Thursday, February 21, 2013


You should blame WizardPC for starting this.  You can blame me for the name, though.

And for what follows. And for being the a main contagion for ponies within the gun community.

Okay, go ahead and blame me...

Once upon a time, in the land of Equestria...

... three young ponies came across a strange object near the Everfree Forest. 

"What is it?" asked one of them. 

"It looks scary!" said another. 

"What should we do with it?" asked the third.

"Let's get Twilight Sparkle!" the first pony said. "She'll know what to do!" 

The other two thought this was a fine idea, and so they returned to Ponyville in order to find Twilight.

The three ponies found Twilight Sparkle at Rarity's boutique, where she was giving Twilight and Rainbow Dash a "sparkle makeover". All three of them agreed to come see this scary object.  

"Stay behind us, girls!" said Twilight. We know how to handle monsters." Cautiously, the three brave ponies approached to investigate.  

Twilight smiled when she saw what it was, because she had read about these objects in  her studies at Princess Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns.

It was known as a Glock, and while it was believed to possess terrible power, Twilight also knew that it would not harm them if it was not provoked.

Still, she needed to make sure the other ponies would not injure themselves with it. She climbed on top of it and began telling the others how to make it safe for everypony.

First, she pressed the magazine release with her hoof while directing the others to remove it. Rainbow Dash provided the muscle while Rarity supported it with her ponykinesis. 

Once the magazine was a safe distance away, the next step was to lock the slide to the rear. This was a difficult task that would take the cooperation of all three ponies! 

Rainbow Dash pulled on the slide with all of her might, while Twilight helped with her own ponykinesis. When it was all the way to the rear, Twilight engaged the slide lock. Meanwhile, Rarity caught the cartridge that was ejected, gently lowering it to the ground. "My, how shiny it is!" she thought. "I must use this in an ensemble!"

Telling the other ponies that it was now safe, Twilight did what she does best: Lecture!  She instructed the young fillies on what a Glock was, how it worked, and how they were never in any danger because they never touched the trigger. 


The fillies were relieved that they had done the smart thing by telling a responsible adult what they had found, and they gladly listened to Twilight's lesson. 

Meanwhile, Rarity and Rainbow Dash got into in argument over who would take the shiny cartridge home.  

The End.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

WNW: Ponymon

I'll just leave this here.

And before anyone complains about the horrible acting, let me remind you that the original Pokemon series had terrible scripting and dubbing as well. So this is deliberately awful, as an homage.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Have a Good Day

I originally titled this "HAVA Gutntag" but decided that was too arcane for even my tastes.  Anyway...

First, Linoge is having a fundraiser for Honored American Veterans Afield (HAVA) where, for every $5 you donate, you get 1 ticket for a raffle which contains fabulous gunnie prizes.  You should go to his site, see what you could win, and then donate like a mofo.

Second, some of you may have noticed the banner for Gutntag spices & seasonings and wondered what the heck is going on since I never run banner ads.  The long explanation may be found here, but the short version is that a small company decided it would rather take a financial hit and support the Second Amendment rather than attend an expo that painted certain gun owners in a bad light. Because I will stick up for anyone who will stick up for me, I offered them free advertising on my blog. If you're the cooking type, I urge you to visit their site and see if there's something you'd like to buy.

And now, we return to the usual gibberish found on this blog. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sunday, Pony Sunday

So, I assume everyone reading this has seen the Season 3 finale of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and you now know Twilight has become an alicorn princess.

Yes, cue the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. It probably doesn't surprise you that I am not in favor of this development. Let me list my objections:

  • It completely skews the perfect balance of two unicorns - two pegasi - two earth ponies that the show had. Yes, I am aware that Twilight still has her horn, but I am still bothered on an aesthetic level. 
  • Twilight is now a freaking princess. This throws the show's social dynamic for a loop, because royals have duties to perform and appearances to maintain. How can she continue living in the Ponyville library?  If she does, then she's performing her duties as a princess, and if she moves to Canterlot, how will she interact with her friends?  I am aware that these questions can be a source of drama, and answering them could fuel an entire season, but...
  • Look, most hardcore fans knew Twi was going to be elevated sooner or later. I mean, she was destined for greatness -- even before she had earned her Cutie Mark, her foal-sitter was another alicorn princess. That just doesn't happen.  Combine that with: her amazing aptitude with magic; Celestia (the god-empress) becoming her personal tutor; her facility with the Elements of Harmony and ability to organize the god-beating Mane 6 into an effective fighting force; the fact that twilight exists between day (Celestia) and night (Luna); the fact that her Element of Harmony, and hers alone, is a freaking crown, all point to the fact that this was going to happen.  No, what bugs me is that it happened too soon. Coronation is the apex of her character arc, and should have been saved for the end of the series: she becomes a princess, the others become part of her court  (Rarity is royal dressmaker, Pinkie is court jester, etc), and they all live Happily Ever After.  That this happened at the end of season 3 seems way premature!
Okay. Rant is out of my system. I feel better now.

