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Monday, August 12, 2019

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 064: Erin is Captain Now

In This Episode:
Weer'd is on vacation in Ireland, so Erin takes over the ship ("Look at me. LOOK AT ME. I'm the Captain now.") and enlists ACP contributor Egghead to be her Cabin Boy for the show.
  • Erin and Egghead discuss two very surprising Tweets that address mass shootings in unexpected ways;
  • David tells us what gear we need to avoid doing the Hot Brass Dance;
  • Egghead reviews the CountyComm GP-5 General Purpose Radio for both Ham operators and preppers;
  • and Trunk Monkey Steve tells us how he keeps his Ninja Wagon up and running in Tales from the Trunk.

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Show Notes

Main Topic
Gun Lovers and Other Strangers
General Purpose Egghead

    Thursday, August 8, 2019

    Unknown Armies Episode 10

    I want to assure my listeners of a few things:
    • I didn't suddenly decide to run a Star Trek game instead of Unknown Armies. 
    • There's a reason why this happened. However, like all good UA stuff, it's never initially apparent. The PCs might find out why it happened, or they might not. 
    • There's actually reasoning and a pattern going on here, although it's difficult for my players to see. 

    Monday, August 5, 2019

    Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 063: Circuses and Monkeys

    In This Episode:
    • Erin and Weer’d discuss the return of Cam & Company and some of the recent developments at the NRA, specifically the consolidation of power by Wayne La Pierre;
    • Egghead reviews the Niteforce P12 flashlight;
    • Oddball explains the pros and cons of different knife handle materials;
    • and Weer'd brings us an interview with Jake Skillett of VonBernd K-9 Training.

    Did you know that we have a Patreon? Join now for the low, low cost of $4/month (that’s $1/podcast) and you’ll get to listen to our podcast on Friday instead of Mondays, as well as patron-only content like mag dump episodes and our hilarious blooper reels and film tracks.

    Show Notes

    Main Topic
    General Purpose Egghead
    Oddball's Corner Pocket
    Jake Skillett

      Sunday, August 4, 2019

      Pink Pistols article in Crosscut Magazine

      Dorothy Edwards of Crosscut magazine was introduced to me by the head of the Portland, OR chapter of the Pink Pistols. Dorothy had been observing and interviewing members of that chapter for an article she was writing.

      She was also at the March for Our Rights in Olympia, WA at the end of April (an event I was sadly unable to attend because it happened on the same day as the NRA Annual Meeting), and was surprised by how many people came up to the Pink Pistols booth giving support, thanking them for being there, and obtaining information for family and friends. Dorothy, as most in news media, had the belief that the 2A community was not welcoming.

      She asked me many good questions when we spoke, not just the usual "Tell me about how Pink Pistols/Operation Blazing Sword started." Unfortunately our entire conversation is not in the article (it never is), but it's a good depiction of of who we are, what we do, and why the Pink Pistols needs to exist.

      Please take the time to read it.

      Monday, July 29, 2019

      Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 062: A Case of the Sillies

      In This Episode:
      • Erin and Weer'd giggle a lot;
      • David brings us some tales of humor and woe from his job as a firearms trainer;
      • The Egghead reviews the Thyrm Switchback flashlight accessory;
      • In part two of his interview with Logan Metesh of High Caliber History, Weer'd and Logan discuss the Pederson Device;
      • and Steve brings us a little snapshot on what a Monday afternoon looks like for a private investigator.

      Did you know that we have a Patreon? Join now for the low, low cost of $4/month (that’s $1/podcast) and you’ll get to listen to our podcast on Friday instead of Mondays, as well as patron-only content like mag dump episodes and our hilarious blooper reels and film tracks.

      Show Notes

      High Caliber History

      Sunday, July 28, 2019

      Twin Cities Pride Festival

      I am super late in publishing this -- I think Twin Cities Pride was literally a month ago at this point! I really hate how my blogging has trailed off in the past however many months. I just have a lot of balls in the air right now and, unfortunately, "Writing this blog" suffers the most when I'm pressed for time.

      That said, look for some big and awesome changes coming to Operation Blazing Sword soon!

      These pictures were taken on Saturday, the first day of Twin Cities Pride. I was a guest of the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus and I worked the booth for both days, answering questions and promoting both Operation Blazing Sword and the Pink Pistols, specifically the Twin Cities chapter. It was a lot of fun and I found that the people who came up to our booth were typically either gun owners or were interested in becoming such, and those I talked to were receptive to joining Pink Pistols, making use of OBS instruction, or both.

