Archive for December, 2011

Overheard in the Living Room

December 31, 2011 - 12:38 am Comments Off

Again presented without context or actors:
“No. We may not have many rules, but we keep our junk in our pants here.”

Fin

Overheard at the Dinner Table

December 30, 2011 - 8:01 pm Comments Off

And presented without identifiers or context…
“What’s with the bombs? Who throws explosives at fruit? What’s wrong with these people?”

Fin

Grocery Store Musings Part Whatever

December 29, 2011 - 7:01 pm Comments Off

The same aisle of our local store contains all lotions and soaps meant to be applied to humans, as well as shampoo and other body care products.

However, not all lotions are contained within the same area of the aisle and neither are all soaps. In order to find a specific lotion or soap, you must first determine which part of your body you intend to apply it to, and then from there locate the division of the aisle that applies to that body part AND your gender. It is not enough to intend to purchase moisturizer or soap; you must determine if you want it for your face, body, or feet, and from there whether it’s soap/moisturizer for a man’s parts (not the genitals, this is not one of the relevant body-part divisions) or a woman’s.

I am fairly sure there is something wrong with this, and it probably goes beyond my frustration with determining whether plain Ivory soap is gendered male or female.

Overheard At The Liquor Store

December 28, 2011 - 4:47 pm Comments Off

“What’s the cheapest absinthe you sell?”

Kids, believe me, the night that starts with that sentence ain’t gonna end how you want it to.

Sleep Mode Activated

December 27, 2011 - 5:00 pm Comments Off

Sorry again for the continued radio silence, but now that the dust has settled we’ve downshifted into a combination of catching up on our sleep (good lord am I tired of falling asleep on the couch- or even at my desk) and getting a few projects polished off to wrap up the year. By New Year’s the attic should be fully insulated, our next brew experiment begun, and 2011 metaphorically taken out back and shot.

Anyway, memery is easy content, so I’ll follow Tam and Daddy Bear’s lead and do a top-howevermany songs played by my music gewgaw. Because I am sure you all care intensely.

My software doesn’t allow me to view the straight up most often played tunes, so I set the thing up to spit out a playlist of everything that’s gotten more than ten plays, which turns out to be twenty songs.

1. Fresh Feeling – Eels
2. Short Skirt/Long Jacket – Cake
3. Bohemian Like You – Dandy Warhols
4. Losing Streak – Eels
5. Hey Man (Now You’re Really Living) – Eels
6. Sex and Candy – Marcy Playground
7. Get Off – Dandy Warhols
8. Black Betty – Spiderbait
9. Linus and Lucy – Built to Spill
10. Smile Like You Mean It – Killers
11. Fistful of Fury – Turbo A.C.’s
12. Girls and Boys – Blur
13. Let’s Get Fucked Up – Cramps
14. Psychobilly Freakout – Reverend Horton Heat
15. Dope Nose – Weezer
16. Galaxy 500 – Reverend Horton Heat
17. Alternative Girlfriend – Bare Naked Ladies
18. Pork and Beans – Weezer
19. Jack the Lion – Harvey Danger
20. Nothing’s Forbidden – Turbo A.C.’s

a)You can tell almost to the year how old I was when I started regularly buying my own music rather than listening to the radio or pirating.

b)I’m evidently more of an alternative hipster puke than I thought.

c)The music player and the music software on my main PC have stopped speaking to each other, so this list isn’t so much my musical taste overall as it is what I play when I’m either trying to write something or playing video games while drunk. The player’s stats would probably have a lot more metal and punk, but that’s disruptive when I’m trying to write something that isn’t an angry screed and tends to cover up my healer yelling important information at me like “SLOW DOWN DAMMIT”. He’s been ever so much happier since they added griefgrip to WoW.

New Shooter Report

December 22, 2011 - 1:39 pm Comments Off

(Stingray Sez: This is not my post even though it’s under my name. We’ve thrown a few annotations in with, more or less, Indy’s permission. See if you can find all (e^pi)-pi of them!)

