Sunday, April 30, 2006

Stickwick's Five-Second Movie Reviews

16 Blocks - Bruce Willis is a shabby and boozed-out NYC cop trying to outrun some bad-guy cops in a 16-block gauntlet to get a witness before a grand jury. Good thrills and action, and (warning!) main character portrayed as possessing actual morality.

Lucky Number Slevin - Another Willis flick. Well-crafted and often funny, but becomes disturbing once the full scope of the story is apparent.

[Note: Bruce Willis ranks right up there with Clint Eastwood for best "you just bought yourself a world of trouble" stare.]

Stick It - Ninety minutes of extremely fit young women in skimpy outfits doing difficult gymnastics tricks. Plus, Jeff Bridges. Trite, silly, and totally enjoyable.

Friday, April 28, 2006

On Iraqi Autonomy

I have a hypothesis that I've been mulling over for a while. Some info over at Captains Quarters has reinforced this idea for me: when Iraq finally takes over for the USA, they will be effective. Now, this depends on three primary conditions, I think. They need to stabilize the country enough for commerce to flourish. They need to prevent conditions, such as in Iran or Saudi Arabia, wherein radical Islam can incubate and grow. And, similar to, but not the same as the last point, they need to crush radical "insurgents."

This last one is where I think they will be more effective than us. The "ethics" of that region are different from our ethics here at home, and this prevents us from taking certain measures that would be more effective than our current procedures. We wouldn't be able to get away with such things anyway, since they would be used by the radicals to show that we really are just as evil as they say we are, even though they are demonstrably worse even than that.

On the other hand, the Iraqi government, sans USA, could be, and should be, very brutal with the "insurgents." I doubt the insurgency would be as effective if the USA was not there, provided that the Iraqi authorities have the numbers and the loyalty in their ranks to be strong enough to deal with the problem. Then, through unfortunately severe but neccessary brutality, they could smash the insurgents.

Our hands are tied in this regard. We will never destroy the insurgency since we cannot and will not be as brutal as needed, and we would see diminishing returns for our brutality anyway. The Iraqis can be more effective. There, that's my beef.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

It's All About the Oil?

Cox & Forkum link to this guy, whose hobby seems to be collecting random data. For the last 26 years he has kept a record of what he has paid for a gallon of gasoline in various places throughout Texas. Look at the inflation-adjusted price below (grey line -- click to enlarge chart). First of all, you'll notice the general decline from 1980-2003. Then notice how it steadily trends up after 2003. I thought the Iraq war was supposed to be all about securing cheap oil. What gives?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Carnaby's CCW Setups

SayUncle asks, and SayUncle receives. Here are my two current CCW setups. In days of yore I packed a Kimber Ultra Carry, but I sold it for the full-size hand cannon. I'll be going back to a 1911 with at least a compact grip somewhere down the road, because it carried very well.

I see the Uncle carries a Sig. Our local range had a Sig rep on Friday night. He had about 40 new Sigs of all sorts that we could try for free. I did. It was pretty cool. They had a couple good CCW models that I may consider down the road. They were DAO, which is kinda wierd, but I could maybe get used to it.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

TSA Neanderthals

My advisor recently went on a trip to demonstrate our robot at another university. I verified that the robot was working perfectly right before I packed it up before she left. When she got to her destination, the robot no longer worked. She thought I'd put it together wrong, but when she got back I had a look. It turned out the TSA had taken it apart and taken all the electronics out. They broke wires, bent pins, and the robot is acting like an idiot now.

What a bunch of bastards. These are some seriously irksome idiots. I'm suggesting that we always ship the robot in advance to our destination rather than bring it on board the plane. Argh! Now I have to try to fix this pile of junk.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Christianity and Pacifism

I watched Man on Fire last night and was reminded that Christianity, according to the Bible, does not jibe with pacifism. Consider Romans 12:17-19:
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the lord.
If it is possible, it says. If the Germans are gassing Jews, then it is not possible. But when it is finished, do not take revenge. It's pretty simple. And don't forget every gun-loving Christian's favorite passage, Luke 22:36-38:
He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. It is written: 'And he was numbered with the transgressors'; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment."
The disciples said, "See, Lord, here are two swords."
"That is enough," he replied.
Now if only Islam preached loving your enemy, instead of chopping his head off. Us Jesus-loving folks like our guns (some of us) and we love our enemies too. That doesn't mean we won't defend ourselves when attacked, but we won't go chopping off the heads of infidels simply because they don't jibe with our beef. That's my beef.

Happy Easter

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you."

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me."

Matthew 28:1-10

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die."
John 11:25-26

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Hot Fudge for Bag Day

Bag Day came a day early this year. First, the Springfield TRP Armory Kote. Notice that is is in fact Tactical.

Second up is the Savage 110GXP3 Package. The AccuTrigger is sweet.