All that said, the episode was well-written. It wasn't an "Oopsie, Twilight is  now royalty" kind of thing; instead, the events proceeded as logically as can be expected regarding a cartoon about magical talking horses, and the situation was resolved in a consistent manner.  In fact, up until the big transformation it was an especially good episode filled with lots of catchy songs, and if I wasn't so totally against the idea of her being a princess this one would be one of my favorites.

Some other observations you might have found interesting:

  • My friend totally called it when he predicted that the mystery book belonged to Starswirl the Bearded.
  • I think we can definitely add "Princess Xanatosia" to the ranks of Trollestia and Molestia, because apparently Celestia has been keeping an eye on Twilight since her infancy (see above, with alicorn Cadence as her foal-sitter). 
  • Speaking of creepy princess, anyone catch how during the flashback scene that showed the constant, high-level surveillance Twilight has been subjected to that one of the pictures was from inside Twilight's own head?  It was her being afraid of getting sent back to magic kindergarten from Lesson Zero. This means that Celestia can actually monitor Twilight's thoughts...
  • Anyone notice that during the transformation sequence, Twi's cutie mark gained a star? It used to look like this:

And then when she became an alicorn, it we saw this:

Who's the seventh star then, eh? Eh?

To conclude this post, I shall give you some crazy notions which might have no business in reality:

  • This is all an exceptionally long con by Xanatosia, since she is the one who granted the land which became Sweet Apple Acres to the Apple family, and it was around their farm that Ponyville grew -- and conveniently contained 5 of the 6 Bearers of Elemental Harmony.  I would not be at all surprised if there is a covert breeding program in place. 
  • Notice how Ponyville started to fall apart when ponies weren't able to perform certain tasks?  I have to wonder if there is some kind of Social Ecology going on, where ponies develop special abilities not out of interest, but because that task is needed to maintain the town. 
  • Apparently princesses aren't born, they are made. I wonder, then, if Celestia and Luna weren't originally alicorns either, and were promoted/evolved to their current state when they first discovered the Elements of Harmony in order to banish Discord. 
  • Derpy is the Equestrian avatar of St. Gulik. I actually have more to this theory, perhaps even an entire post, but it's late and I want to see if there's sufficient interest in this before I attempt to shape the madness into coherent word-shapes from my think-meats.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

This Is Horrifyingly True

After my mom's surgery she was told she would need a stool softener because the medications she was on would make it difficult for her to poop. When I went grocery shopping with my father, he insisted on calling it a stool sampler. I didn't correct him, because a) it was hilarious and b) I didn't want to deal with the inevitable fight that occurs whenever I point out he's wrong.

For V- Day today, I was given a Whitman's Sampler of chocolates. Now I can't eat them.

You figure out why.

And now, my Valentine to each and every one of you. It's got something for everyone, I think.

You, ah, might not want to open it at work. Or around children. Or other people.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Closet of Self-Censorship

Here's something that frustrates me immensely: As a law-abiding gun owner, I am forced to live in a linguistic closet. I cannot speak my mind and am forced to constantly self-censor because of our society's ridiculous views on firearms and violence.

  • If a non-gun owner says "I wish you'd just die," you know they are talking trash because they are frustrated. If a gun owner says the same thing, suddenly they are making threats and are reported to the police.
  • If a non-gun owner says "I am having a bad day and cannot deal with people right now," people leave that person alone. If a gun owner says the same thing, everyone worries if he's going to snap and kill everyone.
  • If a non-gun owner says "I really hate my life right now," people will offer sympathy and advice. If a gun owner says the same thing, practically the first question asked is "Are you sure it's a good idea to have guns in your home with you feeling this way?" As if I couldn't find other ways to kill myself if that was what I truly wanted.

