get a second glance by anyone not cool/lame enough to know of the show. I'm hoping by the time I'm debt free, I will be able to find a nice Focus ST for a good price (lots of power, waaaay lower profile than a similarly priced Mustang for fairly similar performance, and good economy).

Fourth, this is a week past, because I had a severe case of "can't be arsed", with a side of con crud. Which is weird, because I basically never get sick normally. 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Music find of the weekend

Combination of Jamaican rap and metal. I can dig it. Need to keep an eye out for more of it.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Wasn't there something about mandatory camera wearing being beneficial?
Haven't seen this one talked about much yet in the bloggosphere. Someone's parked on a one way street, gets his car hit by cops driving the wrong way down said street, gets out to ask what's up, and after checking to make sure there were no cameras on them, they attempt to arrest him for hitting their car.

A ruggedized google glass type camera seems like it might be handy for preventing such things, if police officers had to wear it all the time. I recall one study or another finding that being made to wear cameras dropped misconduct by massive quantities.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Not a fan of DA/SA guns

And it seems I'm not the only one.

I like nice, consistant trigger pulls, never had anything but trouble with da/sa pulls. Either there's a silky smooth, perfect double action pull, and then the single action pulls have a mile of slack and only break in the last half of a millimeter of pull, or the double action pull is unbelievably terrible, but single action is nice and clean.

Only gun I've ever used that played nice with both was a rented .357 magnum revolver. I've used significantly more DA/SA guns than one, so that's not a very good record.

Basically, if you use something DA/SA, practice for it. Me? I'll stick with my Glock Brand Glock Safe Action Trigger.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

DC Corruption

According to Nancy Pelosi, apparently corruption is something that only republicans do. Democrats are clean and infallible, working tirelessly only for the Greater Good!

Jon Stewart is usually something of a leftist cheerleader, but it's not too uncommon for him to notice egregious crap and call them to task.

Monday, February 17, 2014

GURPS implanted weapons

GURPS gives rules for implanted/mounted weapons. They aren't very good.

As described in the basic set, and elaborated on by Ultra-Tech, Extra Arm (weapon mount) gives exactly that; a thing into which you can strap a gun and use it without taking up a hand. Ultra-Tech talks about weapon mounts as being internal, but there is no bonus to concealment. Having a gun on a weapon mount is identical to having a gun in a holster in standard clothing.

Therefore, it's my thought that weapon mount does not, on it's own, give an implanted weapon. A bulk -5 rifle that is still at -5 to holdout is not hidden.

There are a few options; you can treat weapon mount guns listed as implanted as having the concealment clothing bonus of +4 to holdout. Or, payload. Each level of payload gives BL/10 of storage space. My thought is that you can mount the weapon internally by purchasing a payload, and then a weapon mount to put inside of that payload. Payload also does not confer any bonuses, but it seems that it would make sense to give the payload +4 to holdout of concealment garments, at a minimum.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Con Shinanigans Pending

Been off at an anime convention here in town. Don't watch that much, but there's gaming and stuff too. So far it's been fun, had some thoughts of things that I wanted to blog about while I was there that now I can't remember because I'm tired.

Dressed up as Batou, because I feel boring if I go to a convention without dressing up at least a little. Pictures of me will show up when someone else posts them and I can find them.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

3D.. wait, 4D printing?

Smart plastic, the future of flatpack furniture? The possibilities are fairly impressive.

What will be more impressive is if it's possible to 3D print it, such as for self-healing plastics.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tech Tuesday; Medtech Mdition

Further proof that we're getting darn close to TL 9

First, some heartening news for anyone who has or knows someone with prosthetics. This prosthetic hand can feel. And this one? This one can be controlled by thought. Combine the two, and you've got an arm, controlled directly by nerve stimulation, that can feel. The tech is in it's infancy, but it is functional. No longer theoretical, it has been used. Ironing out the kinks to a useable degree is significantly easier than getting the tech to the point where that becomes an option.

