June 27, 2007
for those about to rocrament
i've spent the last week trying to work my way through yet another sinus infection. glorious things, they are. i gave in to taking an aleve pill now and then, drinking robitussin for the expectorant, and buying a humidifier. i'm not sure any of it helped, other than the aleve as a pain reducer. but at least i felt like i was trying.
thursday night i headed over to the continental club and witnessed the metal carnage wreaked by rocrament. jay and groove got some cool pics of the event. read jay's blog entries for more info on the band.
friday after work i headed back to the continental club and caught most of a show by disco expressions. their shows are fun. eventually, my sub-par sinuses on top of my being there alone led me to leave.
sunday after church i did a fair bit of shopping for random junk i needed around the house or had been meaning to buy for awhile (like some oil for my pickup). i also picked up a sentry 14-gun safe from academy. it's not a fire-resistant or fire-proof safe, but it's thick metal and pretty heavy. should be fun to move into and out of the house.
i picked up one cd and one movie while i was out and about:
- dumb luck - dntel (subpop)
- idiocracy - mike judge (20th century fox)
at some point recently, i thought "man, i need to watch heathers" -- only to realize there isn't a copy of it in my house! the horror! i had a vhs tape of it, but i gave that to my brother when i got the dvd. i remember watching the dvd, but it's nowhere to be found. it must have been one of the things the alief pothead loser children stole from me when they broke into 9023 (my old house). i immediately went to amazon to rectify the situation.
not too long after getting my new 8 gauge captive hoops i realized one of the balls was loose. (the same thing happened with one of my 10 gauge hoops last year.) i'm sure it doesn't matter to some people, but the jangling/rattling can be annoying -- especially when the wind's blowing it around while on a motorcycle. a quick visit to taurian today and it's all better.
peter was physically at the studio tonight for the radio show, instead of calling in from san antonio. it was cool to get to see him. it'd been about a year i guess.
June 20, 2007
9 to 8
at some point over the last few days i watched the special star wars edition of "robot chicken" on tv. i'd seen a few bits from it on youtube, but man the whole thing was pretty hilarious. i recommend watching it, if you get the chance.
sunday i went to church, then ate with the potts, then jack and i went to the gun range and fired most of my pistols and the mini mac-11. unfortunately, the mac-11 jammed in some weird way so i am going to have to mess with it and see if i can figure out what's up. the taurus, glock, and walther all performed flawlessly.
monday night i watched a free preview of eagle vs. shark. someone described it to me as a new zealand napoleon dynamite. i don't want to write it off as a copycat, but there are a lot of things that give the statement creedence. this main character was much more self-centered and thus mean than the napoleon character was though. i thought ...dynamite was somewhat slow the first time i saw it in the theater, and it was only once i started talking about it with others and remembering all of the funny parts that it gelled in my mind and i wanted to see it again. it went on to become a movie i like a lot. likewise, e vs. s seemed somewhat slow. we'll see if others watch it and talk about it, and it causes me to recall with fondness the quirky, funny moments (of which there were many).
tuesday night i watched a free preview of death at a funeral. it's a british comedy about a bunch of family and friends coming to the funeral of a wealthy man. it's one of those that takes a while to set up the various characters and what's going on with each of them, building momentum slowly over time, until at the end it's out of control. i thought it was really fun. after the movie i came home and was hungry, but i don't have much in the way of food. i ended up heating cans of dinty moore beef stew and veg-all, both of unknown dates. i was a bit worried, but i'm still okay today so i guess it worked out. although i did have some odd dreams last night.
i shouldn't go without mentioning today would have been my 9-year wedding anniversary. that's an unfortunate piece of my life, let me tell you. not the good aspects of my relationship with tamara -- those were some wonderful times, and some things i can still look back on fondly. but when it got bad, it got really bad. and in the end i got screwed over by someone who hardly bore a resemblance to the person i'd once believed she was. maybe she hardly recognized herself. i'd like to think that's the case.
maybe one of these days (hopefully sooner than later) the romantic aspect of my life will find some fertile soil and sunlight again. it's really one of the few areas where i feel a large amount of unfulfillment these days. but i also don't want to push or force anything.
