Thursday, December 14, 2006

Coolest armor EVAR...

This artist is entirely too clever. Clicky the linky to see his gallery of armor for cats and mice. Amazing work here.

The straight dope...

I just found a very interesting blog entry that lays out 15 misconceptions about Marijuana. It's a good read and I'd appreciate your opinions on the matter.

"Well what about you, Steve?" I hear you ask. Fair enough. Confession time. I am in general, a tea totaler. My consumption of alcohol is relatively small and is limited to what the more sophisticated call "girly drinks". Mead, Smirnof, a few mixed drinks. Being of good suburban upbringing I didn't touch drugs of any sort for most of my adult life. To this day I generally avoid strong medications unless I am very sick or in a great deal of pain.

I came to try Marijuana for the fist time on New Years of 1999. I found it produced a mild euphoria and slower reactions. It did not induce paranoia, violence or even the munchies. My wife drove me home, heartily amused by my constant running commentary. (Apparently I was interested in conveying the experience in a reasonable and logical manner. Others call this 'rambling').

Trying marijuana did not lead me to trying other drugs. Why? Because I am not stupid. The damaging and addictive qualities of other drugs are well known to me. And I will never try them. Since my first experience I have 'gotten a buzz' about once a year. Typically at the end of an evening. I have RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome) which means that I twitch when I go to bed. It isn't painful but it is REALLY annoying and keeps me from falling asleep, sometimes for hours. This can be mitigated by avoiding sugars or taking a hot shower. I have learned that after taking a few puffs of marijuana I am able to get to sleep much easier and sleep much more soundly. Even if marijuana were legal, I doubt I would use it much more often as I have a strong aversion to smoking in general.

Would legalizing marijuana bring about serious societal problems? In the short term, maybe. But the cost of prosecuting and housing tens of thousands of recreational users is staggering. If legalized, it could be come a taxable revenue stream. Grown domestically it could revitalize southern farms as well as provide hemp, a very useful byproduct. If regulated it would actually be harder for minors to get it. Could it lead to an increase in driving under the influence? I think it likely, and that is a strong setback. But people already drive while hammered. Oddly, people I know who will drive after drinking moderately (with food and waiting at least an hour or two) would not even think of driving while stoned.

In short, it's time America grows up. We're big kids now and we can handle it. What do you think?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Guns Guns Guns

This post has NOTHING to do with my rant below. I would like to make this perfectly clear. It just so happens that a few days after this post I attended the a gun show in Medina. I've never been to one and was interested to see what they were like. A group of us planned on meeting up at the sight at about 10. Of course THAT didn't happen. I arrived on time and was COMPLETELY UNSUPERVISED. Knowing my exceptionally weak will I drove down the road and window shopped before coming back. Not that this group represented the voice of restraint.

My first impression, after gazing in childlike wonder at all the shiny toys, is that this is a very polite crowd. There were a lot of attendees. You were bound to bump into someone and this was always met with an 'excuse me'. The dealers were polite. The buyers were polite, the people selling hot dogs and pizza were polite. Everyone is polite. I imagine that if you even tried to enter the building looking pissed, you would not make it. This event is all about calm people. Calm people with guns. And that's fine with me.

Next, there are NO booth babes here. This surprised me a little. I'm sure that at the big manufacturers convention's there are plenty of hot chicks displaying big guns. Here? Not so much. The closest that I could find was a middle aged woman with a Semper Fi tattoo that looked like she could punch me senseless. This was a room primarily of white males from the ages of 23-45. I'm sure its hard to find hot women who know the infinite minutia of firearms but that's not the point. The babes draw in people, for photos or autographs, for handouts. This creates a crowd. Crowds buy things. But this is a new field for me and if they aren't doing it, there must be a reason. Still, it was a bit of a drag. 2 huge rooms with guys in drab clothes. And lots of guns.

Homeless guys with guns. At first, I was a bit confused. I kept seeing guys with rifles slung over their shoulders and signs plastered on their chest or taped to their hats. Apparently, these are attendees who are trying to sell off their guns (presumable to buy new guns) but the effect is very strange. "Will sell complete stranger rifle for handfulls of cash".

Did I get anything? I was sorely tempted. Thanks to the ingenuity of the soviets one can buy a Romanian knock-off AK-47 with 2 clips for about $300. That's pretty damn cheap. By comparison a well made pistol costs $4-500 on average. The AK is a very well designed weapon I am told, easy to take apart and pretty accurate. But finances just didn't allow for it. I found a supply of Mosin/Nagant bolt action rifles most likely built in the 50's for under $100. Despite their age they are a well built rifle and can be very accurate with a scope. This is the weapon used by the Russian Hero Vasily Zaytsev . I held off for now. Guns and I still have a few issues to work out. Maybe in the Spring

My last observation didn't come to me until I was driving home and it is this; These people are nerds. You heard me. These gun wielding red-blooded Amuricans are hard core nerds. Read the two following statements:

"The 223 has a range of about 300 yards and a dispersal pattern of about 8 inches. You've only got five shots so you needs to make them count. Penetration is pretty decent with 20 grain. It'll take out just about anything. "

"The magic missile has about a 100ft range (+10ft per level) with a 1d4+1 damage. It'll affect up to 2 creatures in a 10' area. No saving throw, it's a standard action that uses a V and S component."

Are we seeing an similarities? Both of these speakers are about 20lbs overweight and are drinking Mountain Dew though only one of them is wearing a button that says "Assassins do it from behind". I won't tell you which.

This is not to imply that being a gun nerd is a bad thing. It's simply a different kind of nerd. And I guess it made me feel kinda warm and fuzzy to know that we share a common nerd-ness. Unlike the gaming nerds however, I will NOT get into a heated argument with a gun nerd over some trivial technicality. These people have guns, remember? It would not end well.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


A quick update to my Fred Phelps rant. It seems that the father of a deceased marine sued Freddy boy and won. Phelps made much of his money through frivolous lawsuits (this was before he was disbarred permanently, now he uses his kids). Suck it Phelps, suck it hard.