Hello, world! I’m Indy, a long time friend of LabRat and Stingray’s and your “shooting noob” guest blogger. I recently moved to an area proximal to the Nerd Ranch for a graduate program in human evolution and genetics. I’ve taken the opportunity to spend lots of time harassing the nerds and monopolizing Tank. This year, they were kind enough to host Thanksgiving for myself, Spear, and Farmgirl. Given some recent experiences in my less-than-perfect neighborhood, Stingray and LabRat had suggested that I might want to learn to shoot while I was up there. I’ve been interested in learning more about guns for a while, but my last experiences involved grouse hunting when I was a kid. All of my (somewhat limited) experience was with shotguns, and I hadn’t shot a gun in 10+ years. We made a trip out to the range while I was there for Turkey Day. Stingray suggested my “noob” experiences might be fun for some of you to read, given that it’s probably been a long time since many of you were brand new at this! (LR- It’s easy to forget what being a new shooter is actually like when your day to day experience involves forum and blog wankery on the theoretical exercise of new shooters.)

We decided to stick to the indoor range since the wind levels were questionable and I was interested in trying out handguns. Spear started me off with some basic safety instruction and a quick lesson on stances and sights. We geared up (noise cancelling ear protection! so cool!) and I shot a rifle (Stingray Sez: Remington 514). Stingray and Spear decided to start me with something that I gather was sort of geared for beginners; it had almost no kick and was easy to shoot. It was frankly a lot less complicated than I was expecting. Much like many beginning shooters, I was a little nervous about the kick and bang aspect of things. Luckily, the first gun I tried didn’t have much bite to it. (It was actually easier than shooting something like a nerf gun or a water pistol.) I realized pretty quickly that what I’d thought was going to be my problem (kick) was not in fact a problem, whereas things that I hadn’t actually thought about (sighting and stance) were posing challenges. It took me a while to get used to the stance with the rifle. I imagine I’m going to need a lot more practice with it to feel comfortable. Leaning toward your target puts your center of gravity in a place that doesn’t exactly feel normal (Stingray Sez: Spear shoots all tactical high speed drag. Stingray shoots all fussy match precisiondork. WHITE PEOPLE SHOOT LIKE DIS. CANADIAN PEOPLE SHOOT LIKE DAT.). (Actually, as a dark admission, the only reason I was really able to figure out the balance problem is because I do yoga. Go figure: crunchy granola hippie activities and shooting, two things that actually blend well together.) It was also a little hard to getting used to focusing in multiple places for the sight, but that turned out to be something that was relatively easy to pick up with practice.

One of the most important things I learned from the rifle was basically that I needed to adjust where I was shooting to account for visual distortion between my eye and the target. Spear pointed out that I was a little off from where I wanted to be, probably because of differences in my vision and sighting. I found that if I was shooting for, say, point X, I needed to actually aim a little to the right. (LR: Ironically, she was the only uncomplicated, straightforward right-handed right-eye dominant shooter in the room.) I ended up shooting Farmgirl’s rifle (Stingray Sez: Winchester 94/22), which was fun but – at least to me – seemed relatively similar to the first gun I’d shot. (I suspect that with more practice, I’ll be able to tell more of a difference between guns. At the moment, not so much.) Somewhere in there, we backed up so I could try from further back. I frankly couldn’t tell a huge difference between the two distances we tried. Aiming was slightly different, and it was a little harder to get things to go where I wanted. The real difference seemed to be in how much my breathing impacted the spread of the bullets. (LR- She’s not kidding. We stood there and watched her trace several little triangles depending on where she was on inhale-exhale.)

The most challenging part of the whole day for me was probably the stance for firing handguns. We tried isosceles stance first. I couldn’t quite get my body not to lean in the wrong direction. Farmgirl suggested I move one foot back to try weaver, and that was a lot easier. I’m relatively tall for a woman (5’8″) and my center of gravity just wasn’t lining up somehow. I had to make a conscious effort to lean forward every time, but it did get a little easier as I shot more. (LR- I was the only person there who’s happiest in isosceles. I’m also the shortest and the one with baby bearin’ hips. Anatomy matters a lot, as we’re going to talk about in a later post.)