Yes, that is "Candy Land," and I've read it about a hundred times. It's the scratch and sniff version. Please save me.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Anti CCW Smackdown

From The High Road:
Today I am in class when my teacher informs us that we have a guest speaker. The teacher is talking about "Gun Violence" and I am immediately annoyed...Guns cannot be violent. So he starts off on Right to Carry. He says "I need two volunteers." Two people raise their hands and he gives one a toy pistol and says "Put that anywhere you want on your body." So the volunteer does and the guest speaker states to the unarmed volunteer "Your job is to attack the armed person and make sure he doesn't get the gun out. Surprise the armed volunteer...don't tell him when you are going to attack." He then looks at the guy he gave the toy gun to and states "When he attacks pull your gun." So what happens is the guy with the gun cannot pull it fast enough. He says "This is why it is not only dangerous for people to arm themselves, but stupid." Now I am pissed. I raise my hand and ask "Can I try a little experiment?" The guest speaker says "Sure, what about?" But is very uncertain. "Right to Carry" I say. The he roles his eyes and says "well lets see what you can bring to the table." So I take three students out of class and give one the toy gun and tell the armed student to hide it and tell them all not to reveal who has the gun. I go back inside with the three and Say to the classmate who was the attacker in the guest speaker's scenario to attack one of the three students I chose. I Tell the attacker "Attack one. Choose anyone you want it doesn't matter. Only one is armed so your odds are pretty good. However; you better choose the right one because if you choose an an unarmed student, the armed one will shoot you for attacking his peer." The attacker looks at me and says "Which one has the gun?" I say "Figure it out on your own." The attacker looks at me and says "I don't want to...I don't want to pick the wrong person and get shot." That is when I look at the guest speaker and say "That is why Right to Carry works." I smile and head back to my seat proud to see the class understanind. Then the speaker states "That is nonsense, If you don't want to believe me you can just leave." So I left and headed home to clean my new 6mm.
Pretty good.

Update: Needless to say, and some have intimated this in comments here and on THR, but the initial comparison was quite idiotic. "Here buddy, have a gun. You've probably never handled one in your life, so show us how idiotic it would be for someone with a concealed pistol to try to defend themselves from a sudden attack, since, of course, that's the only sort there is." What a dip. Put any of us with experience up against our sudden attacker, and he's going to get a good look at the nozel end of our bullet hose. I suppose he did demonstrate that if your going to CCW, you better make sure you train.

Monday, April 10, 2006


I was searching the net for a picture of a "loophole" and I found this.


Carnaby Fudge For Sale

My blog is worth $17,500.74.
How much is your blog worth?

If anyone wants it, I'd take $15,000 for it. :-P

Thanks to sayuncle for that minute of fun. I also noticed that I've been de-listed from uncle's blogroll, what gives? Did I offend in some way? Maybe it was my sister, Stickwick?

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Pass the Potatoes

Here's a little gem from
(A29) Are "potato guns" or "spud guns" legal? [Back]

"Potato guns" or "spud guns" generally consist of sections of PVC plastic tubing and fittings and are designed to launch a muzzle-loaded potato (or other similar-size projectile) using hair spray or other aerosol vapor as a propellant. The propellant is ignited by means of a barbecue grill igniter or other similar ignition system.

Section 5845(f), Title 26, United States Code, regulates certain weapons as "destructive devices" which are subject to the registration and tax provisions of the National Firearms Act (NFA). Section 5845(f)(2) includes within the definition of "destructive device" any type of weapon which will or may be readily converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, the barrel of which has a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter. However, section 5845(f)(3) excludes from the definition of "destructive device" any device which is neither designed or redesigned for use as a weapon and any device, although originally designed for use as a weapon, which is redesigned for use as a signaling, pyrotechnic, line throwing, safety, or similar device. The definition of "destructive device" in the Gun Control Act (GCA), 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44, is identical to that in the NFA.

ATF has previously examined "potato guns" or "spud guns" as described above and has generally determined that such devices using potatoes as projectiles and used solely for recreational purposes are not weapons and do not meet the definition of "firearm" or "destructive device" in either the NFA or GCA. However, ATF has classified such devices as "firearms" and "destructive devices" if their design, construction, ammunition, actual use, or intended use indicate that they are weapons. For example, ATF has classified such devices as "firearms" and "destructive devices" if they are designed and used to expel flaming tennis balls.

Possession and use of "potato guns" or "spud guns" may be restricted under State laws and local ordinances. Further, any person intending to make, use, or transfer any such device must be aware that they have a potential for causing serious injury or damage.

Flaming tennis balls, eh? And I was just planning on storming the state senate beginning with a barage of flaming tennis balls. I wonder if this applies to any flaming balls?

Then there's this
(A30) How do I obtain a classification from ATF for my "potato gun"? [Back]

ATF is unable to respond to e-mail requests for classification of "potato guns," "spud guns," or other similar devices. Any person desiring a classification of such devices must submit a written request to the Director executed under penalty of perjury and include a complete and accurate description of the device, the name and address of the manufacturer or importer, the purpose of and use for which it is intended, and such photographs, diagrams, or drawings as may be necessary to make a classification. A final determination may require physical examination of the device. Such requests for classification should be submitted to:

Bureau of ATF
Firearms Technology Branch
244 Needy Road
Martinsburg, WV 25401

Ain't bureaucracy great?

Monday, April 03, 2006

Paul Verhoeven Out of Touch with Reality?

It turns out that sex is banned in America, Paul Verhoeven says so:
"Anything that is erotic has been banned in the United States," said the Dutch native. "Look at the people at the top (of the government). We are living under a government that is constantly hammering out Christian values. And Christianity and sex have never been good friends."
And it's the fault of all us repressed Christians. He may be right. My wife and I went to a Christian marriage retreat a couple weeks ago and learned that the Bible has four rules about this:

1. Once a month MAX.
2. ONLY the missionary position is allowed.
3. Five minutes MAX.
4. You must NOT enjoy it.

What a dope. It must not have occured to Verhoeven that most of us are BORED with Hollywood sex. We're so inundated with it that it's gotten old. Sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll are, *yawn*, past it. And anyone still interested can get it free on the Internet, in ever increasing stimulating ways. If you want people to be interested in sex again, take it away for a while. You can try this at home. Keep your hands off your woman (or man) and your johnson for a couple weeks, and you'll be more aroused and have a better time of it than you have in a long while when you finally resume. Results are virtually guaranteed.