Thursday, April 28, 2011

Storms on the horizon (boring updates/ramblings)

This is going to be an absolutely boring post, so you might be better off skipping it and waiting for something more interesting, which might come soon.

I take it you've heard about the recent tornadoes that have cause so much damage and resulted in more than 200 deaths. Well, none have come very close this time around, so we still have power and everything.
I watched a few videos taken of some of the tornadoes, and in one, the vehicle the camera was in was driving toward the tornado and was within a fair distance! While I think getting photos or a video of a storm like that from up close would be pretty cool, I might be a bit apprehensive about getting as close as that...
The video can be found here; just look for "Raw: watch tornado cross the road".

My car is back from the shop and is now working fine...and I am going to have $228 less than I did before because of the new alternator and labor.

I'm nearly finished with painting my room...I'm glad it's almost over; I don't like painting.

I need to hurry up with learning about photo editing and go take some more photos soon.

Along with the anonymous comment that went something like, "You're a great writer! How do I contact you; I want to hire you!" (hilarious, isn't it?), the following comment is probably the funniest anonymous (spam?) comment I've gotten on my blog, although it isn't like what I've been used to seeing spam comments look like:
"It is a good thing to learn caution from the misfortunes of others."

Horrible photo taken with iPhone 3Gs:

Blooming Star

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter, everyone!


Breaking Forth


Finally, a theme I'm prepared for.
Clearer Vision

Take my other button :)

This portrait is far from impressive (naturally), but it's a good example of what usually happens when these two are around each other.
Brotherly Love

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Still busy

Quick update:
1) I'm still rearranging and packing while my dad and a church friend are painting.
2) My car is at the auto shop yet again since the battery or alternator or something was having trouble and it keeps on dying.
3) I had to clock out at work early yesterday since I didn't have a working car I could use.
4) I'm going to have to drive "Great White", the family 12-passenger Ford E-350 to work today and for deliveries...although it's a four-cylinder and pretty slow, I estimate that my car gets between 20 & 24 mpg, but the van is supposed to get only 13 city, 17 highway. Hopefully I'll have a bunch of deliveries close by to customers who tip very well.
5) At one time at least one of my photos had dust spots on it, but they're gone now. Unfortunately, I now have dust on the viewfinder or something (I can see it through the viewfinder), although it