Just started Mass Effect on the PC 
2008.10.26 15:55 - Entertainment, Microcode
I wouldn't say the price was right yesterday afternoon, but the ennui certainly was, so I purchased and installed it.

So far, the biggest thing that's bugged me, aside from having to update my CPU drivers (my processor has OS-level drivers?) has been that my protagonist, Commander Shepard, is a marine designated as XO on the SSV Normandy, a naval vessel. Admittedly, Shepard's a space marine, and the Normandy a spaceship, but the US Navy and US Marines use different schemes when assigning rank, and I'm not sure that a USMC officer would be assigned as XO to a Navy ship. There's the minor quibble that it seems unlikely that the Normandy's XO would also be head of their away team (a group that isn't even the size of a platoon), but this is easily brushed away with some story exposition and the catch-all justification that Star Trek did it, so it must be okay. But the rank thing bugs me, if only very slightly.

I can get over the negative current technobabble on the justification that the direction the current is run through whatever weird circuit is used with the game's handwavium probably determines the phase of the weird graviton waves so produced. This is equally ridiculous, but is sufficiently complicated to allow me to suspend disbelief. Many years of Star Wars and Star Trek have built up such mechanisms for dealing with absurd explanations.


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Feeling cranky today. 
2008.10.25 19:21 - Guns, M1 Garand
One bright spot was that my last order from Midway showed up, and the A-Zoom snap caps get along with the Garand just peachy. The Traditions version of the same item never did, and cost half again as much, so I'm gonna recommend you not buy those if you're looking for something like that. Buy the A-Zooms instead.

Seriously, it cost me less to buy 8 from Midway and have 'em shipped than to buy 6 of the Traditions variety from Bass Pro Shop. On top of that the A-Zooms seem to be of better (if simpler) construction, and more durable. One of the Traditions units appears to be ready to fail after a handful of runs through the action.

I think I'll be keeping the crappy ones around for a little while, but they're probably going to be destroyed on the next range trip.
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Does no-one else have these problems? 
2008.10.16 13:12 - Miscellanea
I upgraded to Firefox 3 at home and work months ago now, and I have a couple of continuing complaints.

The first is that the new autocomplete in the URL bar is entirely too loose in its search criteria, and its sort is a little iffy as well, though that seems more intractable. At least, it seems like typing an 'h' into the URL bar didn't bring up anything and everything with 'http://' in it before. Maybe that's just me, though.

The other aggravation is that FF 2 didn't bring up fifty gazillion confirmations for cookies when a website was loading images from a different place that wanted to set cookies. Now, I seem to be getting a dialog for each image for, say, domain Y, and I must dismiss all of them before I can do anything else with the browser.

Argh.
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Possibly the silliest thing you'll see today 
2008.10.15 12:22 - Toys, Actual Toys
Mickey Mouse as Optimus Prime
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Holy cat. I has a rifle. 
2008.10.14 01:16 - Guns, Browning Hi-Power, M1 Garand, Zombie Preparedness
As per a previous entry, I bought a Garand and a Hi Power over the weekend.

The pistol was remarkably filthy, and has some damage to the finish, and, I think, some rust, on the front and back strap of the grip, and some more to the included magazines. As near as I can tell, the Hi Power didn't get cleaned before sale. Mags are replaceable, the frame looks serviceable. Sights may have to go, though. Whether to me or the shop, I don't know. Rear sight's adjustable, and looks a bit beat to me. Front's a large, triangular fixed blade. No idea if either's original or not. Grips look original, but I'm not really enamored of them, so I'm likely to replace them with something nicer-looking.

So, sights, grips, maybe the finish. If it comes to that, maybe I can get a beavertail thrown on the back to protect my hand, because I know it's going to bite me, at least at first. Nonetheless, when TD yammers about how 'nothing points like a Hi-Power' ... boy, he ain't kidding. That is impressive all on its own. Can't wait to take it to the range and see what it does. Will have to give it one more pass with Q-tips and CLP, though. Before it goes to the range a second time, I need to replace the recoil spring.

The Garand, on the other hand ... I'll need to do a detail strip to make sure it's properly lubed, but whoever sold that gun must have cried. I finally got the buttstock off this evening, and everything I've seen inside there so far is pristine. The bore is dark, but seems regular, stock has been refinished. I'm pretty sure there's not more than three parts originally from the same rifle (the receiver's marked Springfield with a serial number in the two millions, and I think the barrel's a Winchester, but am not yet certain). The buttplate is beat in enough to make getting the hatch open impossible without something like a knife to pry it open. The forward most band is brass or brass-plated. I wouldn't bet on the finish on the metal being original. But, damn does it look nice. Also came with a leather sling from Uncle Mike's, which I need to put back on the rifle before I forget.

Looks like detail stripping the rifle will be pretty easy, which is good.

And 'this is my rifle' is a warm thought.
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