      I was told that this was the first year that the booth wasn't treated with hostility, and some of that was attributed to my presence. I made a joke about how "Well, of course people are being nice. Who would be rude to someone as nice as me?", but in truth there's a powerful legitimacy to standing up and saying "Yes, I'm queer and I'm armed and I'm not ashamed. Who are you to tell me how I can't defend myself?"

      In previous years the members of MNGO had to explain why they were at a Pride event, but by simply being there I served as a demonstration that the Second Amendment and armed self-defense is something that belongs to everyone, regardless of sexuality, gender, or political affiliation. Of course, it also helped that if someone had questions about resources for armed queer people in the area the booth staffers could just refer someone to me instead of trying to answer the questions themselves.

      The first day was sunny and warm, but tempered with a nice breeze that kept things from getting too hot. There were lots of dogs at Pride (apparently Minneapolis is a big ol' dog city) and one of the MNGO staffers brought her Great Pyrenees puppy, which worked as an amazing draw to the booth. So many people came up just to pet the floof ball!

      Yes, that's Sarah Cade and yes, she's wearing a rainbow Gadsden flag as a cape. I made a joke about how she was a "fabulous superhero and now had the cape to prove it".

      The wheel of fortune was filled with questions, like "What's a straw purchase?" or "Is crime going up or going down in Minnesota?" People would come up, spin the wheel, and be asked the question. If they were wrong, we told them the answer and gave them a piece of candy (from the pink basket). If they were correct, we let them take a sticker ("I'm a gun-owning liberal" was surprisingly popular") as well as some candy.

      By the way, the rainbow Gadsden in the front left pole kept blowing everywhere in the breeze, knocking stuff over and frequently hitting me in the face. Which lead to one of the Zero Context Quotes of the Day: "That rainbow flag is bukkake-ing my face with pride."

      This was taken on Sunday during one of the rare moments it wasn't raining. Mind you, it didn't rain very hard, but it rained a lot and lots of rain doesn't mix well with fabulous Pride outfits.

      By the way, for those who are curious:
      • Anyone who thinks that all gay people have fantastic style and taste should come to a Pride festival to be proven wrong. I like rainbows too, but there were so many of them them that the place looked like it was full of unicorn vomit. 
      • What you need to keep in mind is that Pride is basically "queer Mardi Gras". Many of the costumes are deliberately provocative and outrageous, and not at all indicative of what queer people normally wear. If you go, be prepared to see a lot of skin, such as topless women with tape over their nipples and men in shorts so small and tight you can tell their religion. 
      • On the other hand, I saw many more people who were just dressed normally in t-shirts and jeans or shorts, just having a great time. I noticed that wearing one of the many various queer flags as capes.
      By the way, my Transgender Socially Awkward Situation Defuser Card was the surprise hit of the show. I grabbed a box at the last minute just on a whim, and whenever someone would come up to the booth to look around it would be likely that they would take a card even if they took nothing else. I lost track of the number of times someone wearing trans colors would pick it up, read it, and gasp in astonished delight "I need this!" or "I wish I'd had this years ago!" I'm going to get another batch made up with the URLs of both Pink Pistols and Operation Blazing Sword on the back as a kind of stealth advertising. 

      I had a great time at Twin Cities Pride, and I hope the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus will have me back next year. 

      Saturday, July 27, 2019

      Unknown Armies Episode 9

      More weirdness at UT Austin and the PCs are beginning to wonder just what exactly is going on and what they've gotten caught up in.

      My biggest criticism of this game is about myself: we're using the Unknown Armies rules and setting, but it doesn't feel like a UA game to me. I feel like I'm not giving an authentic UA experience, mainly because I just can't seem to express the theme and flavor of UA that I get from the books and so I end up with creepy weirdness instead.

      It's hard to describe what that theme and flavor ought to be, because if I knew specifically what was wrong I think I'd be able to fix it. The best I can do is say that when I read UA, there is a very distinct flavor to it,  like maybe a Hunter Thompson novel but with magic instead of drugs, and I can't seem to evoke that flavor. It instead feels like a bunch of normies walking around going "Huh? What?"

      I'm trying to give them a taste of Power And Consequences, but -- probably due to inexperience with the setting, or perhaps fear of getting screwed by the GM, they aren't grabbing it by the throat. So instead they're just trying to understand all the Weird Shit going around as other people do their thing, and it feels a lot more like a World of Darkness RPG only with fewer monsters. Or perhaps a Ken Hite conspiracy game but with magic.

      Eh, I'm probably overthinking this. As long as my players are having fun and keep coming back, that's the important thing. I just wish I could shake this feeling that I am doing it wrong and if I could only figure out this one thing, it'll be the game that I want to run.

      Anyway, here's the audio. General NSFW warning, mainly for language.

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