Saturday, June 25, 2005

Updates, possible ranting...

Just joined Free Talk Live as an AMPlifier. I recommend the show--basically, it's the official radio talk show of the Free State Project, of which I am a member. Please click the links and check them out.

Finally got 50 .284 Winchester brass yesterday to load for my K31. Did 'em up last night. The 7.5mm Swiss brass seems to be available only from the Swedish Norma company. Excellent brass, but at basically $1 FRN each, it's a bit more than I'd like to pay. I'm sure I'll buy more from them, but the .284 Winchester seems to work fine, and is cheaper at approximately 35 cents each. I'm supposed to be getting another 50 brass today, as well as 100 .284 bullets to load in my 7x57mm Mauser.

I picked up the Lee dies for my 7mm Mauser last weekend at a gun show in Montgomery. It was a small show, but pretty decent, and not too far away. It's the first gun show I've been to in Alabama--most of them seem to be held way up in the North end of the state--and I'm not really inclined to drive 4+ hours to get there. I did find a good deal on gun powder--I got my preferred powder (Hodgedons 4350) for $17/lb. I usually buy it locally for $29/lb--so great deal.

For those who don't already know, I die in most of my dreams. And I don't mean I wake up just as I'm about to die--I actually die, then wake up. That old thing about dying for real if you die in your dream is BS. Anyway, as I said, I die in most of my dreams--so often that I rarely remember any details of my dreams anymore. Most of the time, the reason I die in my dreams is because someone else does something stupid that gets me killed. Which explains why I'm always so irritated in the mornings when I wake up.

Anyway, the point of that is to lead into a dream I had just before I woke up yesterday. I didn't die--but I reckon I was working up to it. I don't remember all the details. I know that for some reason, I'd been shot 6 times. Now, that's not the part that really irritates me--I'm not sure why I was shot--it's possible I deserved it. Anyway, there were two things I was worried about in this dream. First, for some reason I remember I was extremely agitated because in the course of the gun fight, someone knocked my mail box off its post. I don't know why it bothered me so much, but it did in the dream for some reason. But second, and more seriously, I spent a good bit of the dream trying to get to a telephone, because I needed to call in sick to work--I guess having 6 bullet holes in you qualifies as being sick. I don't know why I was so worried about that. I take it as a sign I need to quit this damn job.

Anyway, I've just spent the last 3 hours arguing politics and moral principles and military tactics and such with my roommate/shooting buddy, Prashant, and now we're gonna go hit the evil corporate Walmart and then Golden Corral. Hopefully my brass and bullets will be here when I get back.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Book Tag

Total Number of Books I Own: Well, having just moved to Alabama in 2004, I had to pare my collection down to the most important 500, give or take a few. But 500 is pretty close—15 shelves with an average of about 25 books per shelf, plus double and triple stacking and odds and sod thrown and shoved in here and there.

Last Book I Bought: Dead Beat by Jim Butcher and Whispering Nickel Idols by Glenn Cook. Both really good fiction. Now I’ll just have to wait a few more years for those two authors to get me my next fix.

Last Book I Read: I just finished the two above not too long back. But I’m currently reading: A collection of the translated works of Sallust; I’m re-reading The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein (always good to re-read); Tainting Evidence (about how the FBI Labs create and destroy evidence); and Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt (I’m examining the possibility of buying copies to give out as gifts).

Five Books That Mean a Lot to Me: I can only name five? That’s a tough one. Well, just off the top of my head…

1. Night Watch by Terry Pratchett.
Although the main character is a cop, he’s an old-time “Peace Officer” as opposed to a modern “Law Enforcement Officer.” It’s a story about chasing down a dangerously insane criminal while simultaneously conducting a revolution that is more about protecting people than changing the government. It’s a bit weird, and it probably is better for folks who are fans of Pratchett. The character of Sam Vimes resonates with me more than any of the others, and this story in particular appeals to my cynicism I guess.

2. Pallas by L. Neil Smith.
I recently re-read this book for the umpteenth time. A smart young boy escapes from a UN operated slave labor colony to the free society located on the same asteroid, and realizes his potential as an inventor, businessman, and free individual. I suspect the cause of freedom is lost on Earth—our last, best hope is to get affordable space flight off the ground (thank you Burt Rutan and friends!) and head for the belt and points beyond.

3. Letters From The Earth by Mark Twain.
I can’t get enough of Twain’s work. Sadly, Tom Sawyer and Huck Fin, while good stories themselves, weren’t nearly his best work. This book isn’t recommended for anyone who has no sense of humor about their own religious beliefs.

4. Unintended Consequences by John Ross.
I am a member of the Gun Culture. John Ross seems to be more inclined toward the Republican Liberty Caucus I think, but he gets out a lot of good information in a pretty great story. Honestly, I’m not too hard to sell on certain sorts of story. Kill off some stinkin’ politicians in a principled manner (in accordance with the Zero Aggression Principle) and put across some anarcho-capitalist ideas in a decent manner, and I’m happy. But this is definitely a good story.

5. Forge of the Elders by L. Neil Smith.
One of the things about this story that appeals to me is the “P’nan Debt Assessor.” As a trained mediator who subscribes to the Zero Aggression Principle, I have an appreciation for the concept. I would enjoy more stories around this character or the concept in general (hint hint if you’re out there Mr. Smith). Speaking of “El Neil”. I am impatiently awaiting Ares and Ceres.

Tag five people and have them do this on their blogs:
I don’t know that many folks with blogs. Most of those I know already have received this booktag. Let’s see…
(Although my Mom hasn’t posted anything to her blog yet)

I’ll have to add more later.