Thursday, January 31, 2013

Standard nerds strike back

Oh, Portlandia.  It's downright sad and disturbing how well you understand me.



I laughed so hard I was in pain.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Aviation intelligence

Ended up going in to work about an hour and a half early to accomplish some extra work that needed to be done, so I'm pretty burned out as far as thinking power goes.  To some up my day, there are only two assured scenarios for people working in the systems portion of IT that play out almost every day:

1.  You have a time-consuming, but semi-routine project you expect to complete in a couple hours.  Upon the start of the job you notice far more problems than the initial issue that need to be resolved to complete the project, and it ends up taking up almost the entire day.

2.  You get a ticket that describes what you expect to be a serious issue that may take hours to fix, but upon further investigation, it's just because somebody left something unplugged, turned off, or screwed up a simple setting.

Now that I've got that off my chest, how about I just post something that's both massively easy and nerdy (now that's a phrase).

I love reading things that provide deep insights and critical thinking regarding DoD/Military spending and programs; along with the social, economic, technical limitations, and political implications of said programs.  Especially when in relation to military aviation.  It also gives me an excuse to post military aviation porn like this:

So, here's a list of my favorite sites/blogs that do exactly that.

http://www.airvectors.net/
http://defensetech.org/
http://aviationintel.com/
http://theboresight.blogspot.com/
http://china-defense.blogspot.com/
http://www.joebaugher.com/
http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/
http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/
http://www.globalsecurity.org/

The honorable mentions:
http://www.aerospaceweb.org/aircraft/ -long dead but still interesting if you haven't read
http://michellemalkin.com/  -not really defense related at all, but still a great read.
http://counterterrorismblog.org/ -another dead website but very fascinating

The very dubious mention:
http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/ -Why dubious?  Well, I've noticed on more than a few occasions that although wired often runs stories on fascinating topics, they are not always accurate in their research (especially with very politically hot topics), or they are just blatantly biased to a negative point of view regardless of the topic.

So, if you're as nerdy as I am about milair, go read, enjoy, and think.  And I'll wrap this thing up with more airplane porn.

Monday, January 28, 2013

REAL common sense laws

Thank goodness I live in Utah!  So, it appears the state is considering passing a law that allows citizens of this fair state to conceal carry a firearm without a permit, provided they are legal to have a firearm.

I never understood having a standard for owning a firearm, but then having a completely different standard to pass if you wanted to just be polite while taking it with you.  Kinda dumb.  But, if all goes well, we may never have to put up with it again.  I have to admit sometimes there are really dumb stories that come out of Utah, but then I hear about things like this, and it more than redeems itself!

I hereby give this state my stamp of approval:

Found all that out via The Unwanted Blog.

Crock Blocked

Stupid day.  I dunno what it was, but I couldn't sleep at all last night, so I'm just on the verge of unconsciousness.  Getting up this morning was a chore, so much so that I'm thankful I had to dig my car out of the snow, otherwise I'm sure I would have fallen asleep at the wheel.

Work was just excruciating.  I decided to go home at lunch and try to get some shut eye.  I think I must have slept in an odd position, because now my neck is all sore and I'm still tired.


In other news, I mentioned on here a while back that I was (am still) writing a short story.  I'm somewhere around halfway done, as it seems the thing just keeps getting longer and longer.  The only problem is that I seem to have hit a serious case of writer's block.  It's especially frustrating because I already have the last half of the story planned out, but a lot of the particulars of it depend on how I kill off a particular character.  Without knowing how to go about doing that, I can't really finish writing the stuff I have planned.  All in all, it's really frustrating, and hopefully I'll come to an epiphany about it soon, because I really want to get it finished. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

EOW

Haven't heard this one in a while either, so enjoy.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Impromptu ice skating

Yesterday we had an over-healthy amount of freezing rain, which is something I haven't experienced in quite a few years.  It was the kind that you have to use a pickaxe just open your car door to get in.  Thankfully, the cold doesn't stay long enough to support the ice, but sadly that still doesn't stop people from driving around like blithering fools.  Lemmie see if I have picture of it.  Oh, here we are:


I don't know what it is about today, it's not overly busy or boring, but I'm overly eager for the day to just hurry up and end so I can get some free time to myself for once in a long time.  Even though don't have any concrete plans, I'm pretty sure it's gonna be another one of those weekends where times of solitary solitude will be seldom seen.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

I need to stop it before I get fired

We IT people are just terrible.  Yesterday, a coworker and I decided to conduct an experiment of sorts using social engineering simply for our entertainment.  We placed in the candy jar on my desk some glass bits that look not unlike hard candy, and decided to see how many people we could get to taste them.  So far, we're up to two.  Hopefully, no one will try to bite one.

