Update 9/30/09 – Germs and Guns

Today marks a week that I’ve been fighting the ‘allergies that I caught’ from a coworker. Two of the four of us sickies have been to the doctor. Both appointments confirmed that it’s not strep, and it’s not influenza (of any variety), but the anecdotal evidence remains consistent that it sucks. The symptoms and pattern of disease cycle have been very consistent between us as well. Without going into too much detail, this is one of the nastier mystery bugs that I’ve fought. So far, the wife and son have remained healthy, but we’ve been more careful than my coworker. I just know that this thing is going to break at any minute. I’m feeling a little better today, but I was on Saturday and Sunday as well, for that matter. I kind of feel like if I got one, really good night’s sleep, I’d be healed. But, enough of that for now. Neither of you wants to hear me whine.

Yesterday, I detailed my interest in getting a Cobra ‘Big Bore’ derringer for the purpose of holster making. In my searching for a source for the absolutely cheapest example of this creature, I happened across a company that makes a lot of to-spec-sized, aluminum, dummy guns. They’ve got examples that I had no idea were available. So, I’ve put myself on the ‘interest list’ to purchase a solid aluminum Cobra derringer. I was told that it will probably be available in a couple of months, and at that point I should be able to start in on derringer holsters for real!

So, between the pluses and minuses, I still see no need to betray my optimistic nature in life.

Infirmity

This week, one of my coworkers started coughing and sniffling in my office. The office room that I work in is just big enough for four desks. I share the office with three other people. Our desks don’t really have wall dividers, per se, so I can’t really call them cubicles. We asked the sniffly, coughy coworker if he was sick. He assured us that it was merely allergies.

Well, the other three of us seem to have caught his ‘allergies.’ About two days ago, I started feeling a very slight scratch in my throat, and got that ‘aw, crap’ feeling. He went to his doctor this morning. We told him not to come back if it’s swine flu. The doctor told him that it was some miscellaneous respiratory thing, and gave him a shot of something or another.

This morning, as I was trying to wake up, my wife asked me if I was feeling okay. In my groggy, trying-to-wake-up state, I said that yes I felt great. Then I realized that no, I felt like total crap, and actually more like somewhere between just-got-run-over-by-a-truck and what those guys on Trainspotting looked like they were going through when they were trying to get off the heroine. Yuck! I still came in to work, though.

I was discussing the feeling that we were getting sick with the coworker that sits across from me. She said that her throat felt awful and she felt like she was getting the flu. I stood up and said, “If you’ll excuse me, I need to go turn my intestines wrong-side out now.” Yeah. This sucks. I just hope it doesn’t last very long. Blech!

Anybody Want to Be a Jet-Pack Pilot?

Here’s the link to the ebay auction. It’s only got two bids on it, and the experience is going for the low, low price of only $31,100.00 currently. Either of you going to try to snipe it tomorrow evening? I haven’t got that kind of money. If I did, I’m sure I wouldn’t have that kind of money to blow. Even if I did, I’d be hesitant to blow it like that. But, that’s just me. I guess I’m kind of cheap like that. I think I’d prefer to wait until the market version and go to the jet-pack rental place.

I really have to hand it to Total Experience for a stunt like this. I’m sure whatever fee they wind up getting for the ebay auction won’t put a dent in their R&D costs or operational overhead, but they’re getting a lot of exposure for it. I’d like to shake whichever New Zealander’s hand that figured out how to get not merely free advertising, but actually get somebody to pay >$30,000.00 for it! Maybe he should get out of aviation and into advertising!

Sorry about all this. I’m on a kick on thinking about different, novel ways to easily rack up some serious cash. There are just so many opportunities out there, and despite the state of the economy, there are some shrewd people that are making a lot of money! I just don’t see why I couldn’t be one of those shrewd people. I’ve taught myself to be good at a thing or two already. Surely I could learn to be good at making money, right? It’s like my friend Instinct wrote recently in an email, detailing his upcoming business plan:

Step 1. Steal all the underwear.