While I am perfectly okay with the added responsibility that comes with carrying, I feel like there is no tolerance or understanding extended when I have an occasional moment of weakness and need to vent some anger or frustration.

Ask yourself this question: If a police officer said any of the above statements, would he get the same response as I? Or would he receive compassion and understanding? If the latter, that's an unfair double standard imposed on me by society.

How would you like it if every time you tried to express your feelings, your past failures were thrown in your face as a reason why you shouldn't be allowed to be yourself? Gun owners aren't allowed to have bad days, or dark feelings, or admit to failure, because the moment we do, those are used against us -- or worse, the police are called.

So I keep my feelings bottled up. I don't admit to problems unless I am around friends that I know support me. And I certainly don't talk to any therapists, because that will lead to the inevitable "Are you sure you should have these around?" Or, worse, I could end up like a lot of veterans being treated for PTSD, who are declared mentally unfit to own firearms. And God forbid I ever admit to being depressed!

Your fear of guns is infringing upon not only my Right to Free Speech, but also my access to mental health care. 

(edited for clarity 2/12/13)

Friday, February 8, 2013

I get some of the best letters

From a fan whose name I will withhold just in case anonymity is desired:
Curse you and your deviant Nagant-pushing! Now I've got *another* caliber/mouth to feed! And it's the carbine, too, so I get to spend my waning years yelling "What?!" at relatives.

So not only have I recruited another person to the Mosin Militia, I've saved the future by ensuring there's another cranky deaf old fart to plague a family.

And I get to add "Deviant Nagant-Pusher" to my list of epithets!

My job here is done.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Palette's Product Reviews: Kel-Tec CL-43 Flashlight

The Kel-Tec CL-43 is a teeny-tiny flashlight that, at 420 lumens,  packs one hell of a punch.

My first encounter with this tiny titan is documented in "Hangin' with Oleg, part 2":
Let me tell you how bright 420 lumens is. When Oleg showed it to me, it was still inside a white cardboard box. The cardboard was neither glossy nor matte; it likely had the same albedo as a sheet of printer paper. The flashlight was secured to the inside of that box with its clip.

When I pressed the "on" button, the light hit the lip of the box straight on. All I saw was reflected light because the lens was facing away from me.

The mere reflection of 420 lumens caused me physical pain, and I was seeing spots for minutes afterward. I think a direct blast from one of these will stun a human and probably incinerate small woodland creatures.

Naturally, I've asked Kel-Tec to send me one for review.

I've since gotten my hands on one of these, and it's everything I had hoped it would be:
  • It's small enough to fit in the pockets of my jeans, and my tiny Hobbit hands can easily grasp and manipulate it. 
  • The beam will light up any room in a house, because whatever isn't directly in the beam's path will be illuminated by the light bouncing off the walls. 
  • And the directions specifically state "Do not place CL-43 light lens-down on a surface while light is on, as damage to the lens or surface may result", which lends some credence to my hyperbolic assertion above about starting fires. 
  • I must confess that I have not stress-tested this product, because I don't like the notion of destroying things just to see how much they can take. However, I can tell you that this light stands up to normal use and abuse, and short of smashing it with a rock or throwing it off a roof I don't see how you could permanently break it. I expect it's possible to crack the lens (although it's set well back from the outer lip by a good 1/8th of an inch) but I don't know how strong the lens material is.

At roughly 4" long by 1.5" wide by 1" diameter, this isn't the smallest tactical light around. Neither is it the brightest, as 500 lumen lights are available (see Brigid's excellent review of the Defiant 550), and at $140 it certainly isn't the cheapest.

However, what makes the CL-43 so impressive is that it sits at the Venn intersection of bright, portable, and versatile. Sure, there are smaller lights; but can any pocket flashlight beat 200 lumens? (If so, can you get one without breaking your wallet?)

Sure, there are brighter lights, but will they fit in your pocket? (The Defiant 550 sure won't.) Heck,  you can even grasp this light in the same hand as your pistol.

Can you mount your pocket flashlight onto an accessory rail?

Disclaimer: the rail adapter is not yet available for purchase. I received one with my CL-43 because I specifically asked for it. I have every expectation that such an accessory will soon be available from Kel-Tec, but the point remains that it is designed to be rail-compatible, so other mounting systems might also work.

And if the price tag of $140 is too much, you can also buy its brother, the CL-42, for $80.

