Expecto Patreonum!

Become a patron via my Patreon page and you can help me produce quality nerdy things.

For more information on how this works, please read this post.

Thanks!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The annoying thing about trying to write horror...

... is that, for me at least, it is impossible to write anything scary while I have sunshine streaming through the windows. It's hard to concentrate on the creepy and macabre while everything outside looks sunny and pleasant.

Normally I'd try to crank something out now and try to have it ready before midnight on the West Coast, but I have to get up early tomorrow and that precludes a late nighter.

Therefore, I shall leave you with my favorite horror story. It's my favorite because it's so very, very minimal:

The last man on earth sat alone in a room.
There was a knock at the door...

Pleasant dreams.

WNW: Vote Zombie

You know, this political ad is having the exact opposite of its intended effect on me, because I am all for the zombie apocalypse.  But the best part is, to quote Demonic Bunny:
I'm most impressed though that Whedon managed 2 minutes and 13 seconds without killing off a character which we have an emotional attachment to.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Palette's Product Reviews: Two Recommendations for Hurricane Preps

Well, I'm feeling like rather a shitheel today because of yesterday's post. Here in Florida, we don't even get out of bed for a Category 1 hurricane, and figured that everyone would get a good lashing and then we could laugh about it later.  I keep forgetting that New York isn't designed to withstand hurricanes and storm surges like we are.

I'm not sure about the etiquette on this one. Clearly my post was a joke, designed to lighten the mood, and I'm certain my readers understood that and took no offense from it. Still, it seems like bad form to have made jokes about losing houses when that actually happened to some people.

So I'm going to issue a blanket "I am an asshole and I'm sorry" and leave it at that.

Anyway. Let's review some products whose usefulness is pretty damn salient. When a storm hits, the two things most likely to be lost are water and electricity, and these products not only address those two concerns but they are also very inexpensive -- you can get both of these products for around $50 total.



First up is the WaterBOB, and it's basically a bag that you put inside of your bath tub for water storage. In addition to keeping 100 gallons of drinking water free from all the crud on the inside of the tub and whatever may fall in for up to four weeks, it also comes with a nifty siphon so that you can pump out what you need without contaminating the rest of it.

Full disclosure:  I own this product but I haven't used it yet. This is because it's meant to be a one-shot device -- you drain it by slitting the bag open. On the other hand, it holds ONE HUNDRED GALLONS of fresh water in food-grade plastic and if you buy it from Amazon it only costs you $22. I mean, most people spend that going out on the weekend. Stay in, rent a movie, and ensure you have drinking water!




Next is electricity, which is essential for light and communication. The Etón FR160B Microlink is perfect for this, because it is a flashlight & radio that can be charged via a hand crank, a solar cell, or through a USB port. Even better, if you have the right adapters you can use the crank to charge a cell phone or iPod, and the radio receives Weather Band in addition to AM/FM.

I have been using the previous version of this, the FR150, for three years now and I am VERY pleased with its performance. About the worst things I can say about it are:

  • While the solar cell will charge the internal battery, it won't charge an appliance that's attached to it. For that, you have to turn the crank. 
  • It doesn't come with an adapter for phones or iPods. You have to send in a card that comes with the device and you get the adapter in the mail a bit later. Alternately, you could just buy a set of adapter plugs at a local electronics store. 
  • It won't charge an iPhone at all. I'm not sure if it will charge an iPod Touch or not. 
You can buy it for $30 and free shipping at Amazon. If you'd like to pay more and have a more robust housing, you can get the Scorpion for $45, or you can get the Raptor, with digital altimeter, barometer, and compass (but no hand crank) for $88ish. Whichever one of these you get, I am certain you will be happy with them.

You can't beat these prices. The WaterBOB gives you peace of mind (and lots of water in an emergency!) and the Microlink is a handy tool. Get them both and keep them handy before the next storm that knocks out power and water pressure.

Pony Genetics Explained!

Someone pointed me to this and I just had to share it, because not only is it about My Little Pony, but it is also a geeky treatise on a geeky subject. 

Or, as Princess Luna would say...


BEHOLD! THE GEEKINESS HAS BEEN DOUBLED!   /RoyalCanterlotVoice


(To properly view the picture:  Right click on image; select "Open link in new tab"; click to embiggen.)




If I can find out who made this, I will ask their permission if I can include it in Unknown Ponies.  

Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday Gunday: An instructor shoots the PMR-30

I realize y'all are probably getting sick of all these PMR posts, but I have the gun for review, and by golly, I'm gonna review it. I may not be a professional reviewer in a national gun magazine, but hopefully I can get by on my cute demeanor and a willingness to be ridiculously thorough.

Anyway, last weekend I took the PMR out to the range where my Gun Store Guy (hereafter known as GSG) takes students for qualifying shoots after their class on concealed carry. He's a certified instructor, has taken several armorer courses (not entirely sure which ones -- let me know if you need to know more), works behind the counter at the gun store and is generally a stand-up guy.

I loaded the magazines for him to demonstrate how they worked (he was shooting 40 grain CCI Maxi-Mag FMJ, the same as I shot during my test firing), gave him a basic tutorial on how the gun worked (he kept forgetting to disengage the thumb safety, amusingly enough) and then let him shoot it.  I didn't shoot the pistol at all.

He was shooting at target at 15 yards. I regret that I didn't get any pictures of it afterwards, but I was too busy getting a free trigger job on my Glock and by the time I got done, he'd already taken it down and thrown it away. I can tell you that while he didn't score shots exclusively in the 10 ring, he was consistently hitting a head-sized target at that range.

Interestingly enough, we didn't experience a single keyholing issue this time around. I don't know if this is due to variation of ammo batches, or of the barrel just needed some "breaking in."  Either way, I'm pleased to report that the problem seems to have disappeared.