Step 2. ??????

Step 3. Profit!

LOL!

UPDATE!!! *cheesy telegraph sound*

Sold!

ebayjetpack

In the name of everything holy! Somebody paid $35,101.00 for a ride on a jet-pack! Talk about having money to burn! There are so many things that would make my must-have list prior to a jet-pack ride. That kind of money will buy a pretty nice car or truck. That would be a great down-payment on a home construction project. Just offhand, without checking numbers, I’d feel pretty comfortable saying that chunk of change right there would pay off all of my debts – including my mortgage. Oh, well. Some people have more money than sense. Then there’s people like the rest of us that seem to have more cents than money!

500th Comment

I received my 500th comment over the weekend on my post about spectator sports. Luv2shoot, who ought to write a blog commented:

“The question is why do people appreciate that which is lower brow?”
Different strokes for different folks.

Too true. In fact, I have to admit that I’m a little ashamed at using the term ‘lower brow’ in my comment. That was entirely too cruel and emotionally charged given the circumstances. Just because someone likes Miller Light more than a good, German marzen, does that mean that they don’t have very good tastes? …OK. Bad example. At any rate, I’m glad that not everybody likes all the same stuff. Frankly, if everybody else liked the stuff I like, I couldn’t afford it! Plus, I’d probably get bored and have to go find something else to do. I think what really frustrates me about the whole spectator sports deal is that lots and lots of people don’t seem to have a genuine interest in it outside of using it as a relational tool (as Instinct pointed out in the same comments section.) Nobody in my family ever showed much of an interest in watching ‘the game’ when I was growing up. Maybe that indicates that my lack of interest is hereditary – or learned, for that matter. My dad actually made a brief attempt at keeping up with sports a few years ago. I think it was for the purpose of socializing. Then, he started riding motorcycles. He’s really gotten into that!

But, I digress. Maybe one day, I’ll have millions of comments like Tam, and I’ll look back on when I thought my 500th comment was this huge success. I’m going to make it a point to enjoy the simplicity while I’ve got it. Thanks for the comments, everybody!

–E. R.

Update – 9/19/09

Jen and I went to the range today. You may have read my previous post that depicts the skillz of the Evyl Robot Royal Coupyl with our shotguns. Today, we brought masking tape with us! 😀 Here are my updated results:

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Please note how my left-hand fingers move like a violinist over his fretboard. My fluid-like motions, and my rock-like stability. (You are allowed to roll your eyes right here.) Jen started the camera right after my first shot, so I actually put 19 shots downrange in 30-seconds. That ought to kill some zombies!

Also, Jen decided that she wanted new grips for her birthday. I kind of figured that she would want Ahrends grips. But, she picked out a gorgeous set of Esmeralda grips. I’m not disappointed, just surprised. These should come in sometime next week:

Gorgeous. It’s a darned shame that she doesn’t make Smith & Wesson grips besides J-frames. Even so, she does a hell of a job on them, and the gun is deserving of such artistry. Frankly, that’s why I love making holsters for them. Make sure to check out her 1911 grips and her Hi-Power grips. I have to tip my artistic hat to her! Anyway, I’ll get some pics posted of Jen’s snubby with the new furniture when available!

Not a Sports Fan – Let Me Tell You Why

My wife will never have to put up with me having to watch ‘the game.’ Living in The State of Oklahoma, I’ve been asked countless times whether I’m a fan of OU or OSU. It seems that college football in this state is more of an institution than college education. The fact of the matter is that I’m far more likely to spend my time thinking about dirt than spectator sports. I have friends that love to follow the teams and the games, and that’s fine for them. I’d rather spend my time doing more constructive things. Sports idolize the most depraved individuals that our society has to offer. From a very young age, we are taught to worship these scumbags. Beyond that, the skills necessary to play sports don’t really have useful applications beyond the court or field. The skills necessary to sit on a couch and watch other people chase a ball are nil.