Continuing on the TL9 medical trend, some scientists have supposedly managed to get blood cells and such to function as stem cells. And then there are these goggles that make cancer glow for easier removal. Other scientists have learned how to fix damaged-but-not-completely-severed spinal cords

And then of course, there's NASA asking medical companies to build a Pocket Medigun ala Star Trek. That one's still pretty much all theoretical, but at least people are thinking about it (although there's the Tricorder X Project, which like the other X projects (best known is the robot x project, to make autonomous robot vehicles) aims to push technology ahead. In this case, the goal is a pocket sized medical sensor suite for routine diagnostic work, to free up specialists to do things actually requiring a specialist. There's been some talk of trying to develop something that can either be built into a phone case, or just a straight-up phone app for any sufficiently advanced smartphone.

Medical advancements can take a long time, so it's unlikely we'll see many or any of these anytime soon, but it's still nice to see how far we've come. Also, like Sci-Fi Friday, this may or may not become an actual recurring thing. It will probably be more of a "Whenever I wind up with sufficient material collected, posted on Tuesdays" kind of deal.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Practice with Airsoft Replicas

Some airsoft guns are quite accurate to the weapons they mimic, although with slight dimensional differences for various legal reasons. Might not fit in a purpose-fit holster, but it'll otherwise be very similar in the hand to the real thing.

The downside of this is that range and accuracy aren't going to be great. I wish that airsoft guns used extended pellets that were weighted to fly like shotgun slugs for improved range and accuracy, similarly to how you can get First Strike paintball rounds, but sadly that is not the case. Even still, most of what you'll need the gun for, standard BBs will work just fine.

Key things to practice would be drawing and shooting, or point shooting. Of course, airsoft guns are commonly used for force-on-force practice in tactical courses.

Less easily used indoors version would be a real BB gun, that shoots metal bbs, or even better yet a repeating pellet pistol (significant boost in range and accuracy, I've shot out to nearly 50 yards with a pellet rifle). Trade off of realism for ease of practice.

I'll probably grab one of these to practice with, cheaper than a laser trainer, and can also be used to screw around with friends or do realistic training things involving shooting at other people.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Well so much for that

As I suspected, bills used up most of the money that was going to become an AR-15. Thankfully, having guessed that would happen, I had not spent the money ON an AR-15, and as such had it handy with which to pay bills.

And so, that gets bumped slightly lower down the list, to be had after one of these job interviews turns into an actual job. At least then I don't have to worry about cost quite as much, and can save up to get something good instead of having a hard and fast limit of how much cash I have to work with.

However, now I've been thinking that it might be more prudent to fix up my carry gun.
It's a Glock, so not much needs to be done with it but there's still room for upgrades.
The first upgrade is better ammo. Purchased with pennies pinched during college, it's currently full of FMJs. Planning on grabbing a box of JHP for it when I get the chance. Probably grab a name brand box of golden somethingorother.

The sights seem to be one of the major complaints people have against Glock. I'm looking at the Advantage Tactical sights, although if I could get a tritium version that'd be even better (they do have a glow in the dark set at least).
My only worry is if it'll fit in my Glock Brand Glock Holster, which is pretty much designed for a stock Glock and that's it.

Wouldn't mind a laser sight on it, but I'd prefer something that can be automatically engaged/disengaged, but doesn't require a different holster. The guide rod one Erin Palette reviewed a while back sounds kind of good, although I like the double spring guide rod my Gen4 has.
I've contemplated light/laser combos, but don't like the extra size, so I think I'll just use the off-hand flashlight technique if I need a light. 

Maybe I'll get a grip plug, just because. Won't be getting a glockstock for a while, so that big opening there isn't particularly useful for anything.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Sci Fi Friday

Can't guarantee this will actually become a thing around here, but it just might.

Was helping a friend with some worldbuilding, and the influence of magic as delivered by spess elfs and how we didn't have it before they showed up, and it got me thinking of a short story;

The Road Not Taken, by Harry Turtledove.

