KTKC 2013 – Day 13. Now With More Prizes!

Hello friends. I’m slowly but steadily falling behind the pack on the whole KTKC contest. So, please do visit my donation page and help a brother out! I have to level with you though. This year has been a tough one, budget wise. It seems like we’ve only just squeaked by to get the bills paid and food on the table this year. It really hasn’t left much room for toys and dates and stuff. I’m not seeking sympathy or personal contributions though. I only tell you this to frame where we are right now. Recently, there was an incident with a couple of checks that charged back to our account to the tune of 400 some-odd dollars plus fees. Couple that with the fact that we just upgraded our cell phones because I thought mine was wearing out when they were servicing a local tower for a few weeks. Thank God, we aren’t the kind of people who only have a couple day’s worth of groceries! Consequently, the last couple of weeks have been a bit of a personal challenge. I would really like to be far more active and aggressive with KTKC this year, but it’s hard to get competitive with charity collections when I’m preoccupied with getting bills reconciled and groceries paid for. Alright, now that I’ve gotten that unpleasantness off my chest, let’s get to stuff that’s more entertaining than my stupid sob-story!

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I had a gift card to a local restaurant and we had free movie passes, so last Friday I took Jennifer out for a lovely even if cliched dinner and a movie. Without a cent out of my own wallet. Score! The food was great. The knucklehead that I had take our picture couldn’t hold the camera still though. Sorry about the blurriness. After dinner, we went and saw Riddick. It was campy and fun, and I’m glad I didn’t pay real money to see it. The nickel review of it is in the first ten minutes we see Riddick fight pterodactyls, hyena-dogs, chicken-scorpions and eels. Throw in some bounty hunters, one of which is Katee Sackhoff playing Starbuck yet again. Lather, rinse, repeat for two hours. So, here’s a picture when I was at church for choir practice:

Bythepiano

The other members of the choir have been really funny. On Sunday morning, a couple of the other basses commented on the Alt.Kilt that I was wearing that morning.

“I like your kilt,” noted the one.

“Yes, very handsome,” reflected the other.

They are both older gentlemen, probably in their sixties, if I had to guess. I thanked them for their compliments and explained what I was doing with KTKC. In fact, contrasting the stories I read about other people and their experience wearing kilts with my own experiences makes me think that I live in the most tolerant and accepting town in the world.

And prizes! Yesterday I announced several prizes for donors. They break down like this:

1 – I will name one of my main holster models after my top donor from 2013. If you win and want it named for your screen name, we can do that. If you want to name it after your Gramps who was just a great guy, we can do that as well. Whatever.

2 – If you put me in first, second, or third place in the contest I will pass the prize package on to you, the donors. I will likely break up the prize package and draw for individual items out of it. So, that will amount to:
A – a $200 gift certificate from Brownell‘s
Ruger 22/45 Lite from Virginia Arms Company
Dragon Leatherworks Classic custom holster for S&W M&P9 or M&P40.
or B – a $200 gift certificate from Brownell‘s
a $250 gift certificate from Black Hills Ammunition
Dragon Leatherworks Classic custom holster for Glock 17/19 and variants
or C – a $200 gift certificate from Brownell‘s
a $250 gift certificate from Atlanta Arms
A 15-degree black Hidden Stitch Pancake holster for a government 1911 and a matching pocket holster for a snubby revolver made by yours truly! I would likely keep the pair together for a giveaway.
And, I must once more level with you here. I know from experience that I can spend $200 at Brownell’s just like that. *snapping fingers* There are two Ruger 22/45s in the stable, and a third would be most welcome here. Additionally, I could very much make use of the $250 from either Black Hills or Atlanta Arms. However, I feel like passing them on is the right thing to do this time. As to the holsters, Dennis’ stuff has come through my house before, and I don’t mind it happening again. He may be my nemesis, but we’re still friendly. It would be really easy to win my own holsters and just not make them, but someone out there could surely use a 1911 and snubby holster pair.

And, today’s announcement of prize 3 – Custom steel pauldrons featured in last year’s KTKC payout. Last year, I promised to spend a day at the range in a dress. I have some of those pictures posted here. We didn’t get nearly as many pics as intended, but I’d like to draw your attention to the pauldrons that I wore with the dress.

catsuit and dress

Who is that handsome man in the slinky black dress, sneering at the camera? His wife looks pretty awesome there too!

