Monday, June 24, 2019

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 057: Throat-Kicking to a Happy Marriage

In This Episode:
  • Erin and Weer’d talk about Gun Free Zones in the news;
  • The Egghead talks about his new project of building a Theremin for Weer'd;
  • Weer'd Fisks a video on the Brady Campaign Changing Their Name;
  • Oddball is Joined by Panya to tell the story of that one time when he kicked her in the throat;
  • and Loveball returns to the show to tell us about Storyland, a great place for kids in New Hampshire.

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
Weer’d Audio Fisk
Loveball’s Segment:

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Unknown Armies Episode 8

Hopefully the weirdness is building as the PCs investigate UT Austin and realize that not all is as it seems on campus.

Now that Weer'd Beard is a player (although he missed this session), he's able to clean up to audio for me and reduce the dead air. So a track which used to be 2:46:18 is now 1:55:13. That's much better, both in terms of storage space and listener frustration.

In time I'll go back and correct previous episodes.

Oh, I almost forgot: there's swearing in this one (and, I think, in all previous episodes, but this one specifically had a player ask me to put up a warning) so consider it NSFW.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 056: The Bad News Edition

In This Episode:
  • Erin and Weer’d talk about unprofessional behavior from the NRA 2nd Vice Preisdent, the latest mass shooting in Australia, and the Vox Ad-Pocalypse;
  • Weer'd Fisks Cory Booker and his Presidential anti-gun platform;
  • and David gives us a lesson on some common misconceptions regarding the design of the AR-15.

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
Weer’d Audio Fisk
Gun Lovers and Other Strangers:

GunGals Live Chat with Scott of Celtic Holsters

It's technically a Gun Gals episode but we're broadcasting on Armintha "That Guy's Wife" Dover's channel tonight!

Sunday, June 16, 2019

A Busy Spring with More to Come

As we close out spring and welcome the beginning of summer, I'd like to take a few moments to let people know all that Operation Blazing Sword and Pink Pistols have accomplished lately.

Training and Education
Operation Blazing Sword continues its pattern of teaching, on average, at least one queer person how to safely operate a firearm every other week. The "at least" disclaimer is important here, as OBS does not require its students to out themselves before our volunteers will teach them due to the immense social pressure against firearm ownership within the queer community. Therefore, it is entirely possible that we trained more than 26 people last year; a number closer to 50 is more likely, and perhaps even more than that.

This is another core component of our mission, because if people don't know we exist then we can't help them. In April I had the privilege of speaking at the University of Mary Washington's Second Amendment Day (you can see video of my presentation here), and one of the attendees was a young gay man named Beau who wanted to learn use firearms for self defense and who wanted to know more, yet was at a loss regarding how to proceed. As a result of his questions, the father of the young woman who ran the 2A Day event offered him his services, which is more impressive than it sounds because her father, Michael Johns, is the rangemaster for the NRA range in Fairfax!

Additionally, we held a raffle for a range day and one of the winners donated their prize to Beau! So now Beau is going to get exceptional training by some of the best instructors in the business, all absolutely free of charge. I cannot and will not take full credit for this -- I didn't make Mr. Johns offer to comp his range time, nor did I make the raffle winner give his prize away, those are both amazing acts of kindness and generosity that belong solely to those people -- but I feel safe in saying that had I not been a speaker, Beau wouldn't have attended (he told me as much) and if he hadn't attended he wouldn't have asked those questions, and if he hadn't asked then he wouldn't have gotten the help he wanted.

Gun Laws
Since Operation Blazing Sword is a 501c3, we cannot agitate politically (endorsing a candidate or denouncing another) without endangering our nonprofit status. However, what we can do is speak out against ridiculous firearms laws, such as New York City's draconian ban on transportation of lawfully owned firearms. To that end, the Pink Pistols -- a division of Operation Blazing Sword since September 2018 -- filed an amicus curae brief in favor of the plaintiff, the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association (NYSRPA). I encourage you to read the entire writ as it's extremely well-written and reads quickly, but in case you don't have time, here are the amazing concluding paragraphs:

Pulse Anniversary
I will close out this post with thoughts on the tragedy which started OBS by Gwen Patton.

Click to embiggen

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Erin Palette and Tony Simon: The Second Amendment Protects Us All

My appearance on "Cam & Company" alongside Tony Simon​ at the 2019 NRA Annual Meeting.

Say what you like about the NRA and/or NRATV, Cam Edwards​ has been a great friend to me personally and to Operation Blazing Sword. He gave me my first nationwide appearance and has had me on his show every year since the founding of OBS. He's a lovely fellow and I can't say enough good things about him.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Interviewed by WMFE Orlando

I was interviewed for the 3rd anniversary of the Pulse terror attack by a local NPR affiliate station.

I held off from posting this because I hoped a longer version of my interview would be published -- it was nearly 30 minutes long -- but instead I'm only given one paragraph at the very bottom of the article and only 3.5 minutes of the interview were embedded.

Still, it's a positive representation of me, my cause, and of gun owners, and hopefully my message will be seen and heard by those who didn't realize Operation Blazing Sword exists and is ready to help them.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 055: Let's Talk About Other Things

In This Episode:
  • Erin and Weer’d talk about the parting of ways between the NRA and Ackerman McQueen, then discuss the shooting in Virginia Beach;
  • Oddball tells us about non-metal knives;
  • Egghead reviews the MantisX Training System;
  • and the ACP House Dick tells a sordid tale involving a GPS Tracker and a bridge over muddied waters.