this evening after the radio show i stopped by taurian body piercing and had byriah stretch my ears from the 10 gauge captive hoops that had been in for a year up to 8 gauge captive hoops. the stretching went really smoothly and quickly. my left ear, like last year, had more tightness during the stretching than my right. if you'll recall, my left is the one i got pierced at a claire's (or something similar) in a mall in san antonio in 1990 or 1991 with a piercing gun. i had problems with it for months where it never would heal. eventually i gave up on the "safer" gold posts and went to a surgical steel post. my ear healed up nicely not too long after that. but i think all that time with issues caused some scar tissue and such, and is probably why the skin doesn't stretch very easily or well. anyway, i've got somewhat larger hoops in a larger gauge, so if the next time you see me you think my ears or head look smaller -- it's actually that my jewelry got bigger. (at least i'm not aware that my head or ears are getting smaller.)
i recently upgraded my blog software. so now i'm like all current and stuff. i can't wait to see how much it improves the quality of my blogging!
June 19, 2007
update: the secret to success
okay, a few people seemed interested in my discussion about the secret to success, so i figured i should probably update things. i'm afraid i haven't yet purchased any patch, balm, pill, etc., but the fine people pitching the products keep sending me more information. oddly, i don't recall signing up for it, but it's certainly brought some things to light for me to think about. here's one i got just a day or two after the previous one:
Subject: Your friends are giving it too her
Don't have her cheating on you just because you have a small P$NIS!.......
Donâ€™t let her get it from someone else. A recent survey has shown us that 4 out of 5 women who cheat do it because their spouse has a small P$NIS.
Another survery shows us that 3 out of 5 men have a below average P$NIS.
a few things i immediately noted:
- * i wouldn't say it was my "friends" that were giving it to tamara, as i didn't particularly know or care for alistair. unless there is something i don't know about. hopefully the sender just misheard what happened.
- * my "P$NIS size" was never given as a reason for her cheating on me, but you can't argue with statistics can you? i mean, it's pretty black and white.
- * 3 out of 5 are below average. i guess there must be some mighty big ones skewing the numbers.
but it continued:
Do you need anymore evidence?
If you are ugly, there isn't much you can do.
If you are stupid, there isn't much you can do.
If you have a small P$NIS, then there is something you can do:
as if the previously quoted statistics weren't enough, they give a whole second line of evidence. frankly, it is irrefutable. i mean, how can you possibly argue with evidence and reasoning like that?
i should note i was afraid i might have been breaking some laws by printing the above email though, as there was a disclaimer on it that said:
ATTENTION: This electronic message and attachment(s), if any, contains information which is intended solely for Men that have a small P$NIS. Unauthorized disclosure, copying, distribution, or other use of the contents of this message or attachment(s), in whole or in part, is prohibited without the express authorization of the sender of this message.
being both a law-abiding citizen and knowing a little free advertizing wouldn't hurt, i figured i'd make sure and get the express authorization. unfortunately, the sender's identity couldn't be verified nor authorization received, since the email appears to not be functioning. so i was afraid there was going to be no way for me to get approval. almost miraculously, i somehow got an email later from the very same email address (that appeared to come from my own ip, oddly enough) telling me it was fine. i have no idea how they knew what i was planning, but i appreciate it nevertheless.
considering the evidence: success in life, maintaining friendships, saving one's marriage -- i didn't see how i could possibly not go forward with this modern medical miracle. so a few days went by, then i got this one:
Confidence and pleasure is sold along with Pen!s Enlarge Patch.
i found it pretty impressive that they sell confidence and pleasure as well. i couldn't tell if they were a part of the single patch product, or if they are perhaps a seperate product or products. whatever the case, such an impressive bonus just sweetened the deal. my mind was made up. i must have this product!
then i got this one:
Try Pen!s Enlarge Patch and she would want to swallow your pen!s.
this kind of unnerved me a bit. swallow it? doesn't that imply it's been detached? and what exactly happens that makes her have this desire? is this some kind of side effect? my complete devotion to the product faltered just a bit. could this not be the easy answer i thought it might be?
then this arrived:
With Pen!s Enlarge Patch you can wrap your pen!s around your hand three times.
huh. okay, i'm having trouble even imagining this. i mean, assuming even a smaller hand width, that's gotta equal something like at least 20 to 25 inches at a minimum. to be honest, it kind of frightens me. it really seems like a problem more than something to be proud of. (although i think we know who is skewing the average now!)
so there i was, all set to use this exciting new product -- but now i'm thinking maybe i should just be happy with my moderately successful self.
although i might still look into the confidence and pleasure.