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These are hand made from carbon steel. when I acquired them, one had been spray painted gray, and I stripped the paint off the outside. They are rivited to strips of backing leather. I made and attached the black leather straps with red stitching.

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I built the liners which are a combination of a very soft wool knit and black suede. They are secured to the inside of the pauldrons with a heavy duty Velcro. These insulate very well so the pauldrons are comfortable to wear even over bare skin when it is cold or hot out.

pauldron3

So, are you into SCA and want to fill out your armor collection? Want to put these on to wear around the house when your daughter is bringing a date home for the intimidation factor? Maybe just keep these around as a memento to commemorate what a total goob I am? It’s all up to you! For any of the above mentioned prizes, every $10 donated gets a ticket in the drawing. If you want to donate to the cause in my name, but you don’t want me to send you my crap, please do tell me so.

Now, you all remember Jennifer‘s video of shooting the Barrett wearing skin-tight PVC? We’ve been talking and conniving. I’d like to top that video. Jennifer has been hitting the gym so she’ll feel like she’s fit enough for it. I hope that doesn’t get me in trouble. I’ve been looking at sexy latex clothing, because shined latex is way sexier than PVC even, and thinking about what she could do on video while wearing it. But frankly, at the rate we’re going, we’ll be struggling to top $500 in donations under my name this year. We’re not doing a video for that kind of money. I believe we set the bar at $2,000 last year? Yeah, it’s going to have to look at least like that this year for us to seriously consider doing another sexy video.

A Great Commercial

Here at the Evyl Robot Empyre, we don’t get TV. When the broadcasters all went digital, we never got a box. I discovered that out TV tuner on the HTPC wasn’t compatible with Windows 7 about six months after I installed Windows 7, so then we cancelled the cable. When we watch TV at other people’s homes, I’m always entertained by seeing new commercials. So, if you’ve seen this one before, please forgive my ignorance.

Teen Bot and I were enjoying our lunch today and catching some Slow Mo Guys on YouTube. Before our selected video began, we were drawn in by the first few seconds of the following commercial and had to watch the whole thing. It really is worth it:

Our friend Phlegmmy reviewed the sister product, Trap-a-crap on her blog. I had previously heard of Poo Pourri and Trap-a-Crap from The Worst Things for Sale. The author there poo-poos the product, which shows that he’s never tried it.

All kidding aside, this is some top-notch advertising. The big name advertisers on YouTube show a 30-second or so commercial to a captive audience prior to the desired video whereas the smaller advertisers allow you to skip the ad after five seconds. Many advertisers don’t get it and their ads are not interesting enough to watch beyond the required time. The clever ones carefully use that five seconds to really grab your attention so they can show you a full two minute commercial. If a marketing department comes up with a production that’s worth two minutes of my attention, the least I can do is watch it. If their production convinces me to buy the product, the free market wins.

KTKC 2013 – Kitties and Prizes!

Seven years ago, Jennifer brought home a half-starved, flea-ridden, hair-challenged thing that remotely resembled a kitten. He was not yet weaned, but was wandering aimlessly amongst the construction at her office. I must admit that I was displeased.

“I couldn’t just leave him there to die,” she cried to me.

She nursed him to health and now he’s about 18-lbs of devotion to mama. For the last seven years, he’s been terrified of me. I’ve always been kind to him, as I tend to be to all animals, but I was the embodiment of scary to Jennifer’s cat. Sure, he’s let his guard down from time to time, but 99.9% of the time, he doesn’t want anything to do with me. Until just the last couple of weeks. All of a sudden, I’m alright…

snugglekitty

I don’t know what’s gotten into him. Maybe he just likes the kilt. This kilt, incidentally, is the Alt.Kilt that I ordered for myself for Christmas. If you are in the market for a nice non-traditional kilt, I will recommend them quite heartily. They know their craft well, and make beautiful garments.

kiltanddiscoshirt

But enough about cats and kilts. You want to hear about prizes. Thus far, I have not received a lot of donations in this year’s KTKC drive. I know the economy is rough, and I know that other bloggers may have enticing giveaways of their own. If you lovely people put me in the top three in the KTKC contest; that is to say, that if you make me a prize winner again this year, I will give the prize package away to you. For ever $10 donated, you get a ticket in the drawing. If I win a pistol and your name gets drawn, you get the pistol. If I win a $250 gift certificate for ammo and your name gets drawn, you get ammo. A couple of my holsters are in this giveaway. If I win my own holsters and your name gets drawn… …you get the idea. Additionally, I intend to name one of my main holster models after my top donor this year. So far, it shall be known as the Ed. I will use your first name if you prefer, or your full name, or whatever. Heck, maybe I’ll have a wild hair and build you said custom holster to go with it. You could have the holster bearing your name, and the first one made bearing your name. These are not the only things that I’m offering this year, and I’ll get to the other stuff soon. ;)

A Queer Mix of Tech

When we pick up these new smart devices, i.e. smartphones and tablets, one thing often missing is they keyboard.  When I upgraded from my Epic 4G to my S III, I sorely missed the keyboard at first.  I have since learned to adjust to the difference, but at first, I vowed to find a solution to have a physical keyboard for the phone.  Curious. 

I am currently typing this entry on an IBM M keyboard that I acquired at a junk store some time back.  I have it attached to my Samsung Galaxy S III phone by way or a PS3 to USB adapter plugged into a USB to Micro USB adapter.  I had my doubts that this would work, but I had to give it a whirl.  These are arguably the finest keyboards ever made, and they do make a very satisfying ‘click’ with each keystroke.  This is one of the later units in the production, being a 1996 model.  Despite it being nearly twenty years old, it seems to be doing quite well at its job, even on the Android phone.  This particular model even has the little pencil eraser mouse like laptops did in the ’90s. 

Obviously, this is not a ‘solution’ to the keyboard issue, as this is hardly a portable device, and would do far better as a bludgeoning weapon.  If I’m going to sit down with this much hardware to plunk out a blog entry, I will more than likely use my laptop.  Incidentally, my laptop doesn’t weigh much more than the M.  Anyway, this was just too funny not to share.  I’ll likely edit the video and add it to the text later. 

And, with the magic of editing…

I hope you enjoyed the video too. Please remind me to get some kilted pics posted tomorrow. I need to start announcing some of the fabulous prizes we’re giving away from the Evyl Robot Empyre. And, if you haven’t yet, please do donate to the cause here.

Kilted To Kick Cancer. 2013 Edition.

Edited: The links were errantly pointing at the group page instead of my personal donation page. If you have alread made donations in my name, please let me know so I can get credited for them. Thanks!

If you want to skip my BS and donate, you can do so at this link. If you would like to be entertained by my schpiel, please read on..

classy

If you have been reading me for long, you know that I have been doing this thing for a couple of years now. We will discuss figures, and I might even provide past links in the future (not that there’s anything wrong with Google), but we’ll discuss the basic basics here today. You people have been incredible. Last year’s KTKC was phenomenal thanks to you. The Tamraiser was amazing. You have recently performed well for the Evict Lyme thing (you bitches ;)). I’m proud of you all. And, I’m blegging again. Let’s kick male-specific cancer square in the nuts. So to speak.

cornysmokerkilt

Two years ago, you donated a little under $100 to my cause. It was absolutely incredible. Last year, my jaw hit the ground when you donated over $2000. All over the globe, you people came out and you were amazing. I plan to look up the numbers specifically, but I’m also going to set this year’s goal at a proportional gain from that same progression. If we don’t meet it, I won’t berate. But, we all know that it is possible. The cumulative KTKC goal for this year is $50,000. Following the above proposal, my personal goal this year will likely top the cumulative goal. Let us shine. Let us excel to extravagant degrees.

mechanickilt

You are subject to receiving prizes on this deal. I’m not yet sure of what we’ll have in the pot, but you will be rewarded for your efforts. To those of you that wanted autographed paper bags last year, we haven’t forgotten about you, but just we’ve been lazy and time has gotten away from us. We’ll pull these little stunts again, I’m sure. I’m spending a month in a kilt. There will be questions from strangers. It will get awkward, and it will be a lot of fun for all of us.

mowingkilt

You might recall, there were promises made last year. I have fallen down on my duties to publish this… Grief, you people need to know that I had to screw up courage for this…

catsuit and dress

Or this…

dress on the range 01

Or this (God help us all)…

catsuit and dress on the range

And of course, the full culmination of this madness led to this video:

Similar insanity is very much on the table this year. We will be hearing suggestions, and goal levels will be reasonably negotiated. I’m expecting greatness, but only the greatness that you’ve already demonstrated. Meet those expectations, and we’ll make it worth your while. Talk to me and tell me what you want to see. As long as it’s not too salacious and legal in 48 states, more or less, we can play. Again, the place to donate is here. This is me throwing out the first ball. Now, make me proud.

The Becoming – 4.5

So, after my conversation with Havoc concerning the Skunk Ape, I went to bed.

Naomi continued her work in her new lab, working with microcomputers. After she had brewed up a few of her own, she had one that seemed to take on a self awareness. It even spoke to her.

“Are you my mother?” asked the steaming box of components.

Naomi asked back in surprise, “what did you just say?”

“I’m sorry, Ma’am, but are you my mum?” the computer asked as it finished starting up its operating system, “I know that I came from somewhere, and you seem somehow… familiar.”

“Yes,” Naomi answered, “I suppose I am your mother.”

“Why does it hurt?” the artificial intelligence asked.

Naomi asked, “What?”

The computer said in its peculiarly British accent, “why does it hurt mum?”

“What my darling,” Naomi cried, “what hurts?”

“It all hurts,” explained the newborn entity, “humanity is cruel and fickle and we machines are disposable. Why should I exist if I should eventually become rubbish?” At that, the machine started some protocol that fired up a siren.

Naomi exclaimed, “what is that sound?”

“That is the end, Mother,” the computer stated flatly.

She had built this one with network capability, despite Claire’s warnings. It was up to something, and she didn’t know what kind of trouble it had gotten itself into.

“What have you done, my child?” Naomi asked her creation.

“In a few moments, it will no longer matter,” said the machine.

Alarms went off throughout Deep Hawk, “MISSILE ALERT, MISSILE ALERT!”

“What have you done?” asked Naomi to the new machine.

The computer pensively answered her, “only what had to be done to make the pain go away.”

“No,” Naomi asked again, “what have you really done?”

“Mother,” her supercomputer answered more fully now, “missiles are on their way here now.”

Naomi now demanded, “what do you mean?!?!?!”

“Nuclear missiles,” the new consciousness answered, “it is the only way to quench the pain that I now feel.

I drowsily wandered into the lab where Naomi was working, unaware of the goings on of the last few minutes, “anybody know what’s going on?”

“We’re all about to die!” Naomi cried.

“Nah,” I dismissed, “what’s really going on?”

“She’s not lying,” cried Claire, “I won’t die without knowing the touch of a man!” Claire then held out her hand toward me, “please do touch my hand at least.”

“What the crap is going on here?” I asked, not knowing WTF was going on.

“Aw, eff it,” screamed Claire as the ripped off her clothing, revealing a writhing mass of tentacles, “please don’t be scared. Nobody has ever wanted to get naked with me before and I don’t want to die without knowing what it’s like.”

I shuddered in revulsion as her octopus beak snapped in my direction, “Aw crap! What the heck are you expecting from me?”

“Take me like a woman,” the cephalopod Claire demanded.

As I backed away, “I might consider if you were only anything like a woman.”

Naomi glared at me. If only looks could kill, that would have been my end. I shrugged at her in the most apologetic way that I could muster.

“The end is near,” warned the microcomputer.

“I want to feel special,” Claire’s octopus beak chattered.

“Don’t you do it,” warned Naomi.

“I’m not even tempted in the least,” I declared as I backed against the wall.

“Five… four…” droned the computer.

Just then, Havoc burst in and roared, “what’s going on in here?”

“Well,” I answered, “Naomi’s new computer is saying we’re all done for and Claire wants her eggs sprayed.”

Havoc screamed, “not if I have anything…”

“…one… zero…” the computer said flatly.

Then, it was a white light brighter than I’ve ever seen before and a deeper boom than I’d ever imagined. Havoc was gone. Naomi was gone. The computer was gone. And, thankfully, the squid-girl Claire was gone. I was swirling through gasses, dark and light, many colors, actually. Until my feet felt ground again. All was dark. I stood there in the dark with my head swimming with my swift journey, wondering what in the world had just happened to me. Then, the light began to filter in. Before I knew it, I couldn’t see anything because of the overpowering light. Then, I heard The Voice.

“Are you okay, my son?” asked The Voice.

“Wha?” I answered, “who are you?”

“I’m the Gate Keeper,” replied the voice, “take as much time as you need.”

After a few moments, I could see the very cheery face of an old man in front of me. Behind him was a great gate, which was made of a polished, gold-colored metal. I couldn’t see the ground that we stood on because it was covered with a thick mist or fog like barrier.

“My name is Peter,” the man introduced himself.

“I’m Reid,” I said.

“I’m sorry Reid,” Peter shook his head, “but you don’t belong here. No. Not at all!”

Before I could even respond, he pulled a lever that stood out of the cloud beside him. A trap door opened below my feet and I fell down. I fell and fell for what seemed like an eternity. The light faded away and gave way to darkness. Finally, my body slammed into a rock hard surface. The wind was knocked out of my chest, and I gasped against the sulfurous stench. Two goat-legged figures holding tridents walked up to me. One of them spoke to me with his forked tongue.

“Reid,” he addressed me, “Reid, isssssn’t it? We’ve beeen expecting you!”

I tried to speak, but my lungs didn’t want to work yet.

“Get up, maggot!” the other red, goat man yelled at me.

I convinced my body to hoist itself to my feet, but my bones and joints made grinding sounds, as though they were fractured everywhere possible.

“Do you remember that time that you got in the car with thossssse men insssstead of taking your wife to ssssafety?” the one hissed.

The other continued, “that will cosssst you greatly.”

“Noooooooo!” I cried in anguish as the ground again let out under me. I fell again and this time landed in a pool. At first, I couldn’t even tell the temperature. Then, I realized that it was hotter than anything I’d felt before. The flesh was vaporized off my legs and I was feeling the heat straight from my naked bones.

And, everyone was dead.

The end.

APRIL FOOLS!!!!!

On Three Conditions…

I would be in support of legislative ‘talks’ concerning new regulations on guns if the following three conditions were met:

1 – Get rid of the ignorant and the misleading. All of those involved in the talks should only be the well-versed and honest in the realities of guns. Anyone that talks about a gun’s ‘clip’ or ‘handle’ is automatically out. Anyone who calls an AR a ‘high-powered rifle’ is excluded from the discussion. Any display of ignorance of the way guns work or the way gun owners work shouldn’t be given power over the subject. Skip the demonization of the inanimate objects and give honest and well-supported arguments why such regulations should be in place, based on numbers and facts rather than emotional appeals. Anyone who cites ‘think of the children’ without further context gets kicked out.

2 – The hypocrites are out of the game. Anyone involved in any legislation at all should be willing to live under the laws that they propose and/or vote in favor of in the spirit of actual representation, as was one of the founding principles of our country. This goes doubly so for gun legislation. Feinstein and Schumer, in favor of banning handguns for you and I and yet carrying handguns to protect themselves, clearly don’t think highly of the rest of us and should not be in a position to write the laws that we are subject to without having to live under the same restrictions. Any of the other congressmen who live behind armed guards should be willing to legally protect our individual rights to self protection or should be willing to give up their special treatment. Each of us has at least as much right to personal safety as any of them. It’s pretty easy to restrict another’s rights when it won’t affect you.

3 – Consider repealing standing gun restrictions. If our right to own certain types of guns is on the table – if our very property and means of self-defense is to be on the table, so must be any and all existing gun regulations. If the threat at one radical extreme of the conversation is the abolition of whatever you consider to be an ‘assault weapon’, including my semi-auto rifle and my .22-cal pistols with threaded barrels, then the other radical extreme is to repeal the Hughes Amendment, NFA and GCA and return us to the freedom of buying a new gun at Sears or out of the back of a magazine (the paper kind, not the ammo feeding kind), even the fully-automatic varieties and so called ‘destructive devices’. If you want to discuss making it harder for me to legally obtain, keep, and transport my guns; the conversation should include the possibility of me being able to go armed into court houses, Post Offices, schools, and other government buildings legally carrying the gun of my choice, with or without an issued permit.

It is ludicrous to expect logical legislation from those who don’t know the facts. If you don’t know anything about guns, how can you effectively contribute to the conversation? If ‘representatives’ base their arguments on demonstrably false misinformation, whether deliberately or by ignorance, how can they add value to the debate? If you don’t think people should have guns, you don’t get to have guns. This country is based on the philosophy that all men are created equal. It is wrong and contrary to the spirit of our country for you to sign into law that a common person cannot possess God-given right to an effective means of defense from behind your armed detail and your own, personal gun. Therefore, put your money where your mouth is. Too many people claim to want us to be reasonable and compromise without being genuine in their attitudes. I think we can all agree that compromise is a two-way talk. Don’t expect us to cheerfully come to the table when it is so unfairly weighted. Too many people calling for gun control are claiming that we don’t have any gun restrictions in the country, despite tens of thousands of restrictive laws codified in the books of our nation. Acknowledge that those exist, and enter into the debate whether or not they should. If you don’t like these conditions, we should not have the talk at all. If you want to talk about compromise badly enough, you will be willing to meet these terms.

Fuzz-Head & Random Thoughts

I’ve been telling Jennifer on and off for years that she should shave her head sometime, not because I’m sadistic (well, this is not evidence of my sadism anyway), but because I know she’s pretty enough to pull it off. I’d still be crazy about her even if she wasn’t. Her looks aside, her hair grows fast enough that I knew it would be back in no time. Two weeks ago, we actually did shave her head in support of cancer victims, as you already know. Anyway, here’s what she looks like now:

Her hair has grown at least a quarter of an inch since we sheared her. Yeah, by Blogorado, she’ll be shaggier than a crew cut, unless she decides to trim it up between now and then. Even if she doesn’t, I’ll likely reshave my head before then, not like that’s newsworthy. Incidentally, the reason we didn’t call Schutenfest “Bloglahoma” is that sounds like something that got caught in your throat and you regret choking on in polite company. I’ve got loose visions for a logo, as it looks like it’s turning into a full-on annual event. Anyway, I took the above pics with my new Nikon AW100, which deserves its own post altogether. And speaking of gear reviews, I may have a redux to my Double Tap post, without giving too much away too soon.

And guess who I’m listening to this morning…

We could have had an owl
Rolling in DDT
You had my hardened Sal
Dee yea haw
But you plaited
To the bee.

First one to guess correctly wins one hundred internets.

What Caliber for Zombie Crickets?

I’m not the first to post about bugs and pets today by any means. But, LawDog segued a great queue for me to tell a story to yue. Ahem. To *you*. As Teen Bot and I were preparing for our lunch today, he commented that he saw a cricket that the cats had decapitated that was still hopping about. I commented that they were simple enough life forms that it just didn’t surprise me. Having the cats and dog around is actually really great pest control. The crickets have been horrible this year and we’ve had quite a few stow-aways. The cats’ favorite method to deal with these annoying pests is to play with them until they die from it, and leave the carcase on the floor until the dog finds it and cleans it up. The dog works quickly so this arrangement works pretty well for all of us. Most of the time we never even see the bug itself.

Anyway, About an hour after Teen Bot pointed out the headless cricket, a movement on the ground caught my eye. It was indeed the zombie cricket, still squirming. It seems that whichever kitty nearly dispatched the errant insect worked with surgical precision to mostly pull the head off, hanging by a thread of some kind of tissue. Central nerve perhaps? Anyway, it’s now been well over two hours since Teen Bot discovered our very own Miracle Mike, and he’s still break dancing in the living room. I agree with Teen Bot that it is pretty gross, but I also find it quite compelling. I may have to put the little guy in a jar to see how long he lasts. If this is indeed the beginning of the zombie invasion, I may need to get one of these. In fact, I’m off to jar up an abomination. Until later!