Here are his thoughts on the PMR-30.
  • What I liked most about the pistol was that it felt really easy to use. It felt like one of those guns that you could take to the range and shoot all day. I'm a big advocate of hi-cap mags and the 30 round mag in a pistol can't be beat. There is next to no recoil and a little bit of muzzle rise. Fiber-optic sights picked up the target quickly on follow-up shots. I would compare the feel of this gun to a FN 5.7 but without the price tag. [1]
  • The only negative to the gun is the magazine. You need practice to load it because the rounds can get stuck in the mag. I understand that Kel-Tec has procedure for loading the mags so that would be the only learning curve on this gun. [2]
  • The biggest negative is with Kel-Tec itself, and not the gun. They are always behind on production. Since the gun came out , I have only been able to get my hands on two PMR-30s and one KSG to sell in the store. [3]
  • At this moment I see no changes I would make make to the PMR-30. The gun is light, accurate, nice trigger and sights. If I were to make any changes they would have to do with the magazine,  but the .22 WMR is a rimfire gun so I don't know how they would get around it.
  • I would recommend this gun to everyone and every shooter. Working at gun store I find that a lot of female customers have a hard time with pulling the slide on a semi-automatic, but I think pulling the slide on the PMR is something the majority of female consumers can do. I think it's a little too big for a conceal carry piece, but I do know people who conceal carry full-size 1911s. It's a great gun for the range and for home defense!
Editor's Notes:[1]  I keep hearing "It's like the FN 5.7, only cheaper and with more ammo." It's almost a mantra among people with more experience than I have with pistols. I'm not sure if this is praise for the PMR or an indictment of the 5.7 -- take that as you will.
[2]  We had a magazine that would consistently jam at the 21 round mark during loading. Rounds 1-20 were fine, and the magazine fed properly. We just couldn't load it to full capacity.  What's interesting is that when I got home and fed it with 40gr CCI hollowpoints, it loaded without difficulty. I don't know if this was an oddball batch of FMJ ammo, or if the slight differences between HP and FMJ were what caused the jam, or if the magazine is just defective.
[3]  Again, a common complaint. Kel-Tec needs a larger production pipeline. 

Two other guys shot the PMR as well: GSG's father-in-law and the guy who did my trigger job. Again, their responses were typical:  very accurate, no recoil to speak of, fun to shoot.  There was also lots of oohing and ahhing about the fireball the magnum rounds made. Watching it from the side, I was reminded of the flare from Robocop's hand cannon.

Trigger guy gave me this interesting tidbit:
  • "Great trigger -- it's smooth all the way back and has a consistent pull."
Now if I can just get my mom to shoot this thing, we will have a nice full-spectrum review of the piece. 

To those in the path of Sandy

To all my friends in the Northeast,

Stay safe, and rest safely in the knowledge that your sacrifice has not been in vain.

Ever since Friday, we've been having delightfully cool weather. The skies are cloudy, the wind is blowing, and it's currently in the mid-50s at noon.

Sure, your homes may be destroyed, but you've given us perfect Halloween weather. The Sunshine State salutes you!

Friday, October 26, 2012

NCSoft's Continuing Slide Into Irrelevance and Bankruptcy











Speaking of bullshit moves, NCSoft continues its corporate doublespeak and is reaping the whirlwind for their efforts.  To whit:

The Save City of Heroes Campaign Reveals NCsoft’s Firewall of Silence | EGMNOW

Quoting the juicy bits (and you really should go read the whole article),
However, it was all in vain as on October 2 the publisher issued a statement saying that it had “exhausted all options including the selling of the studio and the rights to the City of Heroes intellectual property, but in the end, efforts to do so were not successful.”

Of course this is where the twist occurs, the Save City of Heroes community claim to know of at least two investment groups who wished to purchase the license, but NCsoft never replied to their offers. This led the group to contact NCsoft regarding these offers, [asking certain questions].

After around two weeks of no response Lincoln Davis, director of corporate communications at NCsoft’s Seattle Office, offered this reply, “I wanted to let you know that we will be declining your interview request as it relates to the sun setting of City of Heroes.”

So they've lied about not having any buyers and/or exhausting all options. It really does boil down to "We don't want to operate it, but we don't want anyone else to make money from it either."

But it gets better. Fans of City of Heroes have been leaving messages on NCSoft's Facebook page, and I am hearing reports that not only are those messages being deleted, but NCSoft has reverted their page to Korean to prevent non-Korean speakers from leaving comments.

What's more, they are engaging in more futile corporate BS in an attempt to staunch the bleeding.  Patrick Osbourne, a member of "Save City of Heroes," reported the following:

I just got this reply after posting on ther page:

[∵] Dear NCSOFT Facebook Fan,

We feel immense gratitude towards your love and enthusiasm of 'City of Heroes'. It has been quite the privilege and we would like to thank you all. 'City of Heroes' is the world's first and best Super Heroes MMORPG. It has received unconditional love for more than 8 years and it is like a family member of this company.

However, to provide a better game and service in the future, we have made the tough decision to discontinue the game. It was very hard on all of us here at NCSOFT.

NCSOFT will strive for a better game and superior service and anticipates the day that we will meet again. We are confident that we will not look back towards today's choice with regret.

Lastly, for the users who enjoy other games of NCSOFT, we would greatly appreciate it if you can hold back the negative and hurtful comments.

Thank you very much.

Now this is normally where I'd translate this as "Please stop poking me with the truth, it hurts and we want you to go away," but another member of this group, Logan Darklighter, has a much better take on it:

TRANSLATION OF NCSOFT BULLSHIT SPEAK:

"We feel really bad for setting that puppy on fire. We want you to know that we loved the puppy too. But once we doused in in gasoline and lit it on fire, we just couldn't put it out."

"We even tried waving a fan at it to put the flames out and everything, but sadly all options are exhausted. Now let's please stop trying to put the puppy out, and instead hug and share happy memories of the puppy while it burns to death."

And also please stop mentioning to everyone how we set puppies on fire."

Oh NCSoft, I'm trying hard to see things from your perspective, but try as I might I just can't get my head lodged that far up my ass.

But wait, it gets better.  Take a look at this graph right here:


See where it peaked? September 7th.  Know what happened on September 8th?

Why, that would be the massive Unity Rally held within the game.

We are heroes. This is who we are. This is what we do. 


Huh. Who would have thought that excluding Europe and North America from your market would have resulted in fiscal backlash?

Oh, right: We did.

I am very, very eager to see what happens in the coming months.

Next they'll come for the weathermen

So, you know, this happened:

Six Italian scientists jailed for six years each for failing to predict 2009 quake that killed over 300 people


Which of course has resulted in scientists in Italy saying "This is the end of scientists giving consultations to the state." This is a nicer way of saying The next time there's an earthquake you're all fucked, because you won't get notice from us.

Which, you have to admit, is fair. After all, if you were a weatherman and one of your contemporaris was convicted of manslaughter because he failed to predict a tornado that killed an entire midwestern town, you'd quit the biz as well.

But, see... because I'm just bent, I am seeing a different route here. If I had been on the defense team, you know what I would have done?

I'd have sued the Catholic Church for punitive and compensatory damages.

You see, earthquakes are Acts of God. And while the Heavenly Father cannot be criminally prosecuted, His kingdom on earth can certainly be fined.

I mean, if we're going to be absurd here, let us reducto the absurdam. if a scientist is criminally responsible for deaths caused by not properly predicting an earthquake, then let's indict God for all those destructive acts. Suck on it, Roman Catholic Italy.

Would this make it to trial? Of course not. (I doubt those scientists will see any jail time, either, as any decent court of appeal will throw it out for these very same reasons.)  But it would highlight just how ridiculous this whole thing is, and the Vatican would probably start exerting pressure on the Italian government to Make This Go Away Now.