June 17, 2007
getting on my gun nerves
i got up saturday and decided i would drive down to the arms room in league city and pick up my charles daly .45. they've never contacted me since i called and they said it'd probably just be a few more days -- that was 4 or 5 weeks ago. i was hoping they'd be finished with it, but i figured that wouldn't be the case. i got down there and -- sure enough -- it wasn't finished.
but i let them talk me into keeping it some more. they claimed they had tried some parts and they didn't work, but they had some on order and it should be done within a week or so. mostly they were complaining about finding an extractor for it. but the gunsmith evidently said the gun was heavily fouled, and the take-down pin (or something-or-other) was loose (and worn out?). i'm kind of doubting the difficulty in finding an extractor that will work on it, but i don't work on charles daly .45's either. i have been somewhat frustrated by this experience, since i had asked around to find a place that does good work with 1911's. the comments/analysis/repsonses, time, and lack of communication have not been very impressive from my perspective. oh well. hopefully everything they're saying is accurate and they know what they're doing with my pistol.
in passing, the guy mentioned that the pasadena gun show was going on. so i decided to soothe my gun nerves by looking for some stuff at the gun show. in route, i stopped at a village pizza and seafood. it'd been a few years since i'd eaten at one, so i was excited about having a cheeseburger sub (what i used to get). i ended up letting the counter staff talk me into getting a house steak sub instead. it was pretty good, but not as good as their cheeseburger sub. i wish there was one close to me, but all of them are in far south houston and south of houston.
the pasadena gun show was a bit of a letdown, to be honest. i'd just been to the one in the george r. brown, and it had a lot more tables and a lot more selection. (although i did recognize several of the same vendors.) in fact, i didn't really find anything i was looking for.
having once again gotten my gun feathers ruffled, i decided i would not be defeated. i used google sms to find the closest carter's country. there is one in pasadena, although it's miles away from the gun show. i called them to find out how to get to their general area, then took off. i must mention, while on the way i had a chevy pickup with loud pipes fly up on me through traffic. i was in the element, but i decided to play along. he got ahead but ended up getting trapped behind some cars and i was able to get in front of him. he slowed, jumped lanes, and hit the throttle pretty good, but i was already ahead of him and managed to take the middle lane away from him before he could get there. then the flashing lights started. i was in a different lane and several cars ahead by this point, so i looked back to see what was going on. the cop was pulling the guy in the pickup over. i drove on my merry way to carter's country.
i already knew pretty much what i was planning. i walked in and asked to see the walther ppk/s. this is the model that was stolen from my house back in january or whenever. i said i wanted to purchase it. while there, i also went ahead and purchased an uncle mike's nylon inside-the-pocket holster for my kel-tec .380 and a bianchi leather internal belt holster for the walther. i went ahead and picked up a couple of boxes of .380 ammo and 8 boxes of 9mm ammo while i was at it. i looked at holsters for the glock 23, but decided to wait.
my gun nerves properly soothed, i headed back toward home.
June 16, 2007
on tuesday after work, i stopped by soundwaves. i'd read an article in wired magazine (the feb issue, since i'm still catching up) about a compilation that sounded interesting. it is a collection of kraftwerk covers by 8-bit/chip-music artists. soundwaves didn't have it though, so i headed over to the border's near my house. they had it. while i was there, i also picked up a new version of a movie i already have:
- 8-bit operators: a tribute to the music of kraftwerk - various (astralwerks)
- office space (special edition: with flair!) - mike judge (20th century fox)
i also had placed an order from amazon a couple of weeks earlier, and it arrived on friday:
- the incredibles (2-disc collector's edition, widescreen) - pixar (disney)
- toy story (2-disc, 10th anniversary edition) - pixar (disney)
- king of the hill: 2nd season - mike judge (20th century fox)
- lightnin' hopkins: the complete prestige/bluesville recordings - lightnin' hopkins (fantasy)
i was originally just planning on picking up the hopkins box set because my brother had let me know it was on sale for like 38% off or something, but while at amazon i noticed all of the other stuff above was 25% to 30% off so i figured "why not?".
thursday the power went off at my house right around 7pm. a pretty impressive lightning storm had rolled through town, and evidently it knocked out the fuse on a transformer near my house or something. i passed some time sitting on the front porch in the cool humid breeze talking to my parents on the phone, but after about an hour or so i gave up and decided to get some supper. as i drove past my block, everyone around us appeared to have power. evidently it only affected one or two blocks. the power was still off when i got back home around 9:30pm, but it came on shortly thereafter. exciting times i'm living in, let me tell you.