Wish I could say there was more going on, but today is one of those days where I just don't have much to say, because there's just not much going on.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Some interesting ideas stemming from SHOT

So with all the recent hubbub from the shot show recently, the roomie and I have been spending a lot of time pouring over The Firearm Blog and the MAC channel, then discussing things of interest to one another.

The first thing we thought of was the recent announcement of multiple new calibers for the KRISS submachinegun/carbine.  Now I've mentioned my experience with it before, and my verdict on it is still a resounding meh.  However, it has proven popular enough to the company to continue development and offer multiple chamberings in the most popular pistol cartridges.  You know, the ones that everyone else has already been doing for decades. 

Image blatantly ripped from TFB
Now, we thought, "why don't these guys use this supposed recoil reducing system and actually use it for calibres that people often have recoil gripes with?"  KRISS is constantly touting that their system can handle up to a .50 BMG, so why not put your money where your mouth is and develop a variant of your weapon chambered in something a bit more hefty, that other carbines don't offer?  Something along the lines of .357  mag, .44 mag, or even 10mm Auto would really turn some heads at SHOT.  I would also like to hear if they plan on making a rifle variant of their design.  One that is in .308 or even 7.62x39 would be absolutely fascinating.


The roomie and I were also very impressed by Arsenal's new Strike One pistol.  We both noted that there is a seriously untapped 10mm auto market out there that would really benefit from a Strike One chambered for it.  Another 10mm option other than just the Glock 20 and Tanfoglio is always a good thing.  Also, where's more info on that possible 10mm version of the Sarsilmaz K2? 

Now for the things we wish we knew more about, that nobody mentioned about SHOT.  First off, everyone and their dog is still excited about these newfangled so-called multi-caliber modular rifles.  The ARX-160, ACR, SCAR, whatever HK pushes out these days, and the new (and quite nifty) MPAR 556 all got some real attention by people covering the show.  However, nobody seems to acknowledge or even mention the fact that NONE of these rifles have ever released multiple calibres in any form to the public. The only one to do so still remains as a kind of unknown.  Yeah, I'm talking about the Robinson Arms XCR again.

Still one of the best.
I'm kinda bummed that nobody mentioned that they were even there or what was new, considering it seems that's the only time Robinson Arms likes to talk to the public (seriously guys, restructure your worthless marketing dept and actually advertise! sheesh.)

Anyways, we had two really good ideas for those bums.  One, they really need to come out with some pistol caliber conversion kits for the XCR.  They already have a corner on the caliber conversion market for rifle cartridges, so why not sweeten the pot by jumping the freaking shark with it and do the standard 9mm, .40 and .45ACP? 

Secondly, as good as the XCR is, they are really shooting themselves in the foot with their lower receiver.  They need to either offer a second type of lower receiver that accepts all styles of AK magazines, or make the lower a two piece system, that can swap between AR and AK magwells at will.

Are we just being overly ambitious, or do you think these are sensible and feasible ideas? 

I finally met the Shat

It's no secret that I'm a bit lazy at this blogging thing.  Particularly when I'm actually out and about and doing things other than sitting at home browsing the interwebs.  So far my week has been nothing but theaters  productions, and concerts.


Yesterday, I went on down to Kingsbury Hall last night to see Bill Shatner on tour.  It was a whole lot of fun, and very entertaining to hear the infamous Shat tell some random stories and experiences about his life and career.  What can I say about the guy?  He's obviously a bit self centered, but also a great entertainer, and much more down to earth and comfortable with himself than he used to be, which accumulates to a pretty fun experience overall.


I also had a chance to catch a free concert of the All-State Band and Orchestra over at Abravanel Hall on the 19th, which was another really cool little event.  I ended up meeting a nice young woman who invited me to accompany her to the event, as her brother was playing in the band.  I really enjoyed the production, and they played some very beautiful and unique pieces.  All in all, it was a pretty awesome way to spend an afternoon.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Fresh out of that market

Well, last night I came to the knowledge that the Fresh Market next door is actually closing it's doors soon.  I was kinda surprised at finding out just what a loyal customer I was.  They had much better selection of products, higher quality products, better service, and was usually cheaper than the Smith's that is across the street.  I'm gonna miss having a nice store right next door, that has the really  nice lady with the Minnesota accent working the checkout counter. 