No doubt many of you are asking "What is the functional difference between the CL-42 and 43?"  I know I sure did. This is the response I received from Kel-Tec:
The CL-42 is your standard issue flashlight with push button on the back. The CL-43 has more tactical applications (being able to hold it effectively with a weapon and still use trigger finger to operate). It also has more battery life. The $60.00 extra is basically for the battery life and the tactical applications. The majority of people will likely want the CL-42.

So there you go.I think that $80 for a 420-lumen flashlight that fits in your pocket is an amazingly good deal.

Other pertinent information:
  • Uses three CR123 Lithium batteries  (AA battery adapter is in the works for the CL-43)
  • Run time of 3.5 hours
  • Made from machined 6061 aluminum
  • Weighs 3.8 ounces with batteries
  • Comes with pocket clip and lanyard ring
  • Available in black, yellow, olive drab, coyote tan, and safety orange (CL-42 is black only)
  • Designed, developed, and manufactured in the USA

Edited to add:  I have been asked if this flashlight comes with a strobe function, and the answer is "No, it does not."  I am not entirely sure if this is a flaw, however, because 420 lumens in the eyes is going to cause temporary blindness, so is a strobe truly necessary?

My Recommendation:  A+

Had I the money, I would buy a CL-42 for everyone in my family.  I have also mounted my CL-43 to my home defense weapon:

Clearly I'm no Oleg Volk, but it gets the point across.

I trust my safety, and the safety of my loved ones, to its operation. If that ever changes I will announce it in this blog, but until then, that's the highest compliment I can give.

Obligatory Middle Finger to the FCC:  I got this product for free and Kel-Tec didn't pay me anything for my review.

Monday, February 4, 2013

I haven't done one of these in a while

In conclusion,  continue boycotting NCSoft.  We're making the bastards hurt, but we won't stop unless they release the IP or go bankrupt. 

Another mom update

Things have settled down since the weekend.  Whatever happy juice the ER staff gave mom (she thinks it was laudanum-based) knocked her loopy for most of the day. When she wasn't sleeping, she was basically a zombie, which to me was an improvement over her being in constant pain and crying out every time she moved.

Since then, she has slowly gotten better.  I've been at her to keep eating, even when she doesn't want to, and while she mostly eats soft foods like yogurt and applesauce, today she was able to enjoy a cup of chicken noodle soup.

Today she moved around the house for around an hour, 90 minutes tops, before needing to rest. She still sleeps most of the day, which frankly makes my life easier as then I really only have to take care of the dogs and do her chores. This is still enough to frazzle me, because my body still hasn't adjusted to the new activity cycle. As a night person, getting up at 7am is really difficult, especially since I seem incapable of going to sleep before midnight, no matter how tired I am.

Still, I'm hanging in there. I'm able to do most of what needs to be done, and I'm not nearly as harried as I thought I'd be.  Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers and words of encouragement -- they're appreciated more than you know.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Mom is at the ER

Things seem to be taking a turn for the worse.

We just called an ambulance to take mom to the ER. She's been in near-constant pain despite being on oxy and muscle relaxants ever since coming home. She couldn't even lie down in her own bed; she tried sleeping in her recliner last night but even that didn't work out.

I'm starting to worry that this might be a long-term problem with her. If this was just pain from the surgery, I would think the prescription painkillers would have an effect. Not sure she is having problems recovering, or if she got jostled coming home from the hospital (she said that she wasn't in this pain when she was still there), or if it's something else.

I'm quite worried about her.

UPDATE:  She back home. The doctor at the ER gave her an injection of super happy juice, and it's knocked her out. This is good because she didn't get much rest last night and sleep is the best painkiller out there.  My job right now is to make sure that the dogs don't disturb her, which is harder than it sounds because Heath, our neediest dog, is 80 lbs and wants to crawl into her lap to lick her face. In addition to waking her up, this could also injure her as he tends to be quite vigorous with his affection.

So far, I've had success with turning off the lights and enforcing a strict "Is naptime, be quiet!"  but this success may be due to the fact that dad is out running errands. When he comes back it might disturb the fragile peace.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Mom is home

Hooray!  She is back home and trying to rest, but not having a lot of success on that front. She's 73 and the body doesn't bounce back from trauma at that age.

My hands have been pretty full keeping the two youngest, neediest, most affectionate of our dogs from jumping up on her and licking her face. Any impact to her head or neck would be very, very bad at this point.

They're all taking a nap at the moment, so the house is quiet. Let's see how long that lasts.

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