friday i managed to take care of a few random tasks because i got to go into work in the afternoon. when i parked, these two guys that live in a house near where i park were walking over to a neighbor's place with beers in their hands (around 2pm). i had noticed in the past they had a pretty nice looking old pickup behind their house, so i got out and asked them about it. it turns out it is a '53 chevy. we talked about cars and such, then they asked my name and i told them. they said they'd just been calling me "mutton chops" since they didn't know my name. "hey, there goes mutton chops on his motorcycle." i thought that was kind of funny. they seemed like nice guys, and said they didn't mind me parking in front of their house. so that was cool. one of the guys said "how many cars do you have?" i said "four" and he asked what the one he hadn't seen was. i told him it was a '77 vw camper bus and he said "oh, i've got a '71." sometimes i feel bad telling people i don't really like it or want it, but before i could say anything he said "i'm trying to get rid of mine. i had 17 fun years with it though." so i didn't feel so bad saying i was trying to get rid of mine too.
June 15, 2007
i forgot to mention in the previous entry that on saturday i got extremely close to buying a 1966 chevy c-10 custom with a straight-6 and 3-on-the-tree manual. it was part of an estate auction, and i could have probably gotten it for $3k. that's not a great price for what it was, but a fair one i thought. in the end i decided it wasn't particularly practical for me to buy it at this moment, especially since i already have a 1965 f-100 i'm planning on getting a lot of work done on. but it was the chevy age and style i'd like to have (other than a 6 instead of a v-8), and it was right there. oh yeah, and it still had the custom bumper from the dealer -- duncan motors in brady, Texas. that alone is worth some money. oh well. something else should come along one of these days, and hopefully it'll be when i'm solidly in the market.
saturday on their way to brady from austin, my brother stopped at the church in art and asked heather to marry him. she said "yes". they're probably going to be getting married this fall or winter sometime. i have agreed to be a groomsman at his wedding. (he was one at mine.) i hope their marriage works out better than mine. but i am happy for them.
sunday was the leifeste reunion. it took place at the library in mason. there really isn't much excitement to report about it. last year i had volunteered to receive updates to our part of the leifeste family tree, so i was asked about that. i still need to finish some of that up and make it live.
going to family events in general, and especially with my brother's fresh engagement, is sometimes difficult for me because it makes me think about the failure of my marriage. i just don't think it was necessary for things to play out like they did, and it makes me sad that such is the way things are. i think about the things that i've lost -- past, present, and future -- because of what happened, and it makes me feel disappointed and crave things i no longer have or have the access to or ability to realize. that's life, i suppose.
afterward, my parents, myself, and linc and heather headed down to beaver creek, then over to art. there i saw the new park and benches they've put up by the church. the park is dedicated to the families who settled the area and helped start the church there, and each concrete table has the names of family members that were involved back then etched into the table top. they also planted a tree near each table. i think it'll all look nice in a few years when the trees are bigger and some grass has started to grow around the area. (they cleared most of it with a bulldozer to get rid of the small mesquite trees and cactus and such, i think.)
monday i spent some time with my grandmother, ate lunch with my parents at a cool little restaurant on the square in brady, then headed off. i stopped in mason where i spent a couple of hours looking through the old deed/grant records. i was trying to find a couple of things: 1) the original land purchases in mason county by my relatives, so i could figure out where that land is, and 2) whether my grandfather bought/owned land and if he lost or sold it. my grandfather was very tight-lipped about some stuff that happened in his life, and we've wondered about business ventures and loss of land. after looking at some of the records, i couldn't figure out much definitively about the original land purchases, but i think my grandfather may have bought some land in 1928 or 1929 and then lost it in the mid or late 30's. i only spent a couple of hours there though, so i didn't get too much research done.
from there i headed to art. i checked out the new sign and gate at the west art cemetery. it looks really nice. but my main goal was finding the grave of my great-great-grandfather, friedrich (fritz) leifeste, who came from germany to Texas in the winter of 1845, arriving in galveston in january of 1846. there is a leifeste cemetery i don't recall ever going to, but i'd talked about it with my dad and he looked it up and said that was where he was buried. a lot of the early cemeteries from that time period are family plots, in fields beside old roads or near where a family house, or they're where a church (long since gone) used to be.