Now I'm gonna be forced to be less lazy and go to the Dicks' Marketplace a few block away rather than the convenient Fresh market next door.  Drats.  On the bright side, their death knell is definitely the sale of the century.  I can probably get enough food to last me a whole month for super cheap.

On an unrealted note, I already have read the greatest post I will read in some time over at Jennifer's place.  That woman is all class.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Airing more dirty laundry for no reason at all

Hooray for more random topics!  This week it's emotional responses to musical stimuli.  I guess there are other actually real things I can write about, but this is the only one I could muster up without being lazy about it.

I dunno how it is for other people, but for me there are certain songs I just can't listen to very often because they make me cry.  Which is also frustrating in that I usually like those songs, but for whatever reason they'll turn me into a blubbering moron.  So, without further adieu, here's a list of the top ten songs (in no real order) that are guaranteed to make me cry every single time I hear them.

I Thought I Saw Your Face Today by She and Him
I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day - any version
Madama Butterfly - the one by Maria Callas
Eternity by Dreams Come True - I think this song sucks, but it still does it to me.
Like A Friend by Pulp
Careless Whisper - Seether version
Billie Jean  by Michael Jackson - Stupid freaking memories totally ruined that one.
My One and Only Thrill by Melody Gardot
Late Goodbye by Poets of The Fall
My Funny Valentine - the one by Ella Fitzgerald

Huh.  I'm actually kinda surprised there's nothing by Edith Piaf on there.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Good end to a week



that is all.

Friday, January 18, 2013

illuminating, no?

So with me being unable to go to the SHOT show, I decided to go ahead and just write about my experience with the Elzetta ZSM shotgun light mount I recently purchased.  I had been waiting for some time for my order to arrive, it finally doing so sometime last week.  However, once I received it and attempted to attach it to my gun, I noticed it was missing one of the internal retaining nuts (a kind of critical component). 

So, I'm sending mine back to the factory, and the good news is I should have a replacement within a week or so. Until then, I'll hold off on any kind of review, but here's a pic or two of the defective one on the gun just for the heck of it, because it still looked cool.
 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Kind of a mark on the day

I don't get to go to the SHOT show, I have no money, no girlfriend, nowhere near enough guns to make up for the first three things, and now another long time friend has decided to up and leave.  I don't want to do anything at all today.

The sub-machine gun isn't dead?

For years, people have said that with the advent of the compact assault rifle and the introduction of PDWs, that the sub-machine gun has now become an anachronism in modern weaponry, and that no one (in the first world) would be using them anymore within a few short years. 

Well, here we are in 2013, and admittedly, there has been very little news regarding major developments in true sub-machine guns, and even fewer major users announcing that they adopted a new one.  The little news that we have gotten has been relatively ho-hum as well.  The only things that stick out in my mind being the 9mm offering from CZ, another 9mm from India, and both of those (if I'm not mistaken) are closely based on the HK MP7 or UMP, and neither have any truly remarkable features to them.


Then last year we hear snippets about the SiG MPX, and now we have videos of it in action with full press releases.  I am pretty exited about this gun for a few reasons.  First off, even though a short stroke gas piston system is nothing new to SMGs, it's the ergonomics that really got me.  SiG did a great job of emulating the ergonomics of the AR15 as close as possible, which should make training easier for those familiar with it, thus increasing it's appeal to potential users.  The second thing that really interested me was that they have an option to chamber it in .357 SiG.  It is an amazing high velocity cartridge that is far too underutilized, and can really negate some of the downsides to using a pistol cartridge.  Lastly, they love to tout that most modifications to the gun can be made in the field, without the need for any special tools, making it a truly modular system.

Like I said, most of these features aren't new, but as far as I can tell, it's the first time they've all been wrapped up in one package.  When used together, it gives this gun a real chance at being a big seller, and re-introduce the SMG to many arsenals.  Not only that, but I just found out they'll be offering an integrally suppressed variant.  Color me impressed.  Now, let's see if they can hurry up and ditch the "zombie gun fad" to regain their credibility.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

What else is there?

