Monday, September 27, 2010

Muppets....stronger than they look?

Guy hired to play Elmo is on break, goes to look at guitars at a nearby store. Another guy 'feels threatened', attacks Elmo...and loses.

h/t to Popehat

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Just what I always needed

Some people have more money than sense, but apparently not as many as Meijer's expected.

A small bundle of sticks, on clearance for 6.99.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Under Pressure

I decided to get a press for holster making. I ordered a sheet of inch thick gum rubber and cut it into two 12 inch squares. I tried a homemade press using some 2x12 and threaded rod, but it was too hard to get enough pressure. Harbor Freight had a sale on their 12 ton shop press--bigger than I need, but I heard some complaints about their smaller bench model.

The press is fairly typical Harbor Freight quality--The spreader bar at the bottom was misaligned and broke a weld while squaring the press up, but it is still usable. The upper I beam is a bit of a loose fit to the side beams, I'm probably going to add some washers inbetween to tighten it better. It works well enough for my purposes.

The basic setup I'm using is a chunk of 2x12, one of the rubber pads, the holster with a blue gun inside, the other rubber pad, then another 2x12. The press came with 2 inch thick metal blocks, I use one of those on top of the wood to spread the force of the press out, otherwise I am pretty sure the wood would split.

I'm not sure how hard I have to press to get the level of detail I am looking for--I think I went more than necessary this time.

I want enough pressure to get decent detail, but I don't know if I need so much that I can read the lettering engraved on the dummy gun.

This saves quite a bit of time in molding the holster by hand, and I think the end result looks better.  

Friday, September 17, 2010

iphone shot timer and airsoft

Previously I had experimented with using my PACT shot timer with my old spring-air airsoft. The timer had to be set at the target, to record the impact rather than the shot, which meant walking back and forth for each shot.

That airsoft died, so I splurged and got a CO2 airsoft. I have not tried the PACT timer with the new Airsoft, but I have played around with Surefire's shot timer app for the iPod tOuch. With a small tweak to the sensitivity, it works fine. I even slapped a holster together out of some crap leather (and discovered that the Tippmann Boss will not sew wet leather...) and practiced drawing from under a cover shirt, and experimented with aimed vs point shooting. My target was a piece of printer paper and a homemade pellet trap, and I was able to hit it reliably out to about 10 feet or so without using sights. The speed increase was only about 2/10 of a second.

I do not believe that the airsoft is representative of followup shots, but as a cheap way to practice the draw and first shot on target, I think it is worthwhile.

If you are a shooter with an iPhone or a tOuch, with a mic (or the earbuds with remote and mic) get the shot timer app--it is free, and works well with real guns, too.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Convervative vs libertarian

There is a quiz over at the Center for American Progress, "How Progressive Are You?", with fairly typical questions designed to measure where you fall on the left-right political spectrum.  Like most of these quizzes, it totally ignores the libertarian-statist axis.

I scored a 155, counting as conservative--but I am fairly sure that in quite a few cases either my logic as to why, or my idea of a proper solution was different from either their preferred solution, or from what they perceived as conservative. .

Government regulations are necessary to keep businesses in check and protect workers and consumers
Yes, I am not an anarchist.  However, we currently have vastly more of these regulations than necessary or helpful.
America's security is best promoted by working through diplomacy, alliances, and international institutions.
Usually.  But it helps to have a big stick, and to negotiate from a position of strength.
Americans should adopt a more sustainable lifestyle by conserving energy and consuming fewer goods
Sure--but we should not be forced or taxed into this.
Religious faith should focus more on promoting tolerance, social justice and peace in society, and less on opposing abortion or gay rights
"Religion should" is not a relevant political question. I am not likely to go to an anti-gay church, but as long as they just talk, and don't go physically hunting down gays, so what?
Human life begins at conception and shold be protected from that point forward
Sort of--Human life should not be begun unless it will be protected from that point forward.
America's economic future requires a transformation away from oil, gas and coal to renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. 
More than likely eventually this will be yes.  Again, the question is whether we get their through natural market forces, or if we get there through coercion.
Changes in the traditional american family have harmed our society
In some ways yes, others no.  But this is mostly irrelevant to government.
Social Security should be reformed to allow workers to invest some of their contributions in individual accounts. 
This assumes that Social Security should be kept.  Individual accounts is better than a pool of money for the government to "borrow', but it is still forced savings.
Rich people like to believe they have made it on their own, but society has contributed greatly to their wealth
This appears to be justification for taking money from the rich, rather than an actual political question.
Government policies too often serve the interests of corporations and the wealthy
Yes--Not because the policies are designed to do that, but because corporations and the wealthy can hie people to navigate the complexity and maximize benefit.
African Americans and other minority groups still lack the same opportunities as whites in our country
Yes to an extent--but most of this isn't due to current racism, but rather to lingering effects of past generations of racism, and the awful results of a welfare system that actively discourages self-sufficiency.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Backin' up, backin' up

A hilarious remix of a news story of a robbery:

The original news report:

And an article covering the original story and the video

(HT to Mo Rage)

Friday, September 03, 2010

Who cares

Gun enthusiasts, Tea Party supporters, conservatives and to some extent libertarians are often stereotyped as anti-gay bigots.

When I blogged about Southern Style Granite, I realized that the only place I had seen references were from other gun bloggers. I assumed it was sample bias, since I have a high proportion of gun bloggers in my RSS feed. After posting a comment on Daisy's Dead Air, I decided to look into who was spreading the word about Southern Style Granite. Ambulance Driver and Dan Savage both mentioned this incident on August 30, so there has been plenty of time for both sets of readers. I logged out of Google to avoid getting customized results, and checked the first 50 results.  Well over half of these results mentioned thir bias, and 13 mentions were distinct blogs.  (some blogs showed up several times in the Google results, I only counted each one time. 

Of the 13, 6 were people I recognized as gun bloggers, 4 gay or gay oriented (and one gay gun blogger counted in both), and 4 that were not easily classified in either of the first 2 groups.

So bigoted, right wing gun nuts are doing more than gay-oriented bloggers to spread the word about a particular incident of anti-gay bigotry.   (EMS bloggers may be tied with gun bloggers, I didn't count them separately)  

Too many people confuse a lack of support for legislation for a lack of support for the cause itself.  Jennifer said it well--
I don’t believe in forcing tolerance by force of law, but I do fully support any individuals desire to move their dollars elsewhere. It’s the beauty of the free market. I choose not to do business with bigots like Southern Style Granite.
Southern Style Granite should be allowed to choose who to serve--but they should not be shielded from the results.  I hope this spreads, and there is a significant drop in Southern Style's business as a direct result--and I hope they realize the cause.   

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Bigots at Southern Style Granite

Ambulance Driver points us at a story of bigots at southern style granite.

Basic story: 2 men go to look at granite counter tops. One of the co-owners asks them if they are a gay couple, and when the answer is yes, rudely tells the couple that their kind is not welcome here.

As someone else pointed out--Is overt anti-gay bigotry really wise in a company that relies on interior decorators?