Come to think of it, this would make an awesome idea for a movie. Who's a good modern version of Jimmy Stewart?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

So apparently I'm a munition now

Yesterday I was paid a lovely compliment by Sean Sorrentino when he invoked me in a Twitter dispute:



Yes, you read that correctly: "invoked." Much like an Elder God from the Cthulhu mythos, you summon me by speaking my name:





And that's when what was a political conversation about guns and gun control was suddenly besieged with links to My Little Pony and Hello Kitty gun mods.



Apparently I am a form of madness which can be weaponized in order to break someone's mind, or at least their will to argue, because Mister Animatronic Teddy Bear quickly gave up.

I think I was posting links long after he left, actually...

So yes. I am a Weapon of Mass Distraction.  Instead of a Bunker Buster Bomb, I'm a Paradigm Puncturing Palette.

Y'all have no idea how much this pleases me. In fact, it's given me an idea for a story...
 :D

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Halloween Costumes

Since I am involved with my church's youth group this year, I will probably be asked to help run this weekend's Trunk or Treat event.  On the one hand, going from car to car instead of house to house is an abomination in my eyes, as I am a Halloween purist; on the other hand, any excuse to dress up is always welcome, especially in front of kids who may not have seen my awesome costumes.

But I'm torn as to what to wear. On the one hand, I have my awesome Ren Faire costume which I haven't worn in years... but if this weekend ends up being hot and humid like most days in Florida, I will sweat my ass off.  On the other hand, I could dress up in my head-to-toe camouflage outfit, which is lightweight and breathes easily, and say I'm going as a shrubbery -- but that seems rather lame.

What I'd really like to do is go as a Time Lady who, under the effects of a chameleon arch, decides to work as a delivery girl in Canada and ends up getting bitten by a Transylvanian vampire with a fondness for 1970s punk rock.

Yes, I'd like to dress up as a Romanian Ramones Romana/Ramona.

Rimshot!

WNW: Pumpkin Carving

Yes, I am aware this is last year's video.  I find this degree of accuracy with an AK clone to be far more impressive than with a pistol.   Also, the overkill amuses me.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My only political opinion of the season

I'm really looking forward to this November, when we can stop hating each other because of our politics and go back to hating each other because of our race and our religion and our sexuality.

That's one... two... three for the hoof trick

Happy birthday to three of my friends who, for my convenience, happen to all fall upon the same day:


  • Crazy Swede, close friend and Pellatarrum co-author Demonic Bunny is 31;

  • Internet Stalker  Friend of the blog Michael Brendan is [undisclosed age];







So yes! Happy birthday to you all!  And whatever you do, don't think about the fact that nine months and [your age] prior to this, your parents had sweaty unprotected sex.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday Gunday: Odds & Sods

Just some blatherings to conceal the fact that I really don't have anything substantial enough to make a proper post from.


  • I let my Gun Store Guy shoot the PMR-30 this weekend. While I hope to get a thorough report on it from him later, I can tell you that he was making impressive shots with it at 25 yards, and that everyone who shot it commented on its smooth trigger and lack of any substantial recoil.  This is in line with my earlier "pew pew pew" review.

  • Karma is alive and well, or at least it was this weekend. One of the aforementioned fellows who shot my PMR is a Glock armorer, and talk (somehow) turned to that of him doing trigger jobs and other work. I asked him for his card; he said he didn't have one, but if we moseyed on over to his truck, he'd take my pistol apart and tune it for me. We did, and -- if you'll pardon my lack of technical terminology here -- he polished up all the surfaces that rub against each other so that they won't rub against each other any more, and sanded down some pieces that had burrs and other not-smooth features. I don't know if this is technically a "trigger job" because he didn't replace any springs or connectors, but my trigger is now a hell of a lot smoother to pull. 

  • Oh, I also left that shooting range with more ammo than I brought (which was zero). Gun Store Guy bought 3 boxes of 22 Magnum, and we only shot two of them. Free ammo AND free gun maintenance!

  • Out of 100 rounds shot, not a single keyhole was observed. This was using the same brand of 40gr FMJ that I shot earlier. Don't know how to account for that, unless the "barrel just needed breaking in."

  • Speaking of the PMR-30, I still haven't gotten Mom to shoot the damn thing. This has become a source of annoyance for me. Maybe this weekend it will finally happen. 

  • The review of the Timney Trigger has to wait until I finish carving out pieces of plastic with a Dremel Tool to accomodate the trigger, and then re-bed the stock because I will probably take off too much.  While the trigger itself looks like a fine piece of engineering, any product with instructions that require you to use a power tool is not what I would consider "drop-in". 

  • Of course, in retrospect maybe I just assumed that ALL Timney Triggers were drop-in, because some of their products are labeled that way. Some Googling indicates that their Mosin-Nagant trigger is NOT advertised as drop-in, so perhaps I'm just a dumbass. 

Okay, maybe I did have enough for a proper post after all...

Friday, October 19, 2012

Dalque

Sometime early Thursday morning, my brain invented a new word.

I was having one of those dreams that occurs just at the fringe of wakefulness, when my mind seems particularly unhinged but I am still able to recall what happened with a large amount of clarity.

In this dream, I was observing what looked like a dungeon or underground laboratory, and there was a living.. something... on a slab. It was restrained, and some kind of chemical was being pumped into it, and as I watched the flesh of the thing changed from a healthy pink to a sickly gray. I knew it was dying.

Superimposed over all of this, in some manner of Gothic font, was this word:  
Dalque

It was evident that this scene was supposed to be illustrating the definition of the word.


(Incidentally, this dream also answered a question I've had since watching an old episode of Batman: the Animated Series, which is "Can you read inside of a dream?"  Clearly the answer is yes. Myth busted!)

So as I watched the thing on the table expire, I began to understand what dalque meant. Based on the name and the surroundings, I got the impression that I was watching something being embalmed alive, and that I was in a place suggestive of the Spanish Inquisition.  Clearly, Doctor Dalque was a mortician who subdued his victims (perhaps with drugs), took them back to his workshop of horrors, chained them up and watched them struggle as they slowly died from the embalming process. It felt very 19th century, very Edgar Allen Poe-ish.

Dalque, therefore, represents a creeping, paralytic fear, usually with some kind of body horror attached to it. Specifically, it is the fear you feel when you know something bad is going to happen to you (or a loved one), and the anticipation of that horror makes the fear that much worse.

Good example:  Sitting in a dentist's chair, waiting for a root canal.
Better example:  Waiting for the surgeon to tell you if your child survived.
Archetypal example:  "You have cancer."

