Why My Investment In Fictional Universes Is Increasingly Limited 
2009.12.02 09:00 - Entertainment, Books, Movies, Television, Meatspace Stupidity, Whining
I have the RSS feed from theforce.net laying around in my Google Reader subscriptions. This morning, that feed included an announcement of the cancellation of an upcoming Star Wars novel by Karen Traviss.

I really don't follow this stuff very closely, and what's going on here is one reason why. Karen Traviss has been writing novels in the Star Wars universe centered around some characters that are clone soldiers and a handful of Mandalorians, either referencing or creating a lot of stuff concerning the previously established warrior culture of the Mandalorians. I've read a few of these, because they've crossed over nicely into the sub-genre of military sci-fi that I've recently found myself enjoying, and because I do still like the Star Wars universe, despite the fact that it is often so shoddily and inconsistently constructed. So, I've got two or three of the Republic Commando novels on my bookshelf, and I'll probably pick up the couple of novels following those characters at some point.

Traviss has decided not to write this last book because, among other reasons, the Mandalorians are being retconned into pacifists during the movie time period, which presents certain existential difficulties for many of her key characters.

Uff da.

[Addendum: I fired this off without putting a complete title on it, so I corrected the title.]
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You May Already Have Heard About This 
2009.11.21 13:16 - News and Politics
In weird news, it seems the Peruvian police have busted a ring of human fat smugglers.

FWIW, the story has gotten longer and stranger since I stumbled upon it on Friday.
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Having technical details. 
2009.11.21 13:09 - Site/Meta
You won't see this until the DNS data finishes propagating. It's my own fault for not staying atop of these things.
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Range Notes 
2009.11.09 12:52 - Guns, Browning Hi-Power
Went out to Knob Creek Range Saturday morning with my sister to pop plastic bottles. I have no idea how many we actually destroyed, but we filled up at least one trash can, maybe two. I still have a couple guns to clean up, and need to get the AR zeroed at some point (will probably do that at Open Range, which is an indoor place). Also need new cans of CLP and GunScrubber.

On the other hand, I managed to pop a basketball-sized pumpkin clean apart at 25 yards (yes, I think the Gold Dots will work Just Fine), and catch a couple water bottles at 50 yards with the Hi Power. Managed to catch a few targets with the un-zeroed AR at 50 yards. The holosight's a lot easier to pick up than the irons, and the magnifier makes it plenty easy to see 2-liters at that distance. I've really got to work on my rifle stance, though. May have to give up and find an NRA Basic Rifle course or an Appleseed course or something. Don't seem to be any in the area, though.

My sister seemed to shoot okay, but also seemed kinda unimpressed with herself. I think it was more the lack of feedback, but it may also be that I was monopolizing the Hi-Power (it's my carry piece and I need the practice). She also had some trouble telling when she'd plugged the pumpkin she was trying blow up. Turns out, that 40-year-old M2 hardball goes straight through a lot of things.

Each of three new magazines were run through the AR once, which worked without hiccups. Managed to confirm that the Hi-Power will eat Gold Dots okay. The Garand's been picky about loading, but I think that's just because I've done a sloppy job loading the clips. My sister also experienced a jam of some sort with the CZ. Looked like it might be a double-feed of some sort, but she had it sorted out by the time I noticed.

On the whole, not the best morning ever spent at the range.
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I'm Still Alive 
2009.11.06 09:27 - Guns, Miscellanea
Twittering some, but mostly haven't had much to say, lately.

Here's an update on what's up with me, then:
1. I picked up my carry permit around the middle of last month. I have been strapping on my Hi-Power in the evenings during the week, or as soon as I'm dressed on the weekends. No point in bothering on weekday mornings, because I may as well take it off before leaving for work: no concealed deadly weapons in the office. (I expect they will balk at the idea of open carry as well.) C'est la vie, as they say.
2. My AR-15 is almost completely tar[t|d]ed up with various bits. I've replaced the butt stock, the pistol grip, the receiver plate, the rear sight, the handguard, the triggerguard and safety selector, added a bolt catch extension, a red dot sight and magnifier, and a vertical foregrip, which I'm currently evaluating against a finger stop. I'd still like a light and laser, and fully intend to stick one of these on it for giggles. I have a few small, internal parts on the way, right now.
3. I have dropped my tea intake down from a quart every day to a single large cup, about a 75% drop, starting not quite two weeks ago. Exceptions made here and there, with no change in soda consumption. Wouldn't have stayed awake past dinnertime last night without a large bowl of matcha, in fact. On the whole, though, feeling pretty good.
4. Playing a lot of Borderlands. Because I spent last week on vacation, I have now spent more time in Borderlands over the past two weeks than at work over the same time period. That's a game that's going to sink a lot of GPAs.
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