Archive for the ‘Admin’ Category

Yearly administrative note.

Friday, December 4th, 2015

This is your yearly reminder: if you use the Amazon search box on the right hand side of the page to buy stuff, I get a small kickback.

Said small kickback, as you all know, goes to purchasing toys for crippled orphans supporting this blog, mostly by enabling our purchases of Robert Ruark and Jack O’Connor books, along with other crap in general.

(Speaking of Ruark, I’m reminded that I have two historical notes coming up back to back before the year is over. One of those should be of some interest to Lawrence…)

(And speaking of Lawrence, I would be remiss if I did not note, as I do every year, that books from Lame Excuse Books make fine presents for the holidays, especially if you have SF or horror fans on your shopping list.)

I believe I recommended Amy Alkon’s Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck last year, but I’ll plug it again as she deserves it.

Another book that was loaned to me by a friend, and that I’ve almost finished – I will be purchasing my own copy, so I have no qualms about recommending it – is Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. I somehow missed this when it came out in 2012, but it’s a very good book about the psychology of introversion, how to cope with being an introvert, and how to cope with significant others/family members who are introverts (if you’re an extrovert) or extroverts (if you’re an introvert).

I don’t see a shipping date for Archer Season 6 yet, but How to Archer: The Ultimate Guide to Espionage and Style and Women and Also Cocktails Ever Written made me laugh more than a cheap TV tie-in book by some anonymous ghostwriter had any right to. (But get the Kindle edition, or a used copy.)

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Edited to add: Also. If I’ve managed to irritate you, please consider supporting the fine folks at Popehat through their Amazon link instead.

Also also: I haven’t given them any money, but I’ve always been kind of fond of the HouChron‘s “Goodfellows” program.

Also also also: the Reason Foundation is having their annual fundraising drive. And they will accept bitcoins, too.

Random notes: November 1, 2015.

Sunday, November 1st, 2015

In case anyone was wondering, the hand surgery went about as well as I expected: in that, I lived through it and didn’t die on the table from a bad reaction to the anesthesia or something else. My left hand is still wrapped tightly, but I’m approaching maybe 1 1/3 hand functionality. At this point, I’m off painkillers and it really doesn’t bother me: the itching is more disturbing than anything else.

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I’d managed to avoid breaking any bones or surgery requiring more than a local anesthetic for over 50 years. So much for that record.

I think what bothers me the most was the loss of continuity of consciousness, if that makes any sense. What I mean: one moment, they’re telling me that they’re going to put a sedative in my IV line. Next thing I know, they’re telling me the surgery is over and I’m okay. It just feels…weird, for reasons I can’t articulate. It’s not like going to sleep: it feels more like a gap during which I stopped processing memories. I need to think through this some more.

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I haven’t seen this covered elsewhere yet, and I’d really like to see coverage in someplace I trust more than the WP, but: the FBI is switching back to the 9mm, and away from the .40.

The new 9mm round — known to gun aficionados as the 147 grain Speer Gold Dot G2 — is significantly more effective than what FBI agents carried into the field in 1986. According to Cook, the bullet has been rigorously tested and has received high marks in the FBI’s most important category for bullet selection: penetration.

This also means new pistols for the FBI, and that’s going to be a windfall for somebody. It also won’t shock me to see the current administration attempting to use the procurement process to advance their political goals…

“We are on a completely different program,” one senior HRT operator said, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the team’s arsenal.

Heh.

Admin note.

Monday, October 26th, 2015

Blogging may be a little slow for a bit. In particular, TMQ Watch may not go up tomorrow again.

The backstory here is that I managed to hurt myself Saturday afternoon somewhat seriously. There is a backstory to that which I may go into later. Anyway, one ER visit and two doctor visits later, I’m resting more or less comfortably, but typing one-handed. I go in tomorrow for surgery on my left hand; it will be outpatient surgery, but with general anesthesia and a nerve block, so I expect this to be a most-of-the-day affair, and to be pretty messed up for some hours afterwards.

So things will be catch as catch can for a bit. Wish me luck if you feel so inclined.

Blog shoot October 10th.

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

I’ve been negligent in announcing this; partly because I figure everyone who reads this blog reads Battleswarm, and partly because it looked like there may be some complications.

Now it looks like the complications have worked themselves out, so: this a general reminder that Lawrence and I are planning a blog shoot at Eagle Peak at 5 PM on Saturday, October 10th. This will be followed by dinner at the Oasis at 7 PM.
More details over at Lawrence’s blog. Contact me here if you have questions.

TMQ Watch: August 25, 2015.

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

Well. Well well well. Well.

We’ve been wondering when the first TMQ of the season was going to show up. We’re well into the pre-season and there’s no TMQ on the ESPN site. We’ve been watching Easterbrook’s Twitter: usually he links to his columns there, but there’s been nothing.

Apparently we missed the news. We fired up the Googles, and according to a certain website (one we have a policy of not linking to), Easterbrook’s deal with ESPN wasn’t renewed at the end of the 2014 season.