Dalque is a noun that can be used as an adjective. Therefore you can say "I was consumed with dalque" or "A dalque feeling consumed me."

So now you have a new word to use this Halloween.



(The Google says that Dalque is also the name of a Code Geass character. This is amusing because I've never played the game, nor do I know anything about it. I truly have no idea from whence my brain derived this word.)

Pre-Halloween Goodies

The Timney Trigger for my Mosin-Nagant arrived in the mail today.

Packaged with it was a Tootsie Pop. Watermelon flavor, yum!


My name is Erin Palette and I approve of this bundling.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Bleg: Looking for a decent laptop solar charger

On the off chance that manufacturers and PR folks read this blog...

For years now I have been looking for a way to charge my laptop in case I lose power for an extended period of time (such as after a hurricane). It doesn't have to power it directly, although that would be nice; simply trickle-charging it will do. Having a battery supply that would allow me to run a box fan in order to stay cool is also a very good thing.

The problem isn't finding such a product. The problem, as always, is that I have a severely limited budget and cannot afford the several hundred dollars these systems cost. The (very) few systems that are in my price range are, shall we say, of questionable durability and I really don't want to just throw that kind of money away.

I've been told that I can assemble a rudimentary system fairly easily. Such discussions usually involve formulae of volts, amps, and watts thrown about willy-nilly. I don't do well with any math more involved than simple arithmetic and, frankly, I don't trust myself not to screw something up. What little I know about electricity has instilled in me a healthy respect for its power, and I know full-well that it is something one does not simply screw around with.

So, in the event that someone out there has an alternative energy method of charging a laptop and powering a box fan, please contact me. I am poor, but I have a good readership of techno-geeks, gunnies, preppers, and other folks who are likely to be interested in this sort of thing (my review of survival stoves was very popular and sold not a few of the ones I liked), and I would be willing to trade my pretty, pretty words in exchange for testing your fine product.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

WNW: Landslide

First this happened on Facebook:
Hi , as a man I must ask why you have lied to us for all these years . As a child I watched your advertisements with interest as to how at this wonderful time of the month that the female gets to enjoy so many things ,I felt a little jealous. I mean bike riding , rollercoasters, dancing, parachuting, why couldn't I get to enjoy this time of joy and 'blue water' and wings !! Dam my penis!! Then I got a girlfriend, was so happy and couldn't wait for this joyous adventurous time of the month to happen .....you lied !! There was no joy , no extreme sports , no blue water spilling over wings and no rocking soundtrack oh no no no. Instead I had to fight against every male urge I had to resist screaming wooaaahhhhh bodddyyyyyyfooorrrmmm bodyformed for youuuuuuu as my lady changed from the loving , gentle, normal skin coloured lady to the little girl from the exorcist with added venom and extra 360 degree head spin. Thanks for setting me up for a fall bodyform , you crafty bugger

Then this happened in reply:
We loved Richard’s wicked sense of humour. We are always grateful for input from our users, but his comment was particularly poignant. If Facebook had a "love" button, we'd have clicked it. But it doesn't. So we've made Richard a video instead. Unfortunately Bodyform doesn't have a CEO. But if it did she'd be called Caroline Williams. And she'd say this.

Which naturally resulted in this:




The end.

Thank You

The outpouring of support and unconditional love which has come as a result of this post has been nothing short of astounding. I have been called beautiful, brave, an inspiration and all sorts of other wonderful things. 

While I am indeed grateful for these compliments, I need to explain to you how my brain processes them so that maybe you can understand how I feel.
  • Why is everyone calling me brave? All I've done is say "Hey, I wear a mask, and here's the real reason why." I'm still completely chickenshit because I still hide behind that mask. How is this at all courageous? Courage would be if threw the damn mask away and posted under my real name and showed my real face. Anonymity is cowardice. 
  • Why is everyone supporting me? I'm just a voice in the wilderness. 99% of you have never met me. What have I done to earn this amount of love? Because I feel like I've done nothing to deserve it. For whatever reason, my heart or my brain or whatever has decided that I need to earn goodwill, acceptance and love, like it was a paycheck I could cash at the end of a week's worth of working my ass off at being love-able. 
  • Seriously, have you all gone insane? I'm not worth this. Go get your heads checked. Don't waste this on me, I can't appreciate it (see above points). Spend your emotional currency on someone who deserves it, like your family or your friends or that homeless guy down the street, because (perversely) even though I crave affection and acceptance like a junkie jonesing for a fix, I just can't take anything that's freely offered. 
And then, way, way down the list of neurotic "They're just being polite, they don't really mean it" BS, we finally get to
  • Still and all... I am completely flattered by all the well-wishing. Just because I don't understand it doesn't mean it's not appreciated. 
Before anyone gets offended, I want to point out that it's not a deliberate reaction. I don't mean to spit in anyone's face. I've just lived with the belief that I am ugly and unlovable for so long that I am a bit like an abused dog who thinks that every hand coming in for a pat on the head or a scratch behind the ears is actually another punishing blow. I wince reflexively in anticipation of the strike because it will hurt less that way. 

Or, to put it another way:  I'm not calling you a liar. I honestly believe that you believe it. Now you need to help me believe it, too. 

Ye gods, I am needy and high-maintenance, aren't I?  In fact, the geekiest compliment I ever got was about high-maintenance I am:

"Erin, you are like the Millennium Falcon. You need constant attention and TLC or you'll break down. But when you find that one person who is willing to devote that much effort to you, you outperform everything else in the galaxy."

The sweetest thing that's been said to me so far has been from A Girl and Her Gun (who is basically the gunblog community's girl next door):
I know we are not the same. We don't think or feel the same and our experiences are not one. I mean this only as a way of trying to share and nothing more. Sometimes it doesn't really matter why someone cares or even if we deserve it (we deserve it by the way), sometimes it is healing for both us and those trying to offer support if we just accept the gift. We are all hurting, struggling, dealing with life and most of us recognize a piece of ourselves in others struggles. The details often are different and how each one manifests itself is surly not the same, but the feelings of wanting to be accepted and loved are universal. Few are brave enough to admit those struggles and even fewer are willing to have the courage to accept help and make positive changes in their own life. Courage comes in all forms. Exposing yourself to a group of people who may judge you is a very brave step. You reached out and it's ok to accept the hands reaching back.

You don't have to change anything to be accepted. Many people wears mask, but they do it more slyly. If you are unhappy, that is the only reason to think about making some positive adjustments, otherwise maybe just let others like you and accept you.

Not meaning to lecture or be long winded.
Well now. That wasn't a lecture -- that was a love letter. And now I'm all sniffly and weepy.


And now, as a thank you to my readers for wading through this self-indulgent crap, I give you PONIES WITH GUNS.  Enjoy!