So what can I say?  Yesterday was a pretty boring Monday.  Not only that, but today wasn't exactly adding to the exitement factor either, until I saw this.  Oh yes, good times are here again.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Frozen over

My town is usually pretty good about making sure the roads are clear right after is snows, but this last time, I'm wondering if they just said to heck with it.  So, being all frozen in, how about some more music?


Okay, maybe not the most hopeful song I could post, but I've had it stuck in my head for a while.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Civil Air history

In my youth, I had a bit of fun in Civil Air Patrol.  I don't think its what some other kids would think of as fun, considering I had to march in the snow and rain, conduct parade drills, configure those stupid flimsy ELT receivers, and adhere to the most inane flight restrictions, and memorizing the Contrails booklet (I need to find out what happened to my copy). 

The fun bits made it all worth it, though.  Like being called for an actual search and rescue mission, being ferried around by the Military Airlift Command, messing with Air Force enlisted personnel, fly propjobs and gliders for free, and fiddling with M109 Paladins, M249s, and Mk19s (even though we really weren't supposed to do those last few). 

As fun and functional as they are, I think I really joined up at the wrong time. They had a much more colorful history during their early years.
I wish our plane and gear looked this hardcore.
Look how much those uniforms rocked!  Now we just have crappy hand me downs from the ANG.  I would have loved to be serving in those days and come home at the end of the day knowing I was the first civilian on my block with a confirmed kill.  That, and you don't have anyone who looks as good as this in the wings anymore (at least I didn't):
Seriously?!  Where the hell were these aviatrixes when I was in CAP?
Anyways, they're a good organization, but I think they suffer from a lack of awareness, so for educational purposes, I'll just link to a fantastic article on the history of CAP I saw on a cool new website I came across.  Now go and enjoy reading about some little-known WWII history that made a very big impact.

another reason for me to hate ebay

Despite having dealt with nothing but reputable sellers in the past, I have ceased using ebay a long time ago.  That company is just nothing but FUBAR when it comes to dealing with sellers, and even more so with it's own policies. 

Why am I venting about this now?  Well, I was directed to the most awesome listing on ebay yesterday (via the Unwanted Bog again), which was a rock being sold in a joke auction to raise money that would be donated to the NRA*.  The ad was genius, and the comments alone kept me entertained for my entire lunch hour.  If I had any more money to spare, I think I would have made a bid on it myself.  Picture of the hilarity below.


Now despite this good cause, just over an hour after I found it, Ebay had shut down the listing.  I'll admit it's their site, and they can refuse buisness with whomever they wish, but shutting down a charitable auction for an item NOT restricted in the terms and conditions, is a serious a**hole move that deserves nothing but contempt.

*For the record, I don't think the NRA is a bad organization at all, I just think they have plenty of room for imporvement.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Reason I am single #191

Get ready for the most random post ever!  Ready?  Okay, too bad.

I don't care who the person is, what they look like, or how I came to know them; although flattering, I will always find flirting over the internet extremely weird and more than a little awkward.   My reaction is always thus:
(Thanks to the Unwanted Blog)
On a completely different note, you can just add an expression of horrified fear and intense vomiting to that scenario, and that's also what happens when I find out a married woman is hitting on me.

Now, for some unrelated, random whatnot to prove how mundane my life actually is.  Like yesterday when I got into a conversation with a coworker, and I noticed a small dog bone in his hand.

Me:  Wait.  Is that a dog bone?
Coworker:  Yeah someone gave it to me for my dogs.
Me:  You have dogs?
Coworker:  Yeah, is that surprising?
Me:  Hold on.  They're not small dogs, are they?
Coworker:  Yes.
Me:  Dude, that's not cool.  That's like the sad, pathetic male equivalent to being a crazy cat lady.

Okay, what else have I done recently?  Lets see here...um...well, I watched a lot of MST3K yesterday, I'm still anxiously awaiting for that dang flashlight mount for my shotgun to arrive, I read up in the 1974 Navy SEAL manual on how to either kill or knock someone unconscious using their own helmet, and I watched The Road Warrior again the other day.  Three times.  Back to back.  Man, I should get out more.
My favorite scene of the greatest action movie ever....I mean EVER!
Though, the case for not going out more often is starting to look pretty good, especially when I'm alerted by Rob Allen to things like this article.  As Rob puts it, the article is nothing but a bunch of stupid, pants sh*tting hysterics (PSH), but the comments are the real treasure.  Hundreds of people giving awesome comments about how irrational the author is, and the first negative commenter I read couldn't even spell correctly.  Hilarious!