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

Oddball’s Corner Pocket

General Purpose Egghead

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Interviewed by the Tactical Leprechaun

This is a great interview of me by CloverTac, aka the Tactical Leprechaun.

In this interview I talk about not just the history and purpose of Operation Blazing Sword, but also my own firearms journey, the history of the Pink Pistols (now an incorporated division of OBS), the problems within the NRA, and the need for a politically neutral pro-Second Amendment advocacy group.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 054: A Passion for Fashion

In This Episode:
  • Erin and Weer’d talk about the new Swiss firearm laws and Erin's recent media appearances;
  • Erin interviews Amanda Suffecool about her brainchild, the Concealed Carry Fashion Show;
  • and David examines the very important issue of "How do you use the restroom or otherwise disrobe when carrying concealed?"

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
Concealed Carry Fashion Show

Sunday, June 2, 2019

GunGals Live Chat with Michael Sodini of Walk the Talk America

The Gun Gals asked me to come back as a regular, so tune in every Sunday night at 9pm Eastern to listen to our show live, or catch up on YouTube anytime!

Tonight we interview Michael Sodini, founder of Walk the Talk America ... but a surprise guest crashes the interview midway through!

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Making Sense of Star Trek 3: the Classes of Axanar

In my previous post on this subject I defined the various ship classes of Star Trek and their roles within the fleet. Now I'm going to return to where I began this series by explaining how the ship designs of Prelude to Axanar just make sense to me (unlike those of later Treks).

We're going to ignore the Klingon ships, because let's be honest, most fans care more about the Federation ships anyway.

One of the things which I noticed is that the saucers on the first four ship classes, i.e. the ones which existed prior to the Four Years' War (and if you don't know what I'm talking about, go watch Prelude again) have the same radius. Look at the measurements under the names: the first is length, the second is width, and the third is depth. Notice that the second measurement of all four ships is the same: 122 meters. Notice that the nacelles don't extend out further than the saucer, either.

Why is this important? Because it means Starfleet was using standardized saucer sections across ship classes. I don't know about you, but I think that's brilliant, because it suggests to me that Starfleet had standardized specifications for hulls, nacelles, etc and instead of designing a ship wholecloth they just plugged parts into a design to get what they wanted.

Yes, they got the name wrong. I'm guessing there was a last-minute naming convention swap between the Hermes and the Geronimo (see below). 

The USS Hermes, on the far left, is a frigate. (See this post for an explanation of what that means.) It has one engine, meaning it's not very powerful (see my explanation of nacelles = boilers here.) It's obviously a scout which has been retrofitted for war by attaching a weapons "roll bar" to the top of the saucer in order to give it the ability to fire photon torpedoes.

The joy of this is that classes are now configurable for their missions. Do you need a Fast Frigate? Add a second nacelle to the top (this would obviously not be compatible with the rollbar). Need an Endurance Frigate? Add a secondary hull instead... you know, like the USS Kelvin.

Image found on Pinterest

Want a ship with the power of two engines that can also shoot photon torpedoes? No problem, that's the destroyer USS Magellan, just move the mounting points over to accommodate two nacelles on the ventral side and integrate the photorp launcher into the saucer, right above the impulse engines and ready to absorb energy straight from engineering. You can easily see how this design became the USS Reliant.

Want a destroyer with more endurance? Just put a secondary hull onto it and call it the USS Korolev, a light cruiser. Now it has more flexibility, more sensor power, more small craft.

I'm sure some of you are wondering why it has a notch cut out of the saucer. I contend that it's there to add visual distinction to the design, because otherwise it would be confused with the Magellan class. It already looks like a Magellan with a secondary hull, so adding a cutout increases its visual distinctiveness. It's bad reasoning for a navy, but it makes perfect sense for a movie.

Talking about saucer cutouts brings us to the USS Geronimo (erroneously labeled the Hermes in this picture. I don't know why they decided to halve its primary hull, as its double secondary hulls and dorsal nacelles (a design not seen again until the Constitution) looks plenty distinctive already. I truly can't explain why they gave up so much valuable real estate. But if you look at the top-down picture where the photorp launcher is, you can see that the dome on top of it is in almost exactly the same place as the one on the photorp launcher of the Magellan.

See, I told you they switched the names. 

That one very odd quirk notwithstanding, I really like this ship. It's clearly a medium cruiser and it seems optimized for two things:
  1. Science operations, with its double forward sensor arrays in the navigational deflector dishes of the secondary hulls;
  2. Small craft operations, with a plenty of room for shuttles (and Fast Attack Craft in wartime) in its deep double shuttlebays. 
In other words, it's a carrier that also doubles as a sensor platform -- all the better to coordinate small craft attacks and carry out electronic warfare during battles. 

All of this uniformity of design changed during the war, because as per Prelude to Axanar, the Klingons were handily defeating Federation ships in all battles which necessitated a bespoke design. Still, you can see how the design of the USS Ares is an example of "Like the Korolev, only moreso" with its longer secondary hull and more widely-placed nacelles.

Of course, everyone knows this lady. The Constitution class is certainly dramatic looking, with her long goose neck and swept back nacelles.

From a tactical standpoint, these design choices don't make sense, but it's worth repeating that the Enterprise was designed, first and foremost, to have a striking and unique design for a visual medium. In that sense the designer Matt Jeffries succeeded beyond his wildest dreams, as the Enterprise is still iconic 50 years later. This is, unfortunately, also where Starfleet designs stop making sense to me, with far more exposed parts and each class a custom design with a unique hull configuration.

Thank you for riding with me on this in-depth geek-out regarding the ship classes of Starfleet. I hope you had fun! Leave your comments below. 

The Fine Print

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