Art of the Tactical Carbine by Vombavr


M14 EBR, also by Vombavr

assdfdsgsg by stupidyou3

Mares in Black by Template93


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Headaches

Having headaches for three days straight is no fun at all. Even if they're low-level, "1 on the pain scale" affairs, having them for six to eight hours wears me down and makes me miserable.

It's the difference between being punched in the face (where it hurts like a motherfucker immediately, but eventually goes away) and a twinging tooth that just keeps going and going 24/7.

I'll be so happy when the weather finishes transitioning to fall and hurricane season finally comes to a close.

Until then... anyone want to write some guest articles for me?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Bleg for Info

I'm looking for a scope to mount on my Sub-2000 and due to personal preferences, ergonomic comfort of my mother, and the configuration of the subbie, I need one with the following qualifications:


  1. It must have a quick-detach mount, so I can fold the S2K for storage and cleaning. 
  2. It needs to have sufficient magnification that I can reliably hit bullseye from 50 yards.
  3. It must also have a way of mounting a reflex or holographic sight above the scope, for close-in home defense work. 
  4. It cannot cost me an arm and a leg, so no recommending a thousand-dollar Leupold HAMR scope. Somewhere around $100 is good. I can go higher, but not much. 
  5. Ideally, it should be American made, but I will settle for Not Chinese. I realize, however, that this is probably contradictory with point #4. 

If you can recommend to me a scope that has most of these characteristics, I will be very grateful. Thank you!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Confession Time

This came up  last night on #GunBloggerConspiracy, so I might as well make it official and talk about on my blog:  I have body dysmorphic disorder.

I'm not going to get into the specifics of this, because it's taken me five years just to get to the point where I feel safe enough to mention this online, however vague it may be.

This is the real reason I hide my face and legal name. Yes, I get the added benefits of pen name, such as the ability to talk crap about my family without it blowing back on me, and the fact that those of you inclined to develop crushes on my can imagine me as your perfect fantasy without harsh photographic reality getting in the way.

But the brutal truth of the matter is that I think I am hideous, and am scared beyond reasonable measure that people will look at me and vomit. Or point and laugh. Or become enraged and want to hurt me.

This doesn't so much hurt me in daily life, because I couldn't give a shit what random people think -- mostly because I have a low opinion of people to begin with. But it's terrible when it comes to forming relationships, because it's the opinions of people who I like and respect that matter. It's like fear of rejection, only ramped up to a million.

In other words, I like persons but hate people. Conversely, the opinions of people don't bother me, but the opinions of persons do.

So normally this is something I can deal with on a regular basis, because I am effectively a shut-in hermit without any real-life friends. But then I read about the awesome hijinks that occurred at this year's Blogorado, and I ache. A deep, throbbing pain in the heart and the gut, like I'd been sucker-punched and dumped at the same time.

I desperately want to meet people who think I awesome, but at the same time the though of it is pants-shittingly terrifying. I am trapped between a need to protect myself and the need for human contact.

Before you ask: No, I'm not in therapy. I have no health insurance. We can't afford it, but neither is my family poor enough to be on assistance that I can get it for free. And frankly, given my family's attitudes about psychology and perceived weakness, I would quite honestly rather die than open myself up to the verbal abuse that would result if I admitted to them that I have this condition.

So I'm stuck. And that's why I am a writer:  I can create worlds where I am welcomed and not judged. I live inside my head because living inside my body is too painful. I want to be loved, but I am afraid of rejection, so I put on this mask to hide my face in the hopes that you come to love my anonymous heart and mind and soul.

I need help, but I can't bear to be looked at.

Pony Pimpin' Part Deux

Again, a reminder that if you like awesome My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic merch, enjoy supporting friends of this blog, and are anywhere near San Francisco this weekend, you should drop by the Alternative Press Expo and buy things from Joie Brown.

She's at the AAU Children's Book Club table, #134. Support an artist!



Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pony Pimpin'

The Unsinkable Joie Brown, whom I may have mentioned before as the official artist for Unknown Ponies: the Failure is Awesome RPG, is setting up a table at the Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco this weekend (October 13-14).

"Why are you bringing this up?", I hear you ask. The answer is simple:


Do I have your attention now?  Excellent.

Ms. Unsinkable can be found atthe  AAU Children's Book Club table, #134.  She is selling the set of Seven Pony Pins -- that's the Mane Six plus Derpy, thank you very much -- for a mere $10.

But that's not all! She is also selling other buttons:

Pokemon!



Ponythulhu!



Cosplaying Corgis!



And whatever else she manages to create in time for APE.  $10 gets you any 7 pins you desire (not just the pony pins). If you want more than 7 pins, I'm sure something can be worked out.

If you can't make it to APE, that's also fine: Miss Joie de Vivre also has a PayPal account. Send your payment to brown.joie@gmail.com and she will mail them to you.  Again, any 7 pins for $10.

Want to see a larger version of those pins? Want free wallpaper of all seven ponies? Check out her DeviantArt profile

Derpy photobomb!

Want t-shirts?  Well, there's a bit of a problem with that, as MLP tees might draw down the Unblinking Eye of Hasbro Legal Counsel. However, would you like a nice Ponythulhu: Friendship is Madness tee?  Buy one of these and you can offend not one, but TWO fandoms!


Also drawn by Joie, these shirts are available here for $20  (sort "Lowest to highest" to get  to the tees).  And if you really like tee shirts, this link gives you a 25% off discount on any order of $75 or more!

In conclusion, I leave you with two amusing and amazingly-animated pony videos. 



The first, Dorkis a sophisticated yet minimalist... something. I'm not quite sure what it is, frankly. It seems like it would work best as a video ad for the show itself:  

Without their manes, tails, eyes, etc. to identify them, each of the mane six are built on the same stock model. So how are they so vividly, unmistakbly unique in all our minds?





The second, Ponies Royale, is by the same animator and is a full-length video in the style of James Bond opening sequences... except with ponies.  It's the mash-up that had to happen!




In conclusion:  Ponies are awesome and you should buy stuff. 

That is all.

A quick shout-out for fellow music nerds

Today, in the kitchen of Chateau Palette:

Me:  What's for lunch?
Her: Chicken piccata.
Me:  (singing) Chicken piccata... piccata mundi....
Her: (baffled look)

What's sad is that she should already know this, because she's practicing a version of Agnus Dei in choir. 

If you don't get the joke, go here

Monday, October 8, 2012

Monday Gunday: Sub-2000 Forend Rails

This is a review of the Aluminum Forend Rails for the Kel-Tec Sub-2000.

Obligatory FTC disclaimer: Kel-Tec gave me these rails for free because I am awesome. They aren't paying me for this review (as you will see in a moment).