i turned down the dirt county road (north art road) by the art store and starting scanning the sides of the road, since i had no idea how far it was or how far off the road it might be. after half a mile, i saw a very small plot with two markers and a metal wrought-iron fence around it, along the fence-line on the right. i stopped and looked, but it actually turned out to be the grave for daniel hoerster. he was a cattle brands inspector in mason and was killed in 1875 during the hoo doo war. not my ancestor, but an interesting and cool thing to stumble upon. a little further down was a ranch entrance, bearing the hoerster name.
a mile further down (1.5 miles total from highway 29), after cresting the tallest hill, i saw a small cemetery off to my right (probably 50 to 75 yards off the road). i turned and drove through the field to it. i got out and immediately saw some leifeste markers. i went in and looked around, then took a few pictures of the markers for my great-great-grandfather and -grandmother -- sabine (molzberger) leifeste. i then got in my vehicle and headed back to houston.
and finally, i can't fail to mention that while i was poking around online sunday night at my parents' house doing some preliminary online research about land ownership of my ancestors, a search variation on the Texas general land office turned up something particularly cool:
this is a scanned copy of the agreement my great-great-grandfather signed, giving half of the 320 acres he got for being a single man as part of the fisher-miller colonization agreement over to the german emigration and railroad company for their cost in transporting, feeding, etc. him. (and they gave him $1.) this was part of the agreement the germans made in order to get passage to Texas. this document was signed by him on july 15th, 1848.
it also shows information about his arrival in Texas: it says he arrived at the port of galveston on the gerhard hermann from bremen germany on february 20th, 1846. oddly, the ship records for the gerhard hermann show it arriving at galveston on the 10th of january, more than a full month before the date given on this document. january is also the date given by numerous other sites related to the immigration of germans on this specific ship. it's possible february 20th may have been the date he arrived at indianola. or they may have just picked a date at random. or it was a misunderstanding. or they wanted to make his arrival date after Texas ceased to be the republic of Texas (when they raised the u.s. flag over the capitol building, feb 19th, 1846) for some reason. i don't know.
June 13, 2007
this last weekend i went back to brady so i could attend a family reunion. it's not for all leifestes, but just descendents of my great-grandfather.
while driving through austin on my way to brady, i noticed i was passing a green neon -- an older style, with the logo in the raised, rounded plastic that sort of looks like neon. this only had significance to me because when i met tamara back in 1997 she was driving a similar car. before we started hanging out too much, she totalled it by driving at 40mph or so into the back of a ford bronco (or some similar large vehicle). she was looking for a photo developing place and didn't notice the vehicle in front her stopped to make a left turn. her airbag had deployed and she'd gotten some gas burns on one wrist due to her wrist watch, but other than that she was okay (that i recall). she called ash and i later and told us about it, having walked home from the hospital (a couple of miles, probably) since she no longer had a car. we were both shocked she'd do that instead of calling someone, but i had to admit i probably would have done the same thing. anyway, all that to say all of this entered my mind as i noticed it. then as i passed it, the girl driving had shoulder-length-plus dirty blonde hair. she actually looked a fair bit like tamara from back then. and she appeared to be somewhat nervous/upset and kind of freaking out about something, which also fits rather well. it was kind of odd, like there was some sort of rip in the space-time continuum and somehow i was seeing an earlier tamara that hadn't wrecked her beloved neon.
ten or fifteen miles outside of llano, i got trapped behind a slower moving vehicle. eventually he pulled onto the shoulder to let me pass, then almost killed both of us as he whipped back into the lane right in front of me while an oncoming car was headed our way. turns out the shoulder was ending abruptly with nothing but grass and dirt ahead. i'm glad i wasn't too interested in passing in the dark under that scenario. after later passing him, i got trapped behind two more slower cars. after miles of being stuck, i finally got around them. happy to be free, i kept it at around 80 or 85 mph (or maybe a little more...). one to two miles later, a car headed toward me flipped on his blue and red lights. he started to slow down and pull over. when the lights flipped i let off the gas, but i knew he'd already clocked me. as described earlier, there was no shoulder, so i kept driving until i hit somewhere i could pull over...about a mile or two later. having driven through hills and such, i had long ago lost sight of the cars behind him or the cop. i pulled over and waited. and waited. the slow-moving vehicles passed me. but the cop never showed. after a few minutes, i decided he wasn't coming so i took off. i was pretty glad he didn't show up because i was a wee bit worried about how a cop might view my having a couple of pistols and a mini mac-11 in my vehicle (should he find out). there's nothing wrong with it, but if they're not in a good mood or don't like the looks of you, they can still throw their authoritarian weight around. so i still remain ticket-free since the late 90's. (and i'm no law-abiding driver either. it's kind of odd. i think you can get away with a lot in houston traffic most of the time.)