We would figure that Easterbrook would take TMQ elsewhere, and that he’d link to it on his Twitter, but perhaps he’s grown weary of writing it?

Tonight, when we get home, we’ll pour out a blueberry-almond martini for TMQ. If the column does show up someplace else, we’ll let you know, but we won’t promise that we’ll link to it or resume TMQ Watch: if Easterbrook goes somewhere like Salon or Slate, for example, we won’t follow him there.

Obit watch: June 9, 2015.

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

Vincent Bugliosi, former LA County deputy DA, the man who prosecuted Charles Manson, and co-author (with Curt Gentry) of Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders. (Edited to add: NYT obit.)

(I’m back home now and slowly dipping my toes into the water. After action report to come soon-ish.)

Obit watch: April 14, 2015.

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

Günter Grass, noted German writer.

Somehow, I managed to miss his admission that he was an SS member during the war.

(Sorry for the radio silence the past few days. I’ve been on the road and just got home last night. More about this later.)

Your city council, ladies and gentlemen.

Friday, January 16th, 2015

I just finished updating the “Contact information for the Austin City Council” page with the latest information. Please let me know if you find any errors or omissions.

The pages on the city website appear to have eliminated actual email addresses (relying instead on contact forms): if you happen to have a real address for your council member, you might share it. Fax numbers are also not present, but that may be an artifact: it looks like they’ve reorganized the phone system to make things a little more logical.

It hasn’t been that long since the council was sworn in, and I’m sure it will take some time for the council members to get their individual pages set up the way they’d like. I’ll try to keep an eye out for changes, but, again, I’d appreciate help from my readers on that.

I still need to get the Travis County Commissioner’s Court page updated, but with a little bit of luck I’ll be able to do that on my lunch hour.

Edited to add: The Commissioner’s Court page is now updated.

Random notes: January 15, 2015.

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

Obit watch: Phil Africa, “a high-ranking member of the Philadelphia-based black-liberation group Move”. You may remember MOVE from the 1985 Philadelphia police stand-off and bombing. Phil Africa was not involved in that, as he was already serving time for killing a police officer in the 1978 shootout.

It was unclear why the man was wearing body armor.

I’m just going to take a wild guess here and suggest he was wearing body armor because HE DIDN’T WANT TO GET SHOT!

(Oh, and for the record: both the gun and body armor were stolen from a sheriff’s deputy.)

Neat story:

Archaeologists conducting surveys in Nevada’s Great Basin National Park came upon a gun frozen in time: a .44-40 Winchester rifle manufactured in 1882. It was propped up against a juniper tree.

Some more detail here and here. (Interestingly, at the time I’m writing this, that story is the most-read one on the WP website.)

Annual reminder.

Monday, December 1st, 2014

This is your reminder that, if you use the Amazon link on the right-hand sidebar to do your holiday shopping, I get a small kickback.

Said small kickbacks keep this blog flush, and support my bad habit of purchasing firearms related books. (I am currently pinching pennies towards purchasing a copy of The Rifleman’s Rifle, which is apparently printed on the hide of baby unicorns or something equally expensive.)

Lawrence and Popehat are also deserving of your support, if you’d rather fling money at somebody else.

Speaking of Lawrence, this is also your annual reminder that books from Lame Excuse Books make swell presents for every major and minor holiday, especially if you have an SF fan in your life.

Quick admin note.

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

I haven’t forgotten about TMQ, and I hope to have this week’s TMQ Watch up by tomorrow night.

I’m also working on an after-action report for my recent travels, and I’m hoping to have that done by the weekend.

I’ve just been busy with various minor annoyances, as well as putting in a few extra hours at work, and haven’t been able to devote all the time I would like to these things. Real soon now, I promise.

(There will probably also be another post somewhat related to events of the past weekend, but it is looking like that will be a ways down the road.)

Administrative and other notes: November 5, 2014.

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

Happy Guy Fawkes Day. While you’re out and about, please remember poor Guido, the last man to enter the Houses of Parliament with honorable intentions.

It seems kind of fitting that that the holiday falls today. Beyond that, I don’t have much to say about the elections for reasons of time and inclination. Battleswarm is a good place to go if you’re looking for that.

I will be updating the contact pages on this site, but I’m going to wait until after the runoffs are over, everyone is sworn in, and they actually have pages to link to. If this does get past me for some reason, please yell at me until it gets done.

I’m going to avoid my usual “what China needs” snark here, because this is a little scary: Brittney Griner attacked in China by a man with a knife.

Griner sustained a small cut when she was attacked by a man while boarding a bus after practice Monday in Shenyang. The man, who followed the players onto the bus, also stabbed one of Griner’s teammates. She was wearing two jackets and wasn’t injured because the knife didn’t go through.

How did Peter Siebold (the other Virgin Galactic pilot) survive a bailout from 50,000 feet without a pressure suit? Bonus: quotes from Bob Hoover. The Bill Weaver story is also touched on briefly: a fuller account can be found here.

Things may be slow from Thursday until Monday. We will see.