I've been itching to get my hands on these pretties for a while because I am a compulsive accessorizer and I love putting doodads on my guns. However, there's been a problem with that goal:   They are nearly always out of stock.

Fast forward a year, and suddenly I am a reviewer of propane and propane-related accesories firearms, accessories, and survival gear. I can now request these things for review!

Two weeks ago, my wish was granted (click through for before and after shots) and now I will give a review.


Installation
I have to be honest here, folks:  The instructions suck.  They are a poor-resolution copy (of a copy of a copy, it looks like) which makes reading them difficult. The pictures are muddy and the text is confusing at times (Example:  if the parts are numbered in the illustration, then refer to them by number rather than by name in the instructions), which means that installation is not what I would consider to be user-friendly.


I was originally going to have my mother install this product, but when I saw what I was dealing with I figured (rightly, as it turned out) that she would be unable to install this herself.  Fortunately for me, I have put together enough models and toys that I am able to figure out what goes where just from looking at the picture.

The second problem is that near the end of the installation, I was told to level the top rail before tightening it to the barrel and installing the bottom rail. Why is this a problem? Two reasons:

  1. There is no mention of requiring a level in the "Tools Needed", which is a big omission;
  2. The entire assembly free-floats. I'm no engineer, but I would think that it makes more sense to create the rail-shroud with a tongue that locks into a groove on the Sub-2000. This wouldn't make things perfectly level, mind you, but it would certainly speed things along in the same way that a laser boresight helps you get to zero faster. 
So the instructions fail. On the good side, however:
  1. The kit came with all the parts I needed, including an Allen wrench of the proper size;
  2. Once I figured out what was going on, I was able to put the forend on without muss and fuss (well, there was a bit of fussing during the leveling portion);
  3. They even included a tub of Blue Threadlocker. I don't know if they do this for all kits, or just mine because I'm special, but either way I appreciated the gesture. 
About the only caveat I have about the installation itself is that when I was securing the bottom of the forend to the top, I found that it worked best to start with the middle screw on one side, then turn it over and secure the other side, working my way outward and alternating sides. I also didn't tighten down each screw before going on to the next one; instead, i got the screws going until the threads engaged both parts and then went on to the next one. It was only after I had all the parts in, and made sure all the holes were lined up, that I went back and tightened them all. 

(The previous paragraph has probably elicited a "Well, duh" response from my more technically-inclined readers. I include it because that's not what the instructions say.)




The Product
The rails themselves are made of anodized aluminum. They are lightweight and do not seem to affect the overall balance of the carbine. I especially like the fact that the forend is open at the front and has vents along the sides -- it seems like this will help with cooling the barrel more than the traditional plastic shroud does.
I like that the product comes in both a two-rail and four-rail configuration; this allows the user to install only the rails that he or she needs. I would recommend against installing the side rails unless you really need them, and this is because -- being made of out metal -- the edges can bite uncomfortably when you grasp the forend. However, rail covers are cheap and plentiful, so that's always an option. 

Confession time: I will admit that I cannot state with absolute certainty that the rails hold zero, and this is because I do not (yet) have a scope or sight to go on them. What I can tell you is that rough handling and general shooting has not caused the rails to go out of alignment in any measurable way. When I get a proper sight for this carbine, I will definitely let you all know if the rails hold zero. Until then, I am giving Kel-Tec the benefit of the doubt, because it's not their fault I don't have a sight for the Sub-2000. 




The Verdict
Installation difficulties aside, I do recommend this product. It gives the S2K a nifty tacti-cool look, and gives the user greater flexibility of use by allowing the installation of accessories such as scopes*, lasers, flashlights, bipods, etc. 

* Naturally, any accessory mounted on the top rail will need to be removed before making use of the fold-in-half feature. Putting your optic on a quick-release rail mount should eliminate this problem before it starts.

The worst thing I can say about the aluminum forend is that it's difficult to keep in stock. Given how useful it is, I think that Kel-Tec should bundle the rail system directly with the carbine (perhaps as a "tactical option" upgrade). 

Instructions:  D
Ease of Installation: B
Utility : A
Niftiness: A

OVERALL RATING:  A 
Would recommend to all Sub-200 owners

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

An update on City of Heroes

A brief summary thus far:
After announcing that City of Heroes would be shut down at the end of November, many fans have decided that their game -- the #1 superhero MMO in the world, thank you very much -- will not go quietly into that good night. As such, that have organized online vigils, sent capes and masks to NCsoft headquarters, bought dinners for the Dev team as a means of saying "Thank you," tried to get the game sold to other companies, and generally sticking it to The Man.

The Man noticed. The Man blinked. The Man is scared, now, because someone at NCsoft corporate has realized that they've pissed off a significant chunk of their market, and they are scurrying to do damage control.

So they wrote this press release:

City of Heroes® Players and Fans,
We wanted to let you know that your voices have been heard and your concerns have been taken into serious consideration. We appreciate the overwhelmingly constructive and positive messages in the emails, notes, and packages you've sent in support of the game. It has not been an easy decision for us to close Paragon Studios® and prepare to shut down City of Heroes. We've exhausted all options including the selling of the studio and the rights to the City of Heroes intellectual property, but in the end, efforts to do so were not successful. City of Heroes has a special place in all of our hearts, and we want to ensure its reputation and the memories we share for the game end on a high note. 
Once again, we will be holding events throughout the process of preparing for the game's end, and we encourage players and fans of the franchise to join forces and enjoy their time in a game that we've enjoyed supporting for more than eight years. 
The NCSOFT® Team

If you are well-versed in corporate speak, this means fuck-all. It's essentially "Stop writing to us, we really want this to go away now."

Hey, don't take my word for it. Listen to the sage wisdom of Larry Dixon, husband of Mercedes Lackey (who is a bigtime COH player):

It's as "real" as anything else NCsoft says or does. That'll flip if they want it to. What it *is* is an admission that they've noticed enough to respond to it "on company letterhead." Its face value is meaningless.
The REAL takeaway from this is "Hey this is starting to hurt, stop it guys!" If the revival efforts meant nothing, NCsoft would not post what amounts to "Elvis has left the building." And that is all that is. They want the negative attention to stop. That is an official attempt at deflection. Or, in political terms, an "Un-Answer."
It appears to be a response but actually accomplishes nothing except silence those who weren't very into it. Like I say, what it says is irrelevant; the thing to take notice of is that it was put there at all. And that means time to step it up because the other fighter just staggered.
If the "Save CoH/We love Paragon" etc. efforts were ineffective, we'd never have seen such a statement. The hidden meaning of that note is that it has dawned on somebody that this is developing into "anti-NCsoft," not "Save-CoH," so they issued a mollifying statement with a lot of buttonpushing feel-warm cozy buttons about how special what they just murdered was to them.
Now they reap the mistrust they sowed, they can see the coverage increase, the caution against them and the players taking their money away in droves, and we can look them steely in the eyes and reply "Too bad. It's just business. Isn't it."
The "exhausted all options" is bizspeak for "We didn't get what we wanted, so we stopped bothering to find solutions." Businesspeople who truly WANT a result ALWAYS find a way, they never "exhaust all options." So right there is an admission from NCsoft that they're very bad businesspeople. Most certainly unimaginative and inflexible.
Shortest form: As a strategist, the hits are being felt by NCsoft, and they've barely begun.
Second message: This is the murderer issuing an official statement that they "really tried hard" not kill what they had a choice about murdering, and hoping that "Oh they loved it like I did, they're really sorry!" should be your takeaway from that and that should make EVERYTHING just fine, right?
I don't take "We loved it too!" as anything but an insult to our intelligence.
Nah, this is a "There, that'll shut'em up" attempt, as if talking to six-year-olds.

