Shiny! 
2007.11.21 16:00 - Entertainment, Movies, Toys, Actual Toys, Gadgets
I don't figure Matt wants to pay this much for a non-functional0 replica of a flux capacitor, but he may be interested, nonetheless.

Footnotes
0. At least, I assume that it doesn't actually allow one to travel through time, 1.21 gigawatt power supply notwithstanding.

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Memery 
2007.11.08 14:58 - Entertainment, Internet Stupidity, Site/Meta
Found this one over at View from the Porch:
cash advance

So, look for a possible increase in jargon and 64-dollar words. After the holidays. Maybe.

I really do intend to blog again on some of the stuff in the categories list at some point. Well, not so much 'News and Politics', and hopefully not too much 'Miscellanea' or 'Work-related', but you get the idea.
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Dad gets really into old radios 
2007.11.04 01:45 - Entertainment, Internet Stupidity, Miscellanea
So, I just barely know who Philo T. Farnsworth0 was. Still, whenever Dad really gets spinning on that sort of stuff, I get really, really lost.

I am, however, reminded that the EEs seem to have all the best jargon. Actually, my parents could, between them, make perfect sense of all of that, between the stuff about vacuum tubes and radio equipment and catalytic converters and so forth. Me, I get totally confused.

Ah, well.

Footnotes
0. Memory tells me that Farnsworth was basically America's greatest unappreciated inventor. Wikipedia probably has specifics.

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Thinking Out Loud 
2007.10.22 16:33 - Guns
I'm getting very close to having purchased all the nice pens that I want--I don't have a set of Pelikan Souverans, or a Lamy 2000, but that's nearly it.

As I seem to be embarking on a new hobby, I find that I've already worked up a list of guns I want to buy over the next two to three years, which includes a pile of automatic pistols, a couple battle rifles of various makes and countries of origin, and so forth, without half as many revolvers as I'd like.0

Leaving aside that there are a number of weapons on my list primarily because they interest me1, 2, there are also a number of popular guns that I just can't see myself ever buying.

Specifically, the Desert Eagle and Glock pistols but I don't see too many H&Ks in my future either.3

The Desert Eagle looked like a really, really cool gun when I was about 14 or so. Probably even into college, as long as I was more interested in cool than in practical. There are a couple of problems with the Desert Eagle that keep me from wanting one:
  • The gas-operated action makes it very picky about ammunition. I don't really expect to shoot loads of lead ball in the first place, but it seems nice to have the option for plinking.
  • The gun is either unreliable or very sensitive to grip. I just don't want that kind of aggravation.
  • The grip is really, really big. Possibly too large for me to hold onto comfortably.
That said, it might be fun to rent one for a morning or afternoon at the range, but owning the Mateba makes the Desert Eagle a hard sell: capacity is about the same, but the Mateba seems, to me, to be less picky about ammo, about handling, about feeding and to have greater mechanical accuracy. Also, the Mateba has better sci-fi cachet/looks more like a space gun.

As for Glock, I just don't find them that appealing. I currently have a plastic gun, and, frankly, I'm kind of ambivalent about the whole concept. What's more, some of my least favorite features of the Steyr M-series are either present in or copied from Glock, and none of the features I like4 are. This isn't to say that I think Glocks are bad guns.5 However, I'm not really stoked about paying just as much for a Glock to get a grip that seems to be about as ergonomically advanced as a two-by-four on a gun that is otherwise like its competitors, except for the super-minimalist appearance. So, while I appreciate Glocks for the at-the-time radically innovative engineering and design, I don't particularly like them, personally.

To some extent, I'm avoiding stereotypes that go with each gun6, but, also, I really don't have any desire to own either one.

None of this should be taken as serious advice or even the words of somebody who knows what they're talking about. It isn't, and I don't, really. I'll probably do some more detailed thinking out loud about guns I do like later in the week, or this evening, or something.

Footnotes
0. Possibly I am just picky, but while I like revolvers in the abstract, I can't seem to find very many I actually like. Even fewer that really interest me: the Ruger and S&W offerings I really like are notable mostly for being old standards.
1. Civvy-legal BAR? Yes, please.
2. FN PS-90 and Five-Seven pistol. The PS-90 is the civvied-up version of the P90 so popular in Hollywood as a sooper-fyoochooristic subgun, the Five-Seven is a semi-auto pistol chambered for the same cartridge.
3. I like this as an explanation for not buying H&K. I might if I find a good price on something down the road, but I don't see them filling a pressing need in my currently-fictional gun safe that I can't fill elsewise more cheaply and just as reliably.
4. Trapezoidal sights7, the excellent ergonomics. To a lesser extent, I like the loaded chamber indicator on the Steyr as well.
5. Actually, aesthetics and ergonomics aside, I think they're pretty good guns. I'm just coming to the conclusion that plastic pistols don't really scratch my itch. Also, Glock and H&K seem to suffer from really annoying levels of boosterism. It raises my hackles the way OS advocates tend to do. OS X and Linux are nice operating systems, nicer than Windows by far. On the other hand, I like to play games, and neither OS X or Linux is really suitable for that.
6. Irony in the form of a Mateba leaves me without much standing to joke about the sort of person who buys large, expensive, impractical handguns.
7. This week, I like the trapezoids.


[Addendum: I just wanted to clarify a bit on Footnote #3. My basic takeaway on the article at Monster Hunter Nation is that H&K manufactures good guns, but has legendarily poor customer service, little interest in the civilian market, and a price that is based at least as much on brand-image concerns as anything to do with quality and reliability.

I don't see very many Colts in my future for some of the same reasons: Colt offers very few products in the civilian market that don't have less expensive and similarly reliable competition, so, to an extent, part of what you buy with a Colt is the name. I don't get the impression that Colt is actually hostile to the civilian market, though.]
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Long Weekend Good 
2007.10.02 09:24 - Miscellanea
Alas, I'm now back at work.

Among the many things I learned at homecoming:
  • Fry's is not convenient to reach, period.
  • Rush hour around Indianapolis is an exercise in fury and braking. Also, it is greatly complicated by multiple construction projects.
  • Apparently, it's more difficult than I thought. (The college book store was selling that one, or a book by the same title. Yes, I'm sure it's about reading critically, or whatever, but there's a delightful irony to be found in the title.)
  • Matt is almost the anti-me.
I did manage to get a computer built, though. Woo!

(Quick edits: spelling, also, is more difficult than expected, and a little filtering re: Matt.)
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