Sunday, July 27, 2008

Puma .357 Lever Action

So, Dick and I went to the local FFL storefront looking to purchase an H&R .357 single-shot carbine for myself. Unfortunately, it seems that this particular rifle is either more popular than H&R expected or wasn't made in large quantities to begin with as it is backordered (Davidson's). The proprietor was kind enough to print up a list of .357 carbines that were in stock with pricing and quoted me a price of $60 over the list. So, I ended up having him order a Puma .357 carbine with a 16" barrel. It should be in tomorrow.

After all was said and done, I ended up plunking down a little over $500 for the rifle. It was really just a bit more than I was prepared to spend on a rifle that is essentially a fun gun. But I honestly think I'll be happier with this than with the H&R which is the only gun under the price point I was hoping for.

Now my only worry is that I didn't really do any research into the Puma before ordering and I have no idea what kind of issues it might have. Ah, well, impulse buying is my specialty. I should be used to it by now.

Quiz Filler

Just because I don't really have anything better right now...

Your results:
You are Derrial Book (Shepherd)
Even though you are holy you have a mysterious past.

Derrial Book (Shepherd)
Dr. Simon Tam (Ship Medic)
Kaylee Frye (Ship Mechanic)
Jayne Cobb (Mercenary)
Malcolm Reynolds (Captain)
Zoe Washburne (Second-in-command)
River (Stowaway)
Wash (Ship Pilot)
Inara Serra (Companion)
A Reaver (Cannibal)

Click here to take the "Which Serenity character am I?" quiz...

H/T to Don.

*Edit: I give up. I have no idea why this is formatting with the gigantic gap before the table.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Dark Knight Rocks!

Friday afternoon Dick, his brother Drew, and I went to the Imax on Chenal in Little Rock to watch "The Dark Knight". I was fully prepared to hate this movie. Frankly, looking at the previews, I expected Heath Ledger to have butchered the part of the Joker. It looked like he was taking the role too far on the straight psychotic side, not having the fun that the Joker would with his sadism.

The very first scene where we actually got a good look at him proved me completely wrong.

Ledger did an amazing job. His Joker was vicious, cruel, and, above all, revelled in his sadistic nature. He was the perfect foil for Bale's Batman, another acting choice that I misjudged at first. As a matter of fact, I have only one gripe about the whole thing: Two-Face.

Maybe I missed some of the conversation between him and the Joker. It's possible I suppose. But frankly, I think that the script kinda fell flat with providing him with the motivation to take the actions that he did. I don't have any problem with the dark turn he took. He had plenty of motivation for that. Even the beginning few targets for his rage made sense. But when he turned on one of the main characters, I was completely lost. It was almost like the script writers needed a way to push him over the edge from simple revenge-driven killing to lashing out at innocents so that the audience would no longer be sympathetic to him but they had no idea how to go about doing it. So they just said, "Okay, let's have him turn on his allies for no reason."

But overall, I loved the film. I give it a 4.5 out of 5. And I recommend you go watch it at the theaters. You'll be glad you did.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Well, All Righty Then!

The latest slap to my ego was delivered today by Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield. I had applied for health/life insurance with them through the NRA. I received a letter (in an envelope that had never been sealed) stating that as much as they wished they could cover everyone, I was just outta luck. It seems my height/weight ratio didn't meet with their approval.

Fair enough. I'm fat, I'll be the first to admit it. I don't really mind being fat. And, yes, I know all about the medical issues that go along with it. I hear enough from family alone to fill a medical dictionary.

But as I don't make near enough to cover the medical bills that could result from even non-weight-induced problems, I need insurance. Ergo, I'm gonna have to lose some weight.

I've decided to try out using this blog as a tool to help me reach my goal. "What goal in particular?" you might ask. To which I answer: 100 pounds.

The last time I checked, I weighed in at 350 pounds. I'm 6'2" with a large frame but that still puts me way past the obesity line. (Which seems to be moved further and further back each year. But I digress.) When I was at my healthiest, I weighed in at around 235 pounds. I still looked like I weighed more than that due to the excess skin. But I got to that weight by a combination of calorie control and exercise that I wasn't able to keep up as I got busy with school and work. I figure 250 would put me into the range where I'm healthy enough to get past the height/weight ratio requirements for insurance purposes and would be maintainable with my current schedule (which is quite a bit more relaxed than the ones I had during school).

So, what's my plan? Well, I intend to do it exactly the same way as last time. I will drop my caloric intake to approximately 2000/day. When the weight loss begins to plateau at that level, I will drop it to 1700/day. When I hit plateau at that level, I will then drop it to 1500/day. Once I plateau at that weight, I intend to bring the calorie level back up to 1700 and combine it with about 30 minutes of aerobic exercise each day and 30 minutes of weights three days out of the week. I figure that a step-down style plan is the best strategy for me.