June 9, 2007
saturday evening (last week) after the gun show, i went over to the potts' and ate supper, then watched jesus camp again. i'd seen it with natalie back when it was in the theaters. (i thought i'd mentioned that here in my blog, but i can't find an entry...maybe i never published it or something.) i still felt about the same about the movie this time around. (although you won't know what that is, since i evidently didn't post the other time. maybe i can go find it later....)
sunday after church and lunch i went to the range and fired my new glock 23 and mini mac 9mm. i put about 100 rounds through the glock and about 150 through the mac. i was really happy with the way the glock felt and fired. i can see myself quickly developing a good opinion of it. and the mac -- well, it was a lot of fun. blast and smoke, casings flying, a long string of rapid-fire shots...i'm sure i had a big grin while i was shooting it. it's so fun to be able to revel in one's jr. high fantasies. if you ask nicely, i might be willing to let the mac fulfill your unrealized fantasies as well...so long as you're paying for the ammo and range fees.
tuesday i left work early and participated in a focus group. and i got paid $100 for it. i signed an nda so i guess i can't really talk about it much, but it relates to engines other than regular gas engines in certain vehicles. i was hoping i'd get picked to do some test driving they were supposed to be doing later in the week, but i didn't. i'd never participated in a small focus group before, so it was kind of interesting. there were 8 of us, plus the moderator. we were in a room with a one-way glass mirror so they could watch us and take notes and record things. the group was a somewhat diverse mix of backgrounds and personalities, mostly 30's or 40's, 4 women and 4 men, all white.
last night i had some vivid dreams. in one i was going over to some kind of commune-ish house, and it ended up that tamara was either living there or was visiting friends there or something. i guess one of them was trying to get me to talk with her. it didn't start off well, but i ended up talking with her and she went from being rather mean-spirited and aggressive about stuff to being reasonable. it was a pleasant surprise in the dream, as well as when i woke up and remembered how my mind had pitched her. after going back to sleep, i had a dream where i went into an apartment i was living in and realized someone had broken in and stolen all of my stereo equipment. and possibly a lot of other stuff too. i got insane with rage. i've had similar dreams related to my house a number of times, as well as numerous dreams about my car being stripped, broken into, etc. i hate having stuff stolen from me, and unfortunately twice in the last year or two someone has entered the place i was living and stolen stuff. so i guess it makes sense i'd have dreams now and then where my place or car has been broken into and stuff stolen. it's something i have as an ongoing low-level fear now that i never used to worry too much about. of course, it could also relate to the way i feel about what the legal system did to me regarding my savings and retirement and such from the divorce. only a lawyer (or someone getting something out of the deal) could know anything about the situation and say it was fair with a straight face. but i keep rockin' in the free world.
June 8, 2007
the secret to success: revealed at last!
i got an email today that explains a great mystery i've been perplexed about for most of my life: why have i not been more successful in life? i mean, it's not like i'm a complete wastoid: i'm fairly intelligent; i'm mostly polite and considerate of others; i have all my limbs, fingers, toes, etc.; i've got a good job; i'm pretty responsible; i had a good upbringing; i have a decent sense of humour. yet even given all that, i still feel chewed up and spit out by life. i mean, i felt compelled to get the domain name failure.net, didn't i? how could things be this way? what i learned today -- so eloquently and succinctly stated in the email -- was:
Men with big d!cks are more successful in life than the ones with small d!cks. So be successful with Pen!s Enlarge Patch.
("i"'s inverted by me to help protect my blog's good name from content filters/blockers.)
how is it i didn't make this connection? fortunately, it also provides a rather simple solution, and a link. (you'll forgive me for not including the link. i can't be sharing the secrets of my future success with just anybody on the internet, you know.) although i can't remember meeting or knowing the person who cared enough to email me this valuable information, i'm sure i'll be singing the praises of "katherine cummings" when i become big and successful.