Take a look, it's not a long read, and is well written, other than erroneously calling magazines "clips" once for the Neo-Armalites. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Prelude of the future Hat tip to Michael Z Williamson from a few days ago on facebook

People are getting paranoid of all the crap that might/will happen with google glass, but I think it's just a prelude. Someday there will be implanted computers, wired right into the various parts. Sure, google glass can be banned from being worn, but how do you ban something implanted into people's head?

There's a reason a lot of speculative fiction about the future is dystopian. The more and more integrated everything gets, the harder it will be to keep it all secure, and there will always be people who want to violate your privacy. Sure, cell phones can be powered entirely off, but once you've got cyberwear you're pretty limited in turning it off, unless you can hard disconnect the wireless interface it's bound to have (autistic mode, in Ghost in the Shell parlance).

Trauma kits DEFINITELY need one of these

If this gets approval, it will be a great thing.
Yes, I know gizmodo has a bunch of whimpering ninnies who are terrified of 1000 year old technology (guns), but they at least keep up to date without being idiots about some other things.

I saw something a bit back about them FINALLY having a compression bandage for abdominal injuries, but it was big, expensive, and complicated. These? These will actually fit in a trauma kit, and are simple enough you can afford to have one when you aren't a medic or paramedic with someone else to pay for gear.

I'll try to keep an eye on this and let people know if it gets approval. However, even after I've bought one, I intend to never get to test it in action, if'n that's alright with you folks.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Subtlety Sheriff Jim Wilson has a piece on what our manner of dress and behavior might say to the criminal element. It's insightful and definitely worth a look.

The rest of this post is more of me rambling into the internet (as usual), and can be ignored unless you're particularly bored. I've been contemplating this topic a bit for a while, and now seems like a good time to discuss it since someone else is thinking on it too.

I'm basically the worst concealed carrier ever. Sure, nobody will ever see it if I actually care about keeping it covered (I don't, WI has open carry and I primarily conceal as a matter of politeness to whimpering ninnies), but that's the problem. My main/only coat is a calf length Outback Trading Company duster, with a leather bush hat complete with rifle fold to go with. Tactical pants and cargoes are incredibly common, because more pockets and room enough to actually MOVE. Almost all of my shirts are very dark, and a reasonable number are MMA style or feature skulls or dragons or whatever. Trail runners or heavy work boots round out the ensemble.

Top it off with the fact that I'm fairly big (6'3" tall and right around 200 lbs of mostly muscle), a permanent scowl (the corners of my lips actually curl downwards when resting naturally), and close cropped military-ish hair, and pretty much only the willfully ignorant will assume that I'm NOT carrying, even if I don't happen to be.

I've selected my style for YEARS (since about 6th grade on) by what I can fight in. I make a point of having the strength and training to back up the look. And honestly? If someone decides they're looking for trouble, I'd rather they look my way than someone else's; I've made a point of making sure that I'll have better odds of surviving than most.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Dwarven Gruffness

One common theme among Dwarves, whatever the lore, is that they tend to come off as a bit rough around the edges to the other races. While watching the various Hobbit movies (and rereading the book, which I did before watching the first one), almost every time the dwarves first met another race I couldn't help but comment "-2 Charisma!" based on how they acted.

-2 Charisma is one of the dwarven racial templates in D&D and Pathfinder.

But there's a problem, GURPS doesn't have a "Low Charisma" disadvantage. You can be particularly charismatic, but there are no given rules for people who are naturally LESS charismatic than their IQ would indicate. Sure, there's shyness and low empathy, which are both similar in varying degrees, but they aren't QUITE the same.

But then, the penalty for dwarves might not be charisma (as it's defined in GURPS) based at all.
I'm thinking it might be better represented as an odious personal habit or a negative reputation. Dwarven Gruffness, either with the limiter that it only bugs non-dwarves or those unused to it, or treated as a reputation with anyone that isn't a dwarf or used to dwarves.

I have thoughts for posts but no motivation to write them.