At this point, I'm not sure what form the aerobic exercise will take. When I was in college, I used the stationary bikes that were provided at the university gym. They were very nice pieces of equipment with adjustable length for the legs, programmable resistance, and displays for calories burned/time spent pedaling. I doubt that I'll be able to afford to buy one of these for my own use. I don't really want to get a gym membership either as I tend to purchase things and then not use them. (It's a character flaw, I know.) Suggestions for this would be welcome. I'm thinking this might be a good excuse do some juggling/replacing with my living room furniture to get my Wii up and running.

Lastly, I'll be logging my caloric intake each day on this blog. I figure if I can get some help from my few regulars to keep it up, I'll be far more likely to get and keep the weight off. We'll see.

And just so I have a starting point...

Today's calories were approximately: 2735.

I need to drop this by about 750 calories. I intend to keep the day's total in a side bar that I will put up after posting this. I'm asking my regular readers (all two of you) to do me a favor and keep half an eye on it. Call me on it if I forget to post or post a number that's really too high, eh? Thanks, I appreciate it.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Gee, Thanks Tam

Tam points out some of the more endearing TSA habits.

And since she didn't feel the need to warn anyone, I will. Don't click on the video. Trust me, you'll hate yourself if you do.

Now I gotta go dig the mental bleach out from under the sink. Again.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I Finished 1984 Today

Sweet merciful crap that was a depressing book.

Happy now, Dick?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Quote of the Moment Gone

I've removed the random quote of the moment. It wasn't pulling up the categories that I wanted and also pulled some quotes that I didn't particularly care to have associated with my site (mostly religious in nature).

In its place, I've added a "Currently Reading" list. I'll try to remember to keep this updated as I move from book to book. If I don't, feel free to give me a kick.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Thank You For Flying Police State Airlines...

Now, please hold still while we attach your Electro-Musclar Disruption bracelet.

Holy crap!

If I hadn't already sworn off airline travel, this would be the cinder block that caved in the camel's skull. (Pardon the blatant mis-quote but this ticks me off no end.) It's like they aren't even attempting to disguise the fact that they expect the public to behave like sheep to their shepherd.

As grim as it sounds, I'm almost certain that, if implemented, this will eventually result in the accidental death of a passenger. And that tragedy will be passed off as the price we pay for security. Mark my words.

Hat tip to Mike.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

New Purchase Considerations

There are a couple of longarm purchases that I've been contemplating. I'd like to get some feedback on these.

The first is an H&R Synthetic Handi-Rifle in .357 mag. I've been looking at leveraction .357s to complement my GP-100 that I mentioned previously. These have generally been out of my price range (darned CAS shooters buying up all the good used leverguns) for what amounts to just a fun gun. Then I read an article (which requires registration, unfortunately) on an H&R Handi-Rifle that had been shortened to 16" and threaded for a 9mm suppressor. This seems like an ideal way to get into the NFA arena. The barrel should be fairly simple to get shortened/threaded and 9mm suppressors are almost a dime a dozen (well, not really, but you get the idea).

*edit: I wonder what it would take to have the barrel fluted? That's one thick hunk of metal and it shows in the weight.*

The second is the MechTech Carbine Conversion Unit, specifically chambered in 10mm to go along with my AutoOrdnance 10mm 1911 (and maybe my Para?). My AutoOrdnance still needs quite a bit of work to function reliably enough for carry. The CCU seems like it would address all of the issues I have with it at the moment (feeding trouble due to the GI-style feed ramp, no front sight, general sloppy fit). The CCU would give me a dedicated auto-loading carbine in 10mm for just under $600 investment.

Well, let me know what you think. All reasonable comments will be taken into account.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Yay! It's My Birthday! Yay!

Today marks the beginning of my last year as a twenty-something. So, what did I do today?

Rode my motorcycle to work;

Got lunch paid for by one of the senior engineers (the only one who'd been listening to me, apparently, as he was the only one who wished me a happy birthday before lunch) ((I kid, I kid));

Found out my mom was out of surgery and doing fine;

Was hounded into buying health and life insurance and given a firm reminder to start a savings account;

Priced insurance for my firearms and accessories (NRA members only, unfortunately).

Priced magazines for my Para;

And lastly, I'm in the process of watching episodes of the first season of Jericho.

I still need to:

Open said savings account;

Call AT&T Support to complain about my cell phone's mini-display screen self-destructing on me.

Busy, busy.