June 7, 2007
saturday i managed to pull myself out of bed around 9:00am, even though i'd not gotten into bed until around 3am. (trying to catch up on my reading of wired and Texas monthly -- i'm in february now.) i got up, hopped on my motorcycle, and headed to the george r. brown convention center. why? why, for the gun show, of course! (i figured the title might have suggested that already.)
it'd been years and years since i'd been to a gun show. probably 18 years or more (that i recall). growing up, my dad had gone to gun shows quite a bit, usually but not always getting a table or tables, sometimes with friends of his. my brother and i would generally tag along, meaning we had plenty of opportunity to meet other regulars and spend weekends in the summer drooling over things like dart guns, butterfly knives, throwing stars, cool looking pistols and guns, and "brass paperweights made in the shape of authentic brass knuckles". okay, fond memories aside, gun shows are kind of odd: lots of weapons of various kinds, lots of people of various types -- a portion of which you'd rather not imagine with firearms.
i met a couple of co-workers there and walked around looking at the various wares. i was hoping to pick up a "they can have my guns when they pry them from my cold, dead fingers" bumper sticker -- the final one i need to complete the bumper sticker trinity on my pickup -- but there was only one place with bumper stickers and they didn't have one. to be honest, it made me sad. i mean, it seems kind of wrong to not find those at a gun show. anyway, we walked through the place, my interest being mostly in galils and ak-47's. at a table with a variety of shirts, i asked my co-workers how they thought it'd go over if i bought and wore to work a black t-shirt that said in bright red capital letters "the only reason some people are alive is because it's illegal to kill them". (i ended up not buying it. there's always next time, right?)
once the walk-through was done, the galil selection turned out to be minimal -- 3 of them, all made by century arms. the ak-47 selection, on the other hand, was all over and quite varied -- lots of century arms, a few locally built, and lots of unknown origins. but what'd really caught my eye was a mini mac-11 9mm. this particular model is made by masterpiece arms.
i must admit here that much of my junior high fantasies were fueled by mac-10's, mac-11's, uzi's, m-16's, ar-15's, sterling mark vi's, etc. and it seemed like it'd been a long enough wait for the fulfillment of said fantasies. though tamara always claimed she supported 2nd amendment rights, it was definitely an intellectual and not practical position. there's a good reason she didn't want any guns in our house -- a position which i understood and agreed to and obeyed -- but the one time i tried to get her to go out with me and plink with a .22 in brady, her responses and reactions were rather confusing, then surprising, then frustrating. (ask me about it sometime, if you're interested.)
anyway, all that to say, now that tamara forcibly removed herself from my life, i have the ability to buy guns and have them in my house. however, i couldn't remember what kind of rep mpa (masterpiece arms) had, so i wasn't sure about buying the mini mac-11. i was interested in buying a galil but undecided since the selection wasn't too interesting. and the ak-47 choices left me with a bit to think about as far as quality, price range, etc. by this time it was 12:30pm or so and the co-workers were going to leave, so i agreed to go eat lunch with them.
after lunch i went back home and did some research on mpa. they had a good rep as far as mac's go, so i decided to go back and buy it. i hopped in the pickup (the most appropriate of my vehicles for buying guns in, i think) and headed back to the gun show.
well, i evidently missed all the fun. while i was gone to lunch and looking up info on the internet, some fellow shot himself in the hand with a glock .40 caliber pistol he'd brought in. he was evidently buying a new recoil spring, and in the process of replacing it shot himself. (?) i overheard people talking about it while i was there, but i never knew what happened until i read the news online later.
once back, i went over and purchased the mini mac-11. i then carried it around until i stopped at a magazine table and picked up an extra magazine. (not the reading kind of magazine.) the mpa mini mac-11 uses standard sten mags, so they're pretty plentiful (although old and hit-or-miss as far as quality, seeing as many of them were built (and used) during world war ii). i walked past the galils a few times before deciding i would definitely wait. i finally decided to start looking for something else. i walked the whole place again to get prices on one pistol.
with about 45 minutes left, i went back and talked to a local ak shop -- south Texas armory. (they're pretty new -- not sure exactly what the history is with them, but they seem to have come out of another local shop.) i had decided i would buy one of their polish-based ak-47's, but it tuns out they weren't set up to take credit cards. i had gone to an atm to get cash to pay for the mac, but i didn't have enough to get the ak. so i told him i would call about coming by their shop sometime. another local ak shop with a booth was global trades (and evidently these two are somehow connected in the past), but they only had a couple of ak's for sale at the show.