People are noticing. This is turning into a public relations debacle, which translates into loss of revenue -- and that's the one thing no company wants.

You see, they don't want to admit it, but they are in the process of closing down all offices outside of Korea.  Go ahead and look at that Glassdoor rating: 2.3 stars out of 5, and falling. Read those reviews and see if you don't discover a recurring theme.

Frankly, I'd respect NCsoft more if they just said "Look, we don't want American/Canadian/European money any more. We're just going to focus on the lucrative Asian market," because at least then they'd be honest about it.

I don't know if it's a case of dwindling market share, and they're just going to consolidate closer to home while making games for demographics they understand, or if it really is a case of cultural racism and disdain for every western-style game (i.e. not focused on the stereotypical Korean MMO grind), but either way, it's looking pretty obvious that they don't care about anything outside their personal sphere of influence.

But what's important is this:  we've caught them in that, and it doesn't look good. And they're slowly starting to realize that fact. If they ever want to expand back into North American and Europe, they have to stop the bleeding.

They're begging us to stop asking questions. To stop making them look bad. To sit down, shut up, and go away. To that I say:

We are heroes. This is who we are. This is what we do. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Now THIS is a campaign ad

Wow. Why can't the presidential candidates have campaign ads as awesome as this one?




Funny, effective, and with a budget. Hell, even the "I approve this message" is delivered convincingly.

A tip o' the hat to Silicon Graybeard for this.

I have to confess, I'm tempted

Admittedly, I'm no longer in the D.C. metro area, so my temptation status is purely academic. However. who among us would not entertain this notion, even if only for a moment?
Woman DM needed for D&D based Adult Bachelor Party (Pringe George's County, MD)

Description:
Looking for a woman with Dungeon Master experience in Dungeons and Dragons (specifically 3.0 or 3.5 editions) to run a game. The event is for a Bachelor Party and the "future husband to be" would prefer if the DM could be topless. With that said, I ensure you that nothing else is expect of you other than an exciting adventure.

Oh come on. You're totally thinking about it right now.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Monday Gunday Guest Post: Carrying the PMR-30 Concealed

Today's guest post comes to us courtesy of Gwen Patton. In addition to being a web cartoonist, she has been an informal (not NRA certified) firearms instructor for the Pink Pistols for 10 years.

She also suffered a spinal injury in 2007, which required surgery. She needs a cane to walk, suffers from near-constant severe nerve pain, and cannot withstand the recoil traditional self-defense calibers ("32 acp, you might as well throw the gun. 380, you might as well shoot 9mm," she said in an interview). However, she has found the Kel-Tec PMR-30 to be an effective concealed carry pistol that is comfortable for her to shoot.

This is her story.


Lightweight and Low-Recoil: 
Carrying the Kel-Tec PMR-30 Concealed 
by Gwendolyn S. Patton

I rested my cane up against the wall of the range lane, put down the small stack of paper targets, and hung the cardboard backer on the metal hooks thoughtfully provided. The roll of masking tape was on a chain attached to the shelf, and I tore a piece into three little tags to attach a silhouette target to the backer, two at the top, one at the bottom middle to keep it from blowing around in the slight breeze of the exhaust fans. I used the electrical lever to run the target out to a decent 10 yards, good enough for a half-size target, and a nice warm-up. I had three boxes of ammo, one of hollowpoint carry ammo, two of target ammo. I like to practice with both, so I don't get disused to the feel of firing what I carry.

My bag was still slung across my shoulder, and I reached into it to draw out the weapon, which I placed safely on the shelf, pointing downrange. Likewise, the second magazine which was in a side pocket. I’m not a big fan of off-body carry, but this is a new weapon, and I haven’t yet found a good concealment holster for the dead of summer. If it was fall or winter, I could use my shoulder rig and a jacket, or my 511 conceal-carry vest, but it’s over 90 degrees out there today, t-shirt weather, and it’s hard to conceal anything, much less something full-sized. So into the bag it goes. The upside: it doesn't weigh very much, even fully loaded, and doesn't drag on my shoulder even as much as the sketchbook and pencil box it replaced.

The weapon is my brand-new Kel-Tec PMR-30, a sleek steel and aluminum device with a Zytel grip, magazine, and trigger guard. Unloaded, it weighs only 13.6 ounces, and a full 30-round magazine of .22 WMR weighs 6 ounces. With a full magazine and a full spare, it comes in at just under a pound. Yes, I said a 30-round magazine. It’s a double-stack polymer magazine that, admittedly, is slow and difficult to load, but once you have it loaded, represents a significant throw weight of defensive fire. The 4.3” barrel is the shortest Kel-Tec felt sufficient for reasonable accuracy, and I agree. I have an old Charter Arms .22 WMR revolver with a shorter barrel, and it’s one of the most inaccurate firearms I've ever fired. But the Kel-Tec is a tackdriver.

I take my stance on the firing line and rack the slide. The slide throw is not long, and the slide isn’t heavy. There’s a slide-release lever on the left side, convenient to the right thumb, and an ambidextrous safety above and behind it. The sights are high-viz fiberoptic dots, very bright and clear in just about any light, but are of little or no help in total darkness. There is a short Picatinny-style rail under the barrel that will accommodate a light or laser if you wish.

The trigger is smooth and does not suffer from excessive grab, stutter, or steps. It releases cleanly with a firm squeeze, and here is where the nitpicks begin.