Boba's back, baby!

Every time I hear that name, all I think of is this.
So we went to lunch at this new joint in town called Boba's World.  After a good amount of disappointment and grief that it wasn't a museum or theme park about the most famous member of the Fett family, I came to terms with the fact that it's a pretty good Asian food place.  Has all sorts of cool stuff I've never heard of before, and they make the best of all the stuff I have heard of.

Being in the adventurous spirit (you know, the one where you don't care of you die that day), I decided to get one of their chewable drinks.  It's like drinking a flavored tapioca slushie. Needless to say, it was quite the sensation.

While we were there, I also noticed a new Peruvian restaurant right next door.  Never having sampled or being at all familiar with it, I wonder if it involves anything other than the Peruvian equivalent of grilled Sherpa and tapeworms.  I'll have to go give it a shot later.

Update: I'm really wanting to see if that Peruvian place will have this one on the menu.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Seems Legit

All right, I don't know what's gotten into the water supply around here, but it's making people go full-on retard.  So, here's some more local buffoons for ya, all seen today.   This one was at the local purveyor of chocolate:
This one however, takes the cake.  I hope they have real masters teaching proper kendo there.


Now, I imagine the first day of that class being something like this:

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Hornets suck

Another one of those random posts about something so funny (and nerdy), that I had to share it here.  Somehow I've never seen this one before, but it just about made me shoot my soda out of my nose, and I doubt I'll ever find it unfunny.

As a Tomcat pilot once said, "We outran them ,we out-flew them, and we ran them out of gas.  I was embarrased for them."

From what I understand, this was painted on an F-14's drop tank at an outdoor museum display.  Just remember: Tomcats by choice, Hornets by mandate.

Monday, January 7, 2013

I am a crappy friend

I woke up on Friday morning realizing I had no commitments to be anywhere, got no calls from friends asking to do stuff, and no desire to do so anyways.  I did have a few things I probably should have done, like clean the apartment, clean the guns, or keep writing my short story, but almost none of that was done. 

Then Sunday night rolls around, and I suddenly felt guilt, because I realize I had inadvertently missed several people through calls, emails, ESP, and what have you.  I really would have loved to do any of the things they were inviting me to, but I was deeply enthralled in either watching Dr. Who, playing video games, or waching more MST3K.  Yup.  Crappy friend right here.

What's even worse, is when I changed my alarm to reflect the new time that church was meeting on Sunday, it somehow switched from AM to PM, rendering it totally worthless, and that made me feel retarded, because I ended up sleeping through most of church.  Crap.

Hopefully I'll be able to make better use of next weekend.  In the meantime, enjoy some of this band I just heard about called Marlene Marlene.  I couldn't find any videos of them, so here's a link to some of their music. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

So Busy

Okay I'll just rattle off a bunch of things that's been happening recently in rapid-fire fashion, since I can't bring myself to conjure up a post of any merit.

Found out yesterday that one of my friends/coworkers is leaving our company, and now we all want to put him through an emotional gauntlet to guilt trip him on it. 

Was invited to a nice turkey dinner with a bunch of friends.

Spent a ridiculous amount of money on the Steam holiday sale, and now I have over 120 games on my account. 

Was guilted by my own conscience into getting some late Christmas presents for a few people, who I had no idea they cared that much.

Got myself a flashlight mount for my Benelli M3, because hey, shotgun.

Unexpectedly completed some of my home teaching last night.

All my time recently, seems to be taken up by a work and a bunch of frivolous crap, so I really have nothing else of interest to say at the moment. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

In a stupor

It seems there were actually all sorts of people trying to get in touch with me today, but I've been up for almost a solid 30 hours straight, so I ended up sleeping a good portion of my evening away.

That being said, even though I was perfectly awake and coherent for the passing of the year, I really freaking hate it when people go running around the whole apartment complex with pots and pans banging the living crap out of them just to piss everyone else off.   Now don't get me wrong, I like any excuse there is to set off fireworks and start yelling and screaming to celebrate something; heck, I'm obviously not against pissing people off, either.  However, this action nearly annoyed me enough that I wanted to just poke my shotgun out my front door and create a "celebratory fire" accident to end that awful racket.  I swear if it happens next year, I'm not going to stop myself.

I swear, I contemplate murder way too much.  I'm like a regular Bill Burr over here.