Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Get medieval

The AP reports on an antisocial individual whose property-damaging and reckless endangerment ways were chastised with a cross bow

Monday, August 29, 2011

Congruent storytelling

Fans of NuWho (particularly David Tennant) ought to read the Belgariad, and vice versa. Discuss

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Irene is here, and, as of now, so am I. The pumps are pumping intermittently (save for the one I dropped into the crawlspace that has close to 4 foot of water in it – that one’s running continuously), despite me needing both hands to keep track of the number of distinct places the water is coming into the basement in faucet volume (not to mention all the seepage). Power has been up save for one drop of less than a minute.

Which reminds me – I rigged up my Android to sound an alarm in case of power loss; this prevented me and Allura from having to stand watch-and-watch last night in case of a power outage

Using Tasker, create the following profile

Context: Not Power Any

Task Alarm:

  1. Media Volume: 15
  2. Music Play Directory – select an appropriate set of music. You could use playlist, &c. I happen to have had a defined alarm task that I could recycle
  3. Popup Task Names (text Alarm, Task SnoozeAlarm, Task CancelAlarm)
    1. Task SnoozeAlarm:
      1. Music Stop, clear directory Off
      2. Notify, Title Alarm Snoozed
      3. Notify Cancel, Title Alarm Snoozed
      4. Wait, 20 minutes
      5. Perform Task Alarm
    2. Task CancelAlarm
      1. Music Stop, Clear Dir off
      2. Notify, Title Alarm Off
      3. Notify Cancel, Title Alarm Off

The Alarm Task is modified from one at lifehacker.

When the device is removed from charging power (USB or AC) it will immediately start playing the chosen music. For obvious reasons, cloud music wasn’t an option (Pandora, Google Music, &c).

That having been said, there are plenty of folks without power, or even worse off, in NJ; my prayers are with them.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

On mobs and violence

We've treated recently to reports of limited mob violence in various parts of the US recently, and then this weekend we have reports of widespread rioting and looting in England in the London vincinity. At this point I really don't care about the causes of riots, root or immediate. The violence is not being directed against anything that could be described as a legitimate target of force. If mob violence can ever be justified, it is only against representatives of an unjust and oppressive government, not against fellow citizens. Likewise, looting can only be justified if it is directed against the resources of such a government and limited to the materiel necessary to maintain opposition to that government. Libyan rebels looting government armories is OK; London yobs carrying flat screens out of Marks and Sparks is not. Morality lecture over.

The best defense against a mob is not to be there, of course, and if you are caught up near one to leave the area. Sometimes this isn't possible; you're on Sun Tzu's deadly ground, or forced to defend a position such as your home or livelihood. In these cases, you might want something a little different than your sidearm. Classically, this is the shotgun's role. Not for nothing is a shotgun often referred to as a mob gun or a riot gun. The big problem in using deadly force on a mob is getting the survivors to realize that you are shooting at them. I would expect that a 12-gauge's muzzle blast alone is going to make an impression, and a blast of pellets may take down several rioters, something a single pistol bullet is unlikely to do.

This may be the role that the Kel-tec KSG would excel at. 14+1 rounds of 12-gauge ammo is a lot of mayhem, and the whole package is relatively compact, making it handier in closenquarters. Of course, as a tube-magazine weapon, reloading after that 15th shot is going to be tedious, and compared to any handgun it's unwieldy and heavy to transport. But I can't think of a much better choice for a riot gun among non-Short-Barreled-Shotguns.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Home gunsmithing

Elmo points to a story about a man who prints out a stainless steel stroller part, and wonders when this technology will come to the home. Me, I wonder who will count as the manufacturer if I provide the cad/cam file, materials, & c, and just rent time on the printer, today?

How about if I have the frame "printed" in two halves and then weld them together at home?

Note: this is all for personal consumption, not for resale. Federal law permits manufacture of a firearm by a non-ffl for personal use, I understand.