All Kel-Tecs have an issue with grip, from the P-11 upward. You cannot limp-wrist a Kel-Tec,or it will not cycle properly. The same is true of the PMR-30. You must have a firm grip to provide a solid foundation for cycling the action. Failing to do so will usually result in either a stovepipe or nosing on the ramp. There is, however, a caveat to that. The factory expresses a keyholing issue with 40gr Maxi-Mag ammo, and claims it will feed properly otherwise save for sporadic keyholing, but I have found it to be somewhat more comprehensive than simple keyholing. I found out that if you use this particular ammunition, you will suffer interminable nosing on the ramp every 3rd or 4th round, regardless of grip, while the 30 or 50 gr. rounds will function perfectly unless you severely limp-wrist the weapon. The company strongly recommends against foreign ammunition, that may not follow strict standards of case pressure, and I did not tempt fate.

I found that the 45-gr hollowpoint Federal ammo I am using for carry works quite well, does not tend to nose on the ramp, and is highly accurate, though I did find at first that the sights tended to pull to the left. It took a couple of magazines to find that I had to place the post on the right hand side of the notch consistently to achieve perfect accuracy, but once I did this, I could put rounds down the same hole with significant frequency, thus earning the “tackdriver” classification. This was at ranges of between 7 and 15 yards on an indoor range, with half-size silhouette targets, simulating defensive distances.

The weight of the weapon during use was minimal, as was felt recoil. This resulted in quick target reacquisition and a shortened time to second shot. With a small, light round, this is essential. But why did I choose such a small, light round in the first place? Why not use something heavier, with more stopping power? Actually, my old choice of weapon was my Kimber Pro-Carry Ten II, a 14-round .45 ACP, or, if space was a premium, a S&W 649 Bodyguard .357 magnum. But a few years ago, I had a car accident and broke my neck.

Complications from the neck repairs left me in constant pain, and unable to practice with a larger weapon, because the recoil up the arm and into the neck leaves me in acute distress. I might be able to use a large-caliber weapon in an emergency, but I can't sustain long practice with one. I can, however, practice with the PMR-30, and the large magazine capacity means it is even viable for self-defense if necessary. I haven’t gone shooting for years until I got the PMR-30 because of excessive pain. Since I got it, I've gone shooting three times, and gotten my skill back easily.

I do believe the .22 WMR is a viable self-defense round, and here’s why: the FN FiveSeven is used as a military sidearm in several nations, and the FN P90 PDW is used by Special Forces and Counter-Terrorist groups. The FiveSeven fires the NATO 5.7x28mm round, with a bullet weight of between 23-31 grains and a muzzle velocity of around 2,000 f/s, giving a kinetic energy of around 400 ft-lbf. The .22WMR has a bullet weight of between 30-50 grains, a muzzle velocity of 1,200 f/s from the PMR-30, and a kinetic energy of about ¾ that of the NATO round due to the greater mass of the bullet. When fired from a rifle, the kinetic energy of the .22 WMR round is nearly the same as that of the FN FiveSeven’s NATO round, and the PMR-30 has 30 rounds to the FiveSeven’s 20.

Beyond that, I’m a firm believer in shot placement as the key to stopping power, and the accuracy of this weapon is fully up to the task. The only thing I need to find now is a good dedicated on-body concealment holster that works in hot weather as well as cold, designed specifically for the PMR-30. I have found one online from Simply Rugged Holsters, but have not yet acquired one for testing. Being a high-quality leather holster, the cost has been prohibitive right now, but I plan to get one as soon as I can. The holster I have my eye on can be worn outside the pants, or with special straps inside the pants for full concealment. I would really like to try this, in hot weather it sounds like it would be exactly what is called for, when just a t-shirt would cover it.

Until then, I’ve been making do with off-body carry, which works decently due to the low weight and bulk of the weapon, or with a generic standard 1911 strong-side holster that my father’s old Remington-UMC 1911 was stored in. I borrowed the holster and left the 1911 in the vault where it will be safe (no pun intended), and the holster works fine so long as I have a jacket or long button-down shirt to cover it. The weapon is so lightweight that I scarcely feel it on my belt, and all of the length is in the barrel, do I don’t get a beavertail poking me in the kidney like I do with a 1911. I’ve worn it all day like this without significant discomfort.

In conclusion, for $400 -- about a third the cost of the FN FiveSeven, firing ammo that costs far less than the FiveSeven's -- you get a weapon that’s lighter than a FiveSeven, holds more ammo than a FiveSeven, and has nearly the punch of a FiveSeven. It isn't without some issues, and probably could benefit from a “fluff and buff”, polishing the ramp and other moving parts to help avoid feed and extraction issues, is a little finicky about ammunition, and could stand to have the sights slightly tweaked. But it’s not finickier than some 1911’s, and overall, it’s an acceptable piece of hardware that carries easily, and with some practice can be accommodated and used effectively.


The following are some follow-up questions I asked Gwen based upon what she had written:

You say you are, or have been, a firearms instructor?
Not NRA Certified. But I taught informally for about 10 years in the Pink Pistols. I founded the Delaware Valley Chapter, and was the organization's International Media Spokesperson from about 2004-2011. I stopped teaching regularly in 2007, when I had my spinal surgery, but still gave advice from time to time, and have been politically active in support of the 2nd Amendment for a long time.

How long have you been carrying your PMR-30?
I've had the PMR for about a month, I'd say. Except for the time when I've been out of state, I've carried it.  I'd wanted one for a while, but I had a terrible time finding one, and when one became available, I jumped on it.

How many magazines do you carry every day?
I typically carry one spare magazine if I have it.

Do you have any accessories or modifications on your PMR-30?
Except for the generic holster, no. I haven't had it long enough to figure out what I'd want, or what would be useful. I think I might have it "fluffed and buffed", perhaps the ramp polished and some of the sharp edges dehorned, and the sights trued, but other than that, I don't know I will add anything. I don't know that I'll use the rail right now.

If you could tell Kel-Tec anything, or have them fix anything, what would it be?
Three things: Make the magazine easier to load or include a loader, make the sights more easily adjustable, and address the ramp-nosing issue. If a Lula loader becomes available for it, I'm getting one.

What kind of issues are you experiencing with the magazines?
I've got very sore hands because of nerve problems, and it just takes a long time to load them. If you follow the book and put the rounds in slowly and pack them like they say, it works fine, but it takes forever.

If you don't mind my asking, what kind of accident did you have? 
After work one evening, I was re-arming from the safe in my trunk, and a 40 mph wind blew the steel trunk lid down on my head, compacting 3 vertebrae and effectively breaking my neck. I had surgery to fuse the 3 levels and put in a titanium plate, but complications caused bone spurring at each of the levels.

What are your injuries?
As a result, I have severe nerve pain throughout most of my body to one degree or another all the time. I can walk short distances with a cane, but beyond the distances inside my house, I need the powered wheelchair out in my van. It simply hurts too much and tires me out too much to go further on foot.



Gwen's webcomic, Jenny Everywhere's Infinite: Quark Time, may be found here.



The Fine Print


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial- No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Creative Commons License


Erin Palette is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.