New Pen 
2011.01.12 13:48 - Toys, Pens
I was gifted a Levenger L-Tech at Christmas. (After enough nagging, even I can generate a Christmas list, it turns out.)

As writing instruments go ... it's okay. I've got it filled some WatermanMont Blanc blue-black, which I like as inks go, but I'm not sure it gets along well with this pen.

I like the way the pen looks, which appears to be a mix of matte chrome and polished stainless steel. With Rotring out of the US market, there's not a lot of choices for industrial-ish fountain pens, so I'm glad this is as nice as it is.

It writes well, but is a hard starter. Most of the time, it takes some finagling to get the pen going, which seems to be a function of a nib geometry not agreeing with me and a cap that may not seal as well as it ought. I'm also not sure the nib and feed hold onto enough ink. The nib is not very flexible (normal for a modern pen, really), so the pen "writes like a nail" (to borrow a phrase picked up from the long-passed Rambling Snail forum), but the tip seems smooth and ink flow is consistent.

The section of the pen is knurled in accordance with the look of the pen, and provides a lot of grip. This is a little more aggressive than I'd like, but I've yet written written with it long enough for it to be uncomfortable. It is next to impossible to clean up after filling from a bottle though: once ink gets down into the crevices in the knurling, it's just not all coming out.

The cap screws on over the nib, but posts on the rear by friction. The threads are smooth, but a little more positive engagement would be welcome to keep the pen closed (as when it's in, say, a jacket pocket). The clip is pretty stiff, and difficult to get over thick fabric (like on a knit polo shirt, let's say).

On the whole, I'd give it a B-.

[Updated 2011-05-03: Mont Blanc, not Waterman ink. I don't own any Waterman ink, actually. Also, I've an update after a couple months of using the same pen with Noodler's black.]
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2011.01.09 13:42 - Guns, Magpul Masada/Bushmaster ACR
Went out to Knob Creek Range with my sister the Monday between Christmas and New Year's. A little cool, but a pleasant enough afternoon, otherwise: hardly anybody else on the firing line, no wind and no mud or dust to speak of.

Managed to get the Saiga straightened out by swapping the E-Tac Twister Puck and Gunfixer's Gas Plugs for the factory puck and plug. With the factory parts, it seems like it will cycle the rabbit fart Remington bird shot nearly every time. With the aftermarket parts, it just doesn't have enough gas to feed or eject properly. I may try swapping back just the gas plug and see if that can be made to work, as it's much easier to adjust. All that said, I'm moderately certain the problem is at least partly with the ammunition. I picked up a box each of higher-grade, low brass Winchester and Remington shotshells (Winchester AA "Super Sport" #8, 1 , Remington "Premier Nitro") which cycle just fine.

In the meantime, I have a Remington 870 on order. This is primarily because I wanted a shotgun that would eat whatever I fed it: I have a whole bunch of cheap shotgun shells that I'd like to dispose of.

I think I'm likely to purchase an ACR later this year. Bushmaster's 2011 catalog is out, and prices are down a fair bit. With some additional effort, I think I can probably come up with what I wanted for about what I wanted to pay.
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Feeling sort of human, again 
2011.01.09 13:23 - Work-related
As I write this, the other computer is logged into the office, on the likely chance that work will call again, today. Whee.

But, other than that, I'm feeling pretty fair. Two weeks of vacation at the end of the old year will do that for you.
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Not dead, just tired 
2010.11.30 20:24 - Entertainment, Books, Movies, Meatspace Stupidity, Whining, Work-related
Criminy, it's almost December.

I think I can sum up my life the last month as: work, TV zombies, work, TV spies, work, TV spaceship, work, work, cartoons, more cartoons, minecraft, work, TV zombies, work, etc.

I've read Monster Hunter Vendetta, am most of the way through Unseen Academicals, watched a movie or two, eaten some turkey, and have otherwise been a little too shelled from work to devote much time to life outside my head.

Two and a half more weeks to the end of the year, for me. I think I owe my employer two-hundred-odd unit tests and some additional code in the meantime, though.

Oh, and I've been listening to The Protomen. First album's okay, second's very good.
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I wonder if there is special significance in Chicago? 
2010.10.19 09:53 - News and Politics
I just noticed that Election Day is the same day as Día de los Muertos this year.
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