I really liked firing the handguns. They were more fun than the rifles for me. (LR- This was not an expected result.) We switched to a white paper target so I could get a better idea of where I was shooting, since apparently I was doing a bit better than expected at this point (Stingray Sez: Damn freak was shooting a quarter sized group from 20 yards on her first day with everything she picked up. We’re gonna put her in a box, poke some air holes, and ship her off to Tam with a note that says “Enjoy your new padawan.”). I was, again, worried about the kick, but I discovered that it wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle. To me, a lot of the handguns felt relatively similar in how they fired and how I aimed them. I started with something relatively small caliber, a Ruger MK II, which was honestly really easy to shoot. I had a lot of fun with that one. It was kind of cool to actually move up to a point where I needed to start worrying about my breathing while firing. (Which I’m not entirely sure I ever got the hang of, but oh well, there’s always next time!) I also tried a few bigger guns. I found that the heavier guns with large grips were more my speed. I have big hands but small wrists. On guns without that weight, my wrists were effectively acting as shock absorbers for the impact. (For example, Stingray and Labrat have his-and-hers Les Baer 1911’s. I vastly preferred Stingray’s. (Stingray Sez: Monolith Heavyweight- extended dust cover = more weight up front) (LR: The “hers” in this case was my Kimber compact. Mama Baer didn’t come out to play that day. There are actually four 1911s in the household.) The only two guns that really stood out to me were Stingray’s revolver (Stingray Sez:S&W 25-5 .45lc) and a tiny handgun (Stingray Sez: Kel-Tec p32). Neither was impossible (or even difficult) for me to fire, but they both had a lot of recoil. I had a harder time reaiming after shooting a round. The really small gun was the only one I didn’t actually enjoy firing. It was one of the last guns I tried. At that point, my wrists and shoulders were getting tired.

As a whole, shooting was a lot less complicated (and a lot more fun!) than I’d initially anticipated. (And, obviously, thanks to the Nerds & Co. for taking me out.) If anyone has any questions for me, I’m more than happy to answer them in comments!

Domestic Exchange Part XIV

December 22, 2011 - 12:20 pm Comments Off

“Goodness. How’d you get so sooty?”
“I have no idea why there’s a giant charcoal T for Tank on his back.”
“It’s off center.”
“He was wiggling. It’s stylistic.”
“It frightens me that you’ve discovered a white dog is a blank canvas.”

Free Ice Cream Outage

December 21, 2011 - 10:53 pm Comments Off

…Yeah, the holidays are rolling in and we’re busy, plus inspiration has been nil.

On the bright side, we’ve got one incoming guest post and one collaboration. So that’ll be like ice cream with *sprinkles*.

Domestic Exchange Part Q

December 19, 2011 - 7:05 pm Comments Off

“What the hell is that rumbling noise I keep hearing? Is that the furnace?”

“It’s the Enterprise.”

“What.”

*slowly, as if speaking to a small child* “The starship Enterprise.”

“Oh. Of course. Obviously. Why is it the Enterprise.”

“Because awesome.”

Mark Your Calendars

December 16, 2011 - 11:45 pm Comments Off

For the first time in I really and honestly don’t remember how long, congress did something not entirely wrong. Hell, this is brushing up into the realm of doing something right.

Short version: Buried in a 1200 page spending bill, the incandescent light bulb ban is effectively dead. I’m as shocked as anybody that the government, of all groups, recognized something Really Fucking Stupid and put a stop to it, but here we are.

And as much fun as it is to stockpile things and then lord your dwindling supply of cherished goods over those without foresight, I think I’ll take being able to pick up a four pack of bulbs at the grocery store any day of the week and twice on Sundays over the alternative.

Besides. The spare bulb area of my garage was starting to make The Lady of the Light wonder if I wasn’t going just a bit overboard.