not being able to get the ak-47, i went to my backup purchase - a glock 23. the glock 23 is a mid-size (compact) frame .40 caliber. i decided to purchase a new one with night sights (self-illuminated tritium-based sights). since i already have a .40 caliber taurus, i figured it coudn't hurt to have a second .40. plus glocks are pretty popular and have a pretty good rep, so i figured i should get one so i could see what all of the fuss was about.
and this brings me to a prime example of people you'd rather not imagine with firearms. while i was walking the table, i overheard a larger black woman in skimpy clothes (and the requisite tattoos, including the name tatt in cursive on the upper part of her breast, of course) say to her husband or boyfriend "ooh, i want that one" while pointing to a cute-as-a-button little nickled taurus with pink pearl hand grips. (probably this gun.)
while making my purchase she ended up sitting next to me. a woman was helping her fill out the forms and such. another guy was helping a guy buying a shotgun, and while looking in the box and walking by us he said "oh, it does come with a pistol grip." pearl (probably not her real name) said "it comes with what?" to which the guy replied "no, i was talking to him." i kind of laughed under my breath and said "i hope it comes with a pistol grip." (in my head adding "since it's, like, a pistol, and all.") evidently pearl was already distracted looking through the taurus case, because she soon somewhat belligerently said "i don't see no....grip, or whatever, in here...." the lady helping her explained he had been talking to the man buying a shotgun.
soon pearl thought of something new: "so i can carry this around." the saleswoman replied: "you'll need a conceal license for that." "a what?" "a license to carry a concealed weapon." "where can i get one of those?" "you have to take a class." at this point i mentioned where i took mine, and where it was located. pearl went right back: "so i can have it at home?" "yes." "and i can take it to work with me." "well, you'd need a chl for that." "a what? what's that?" "a conceal license." "oh. so how many bullets does this take?" the saleswoman looked at the box to try and find out. "where can i get some bullets?" "see the table right over there that says 'ammo'?" and i must not forget to mention that of course when she was taking her change the bills were folded and tucked near her heart.
i can just imagine the joy pearl is going to have in pulling her cute little new piece out of her purse to impress all of her lady friends the next time they're together. i hope she doesn't accidentally shoot one of them.
and thus ends my tale of the gun show.
June 5, 2007
geek gathering -- june '07
friday was the geek gathering. it took place up at the petrol station in the heights. the former owner of kaveh kanes -- ben -- is the owner. we had a couple of gatherings there a year or two ago. this time it was because he was showing the movie tron and we were co-sponsors. although i'd planned to get there around 7:15pm, an "emergency" came up at work around 6pm and i had to work on it until around 7:30pm. so i didn't make it out until late. it's a cool independent place to hang out and drink some coffee or beer. the weather was nice, so we sat outside. dwight gave me a copy of his new book about vista. it's cool he's got a book, and that the radio show is mentioned...but i'm not sure what to do with a book about vista. it's kind of like being an aggie and having a longhorn jersey. anyway.... once there, i learned the projector bulb had just burned out recently, so they were going to show the movie on the big screen inside instead of outside on the wall. i had brought a cigar and was enjoying sitting outside, so i never made it in to watch the movie. and i love tron. (unlike dwight. poor, confused soul.) i had some enjoyable conversations with various members of the techbytes crew before and during the movie. the turnout was decent, a mix of some of the regulars and a few new people. at some point a lady came over and starting talking about art cars. that was cool, but as time wore on and she drank more wine, she became more paranoid, cocky, and contradictory. not a good combination. she talked about how we had lost all of our freedom in this country to speak against the government. about how so many people are having their conversations recorded. about how great s.a.p. is. she asked for a puff of my cigar. uh...yeah, no. anyway, in the end she was going on about how men were scared of intelligent women, how she made six figures and didn't need a guy to take care of her, and how an intelligent woman wouldn't bother with this kind of stuff so that's why she was leaving. she proceeded to display her intelligence by listening to see what we said as she was walking away (hoping to get in a few more barbs i guess, or see how deeply she'd affected us), then getting in her car and driving off in her inebriated state. brilliant, i say. after that odd detour, i ended up talking with treocast for a couple of hours about music, the riaa, internet radio, and all kinds of good things. he's a sharp guy and fun to talk with. (and no, that doesn't mean we agree on everything. :) i left around 1am and headed home.