Even at a very young age, when we are taught that athletes are gods, I was not impressed. I remember the school pep-rallies in which they would parade these idols like Roman gladiators, and expect us to swoon. I found the whole thing to be a little insulting. Can you run? Can you throw a ball? Can you catch a ball? Then, you can play ball sports. At one pep rally for the school’s sports programs, they were singing the praises of the team, and my brother shouted out in the noise, “BLA, BLA, BLAAAAAAA!” The trouble is that the sound of the assembly stopped just as this crossed his lips. Once he started, he could not stop until he had gotten it out of his system, no matter how he may have wanted to. Every eye turned on him. He had to ‘talk’ to the coach about his outburst. I never heard him express a regret for his action. Did they ever hold pep rallies for the academic team in these houses of education? Not to my knowledge. At my junior high and high school, they never once held a pep rally to extol the achievements of the choir or the band – and those were people with precision skills. The music departments were very good when I was growing up. Our marching band came home with many trophies, as did our concert bands. The orchestra also won awards for their performances. The skill set of chasing a ball around a court or a field don’t even hold a candle to the precision and artistic expression necessary to play an instrumental solo, sing an aria, win a debate, or perform a scientific experiment.

I was in the band. My sophomore year, we didn’t go to many of the football games. The coach complained that it was hurting the morale of the team players to not have their band there to encourage them. So, my junior year, we went to every game. The football team didn’t win any that year. So the band, which was highly skilled in the art, and had brought home many awards from many contests – marching, ensemble, and solo – were expected to cater to the whims of some boys who couldn’t even throw a ball straight. The idea is sick and backwards. Comments were made that maybe we should put the cheerleaders on the field to see what would happen, or to even substitute the band members in for the football team. After all, we were good at something. Once or twice, we got in trouble for playing the school fight song in a slow, minor key like a funeral dirge after one such defeat. The trouble was worth it for the laughs. We were constantly getting in trouble for heckling the inept players. Maybe if they weren’t drunk every weekend, they would have been able to play ball.

The anomaly of spectator sports glorifies horrible people. I don’t know whether there’s more sociopathic corruption in a prison community, Congress, or in organized sports. We make gods out of murderers and thieves like O. J. Simpson. Even though they couldn’t nail him for killing his x-wife and her boyfriend, it seems that he was determined to make it to prison, one way or another. Although it is questionable whether he is a cold-blooded rapist or simply an adulturer, Kobe Bryant is not someone whom should be modeled after. It is highly regrettable that a lifestyle animal abuser like Michael Vick made it to the top the way he did. If he were a normal person, he’d still be rotting in prison right now. Responsible gun owners everywhere are still cringing at the illegal, ghetto activities of Plaxico Burress, not to mention his personal career of violence and domestic disturbance. By supporting them, we teach our children to disregard the laws of society, and natural laws which teach us to respect each other. Granted, there have been good athletes that don’t get nearly the press. Whatever happened to those like Johnny Unitas, who was certainly not without his faults, but was a generally good person in the game and in his personal life?

I’m also just way too active a person to really get into spectator sports. Jen and I don’t watch a whole lot of television, and would generally rather spend our time creating things, and honing skills. We are doers, not watchers. I fail to see the appeal of watching a bunch of men (or women for that matter) chase a ball on a screen. Frankly, my cat will chase a ball, and he’s a lot funnier when he does it. Plus, there’s the very activity and interaction of throwing the ball for the cat. I’m not opposed to throwing a ball myself, but don’t have any desire to watch someone else do it. The skills that it takes to throw a long pass, run, dribble a ball, or hit a ball with a bat can be trained and developed by any able-bodied individual. How is it so impressive that able-bodied individuals have the desire to watch others play the games? I can kind of understand some of the lesser-publicized sports such as gymnastics, diving, or greco-roman wrestling. In these sports there is art. It takes an able mind as well as an able body to excel in these.

So, I see absolutely no reason to waste my time and energy following spectator sports. If you do, good for you. Don’t try to push it on me. It’s been pushed on me for thirty years, and I simply don’t care a thing about it. I don’t really care who won the game last weekend and I don’t have a team that I cheer on. I don’t understand why it’s so important that they gave the Hymen award to Tivo, and I don’t really care, either. My big screen hasn’t been used for the Superbowl or any other bowls, for that matter. If you want to talk to me, tell me something about yourself, not about some guy that you’ve seen on television. I find that people are nearly always far more interesting than the people they idolize anyway. So, there you have it. Not a sports fan. So sorry.

UPDATE *cheesy telegraph sound*

Yeah, like this…

Shotgun Breach-Loading

On Labor Day, The Evyl Robot Empyre took a trip to the gun range, of course! My wife had the great idea of taking videos of our shotgunning. I thought you might like to see our results. Here’s my lovely wife with her 12-gauge Defender (which she’s absolutely nutty about).

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I was having some trouble with my targets staying put, so I didn’t get as nice a run as Jen did. I’m hoping to get some better videos the next time we’re outdoors. Even so, Here I am with Judgement:

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Yeah. When the zombies attack, we’ll certainly give them a run for their money!

4 Movie Reviews from the Weekend

Jen and I have gotten way behind on our movies and TV, so we’ve been doing a little catch up. Over the weekend, we watched four films with mixed results…

Across the Universe – I didn’t expect much from this one, and it delivered accordingly. When the previews came out for this one, I thought that it looked interesting enough to give a watch. If you don’t like The Beatles’ music, you’ll hate it. If you don’t like song covers, you’ll hate it. If you don’t like weak love stories, you’ll hate it. If you don’t like musicals, you’ll hate it. Even if you like all of the above, I still guarantee nothing. It wasn’t so much a bad movie, but it was really, really weak. Example:

Granted, there’s something to be said about the artistic reinterpretation in this scene, but imagine sitting through TWO HOURS of this crap! More like Imagine There’s No Heaven! Sitting through this film makes it a little too easy! I have yet to see one of these stunts pulled off properly. Think Moulin Rouge.

The Bucket List – This was a really cute movie that drew a line between what matters in life and what doesn’t, as two terminal cancer patients come to terms with their mortality. It ends as a lovely story of redemption with many laughs and throat lumps along the way. Thumbs up. This movie would fit well in the collection that also contains Secondhand Lions, Big Fish, and Gran Turino. I would highly recommend it.

Journey to the Center of the Earth – This one exceeded my expectations in every way except for its ‘3D capabilities.’ The cover claimed it to be a 3D movie, but 3D it was not. I feared that it would be yet another gross butchering of classical literature, and it was not that. Rather its plot was spun from the concept that key characters were fans of Verne’s work, and found that most of his writings told little-known truths about our world. Not an Oscar-getter, but a great kid’s movie! It had enough action and color to keep the kids busy, and a sexy pair of pants to keep some of the older audience’s attention!

My Bloody Valentine (in 3D) – Terrible with a capital ‘B’! I laughed so hard I nearly peed myself! The acting was abbysmal, the character development was… …well, there wasn’t any of that really. The slasher effects were corny and unrealistic, such as a teenage boy being stabbed through the back of the head with a miner’s pick-axe, which held his skewered eyeball out in front of his face (in 3D, no less) before he fell to the ground. Interaction between characters, and their reactions to their surroundings may as well have been written by a Vulcan. I would totally watch this one again, just for the giggles. The 3D effects were actually really well done. There was one short scene in which there was some very minor, distracting ghosting from the 3D effects. The biggest problem seemed to be that they blew the entire budget on the 3D effects, and had nothing left to pay for a script or actors. They tried to make up for it with some nudity, but it was a lost cause. Thus, often is born a comic masterpiece! That was the case with this one.

W – The President – Part V – Epilogue

Here’s to eight years without a terrorist attack on U. S. soil. Mr. Bush, we couldn’t have done it without you! It seems like everyone is talking about it. In Jennifer’s Head Life in 3D Morgan Freeberg Larry Correia David Hardy Ron Zack There are many others, too. I’m going to bow to them this time around. That being said, let’s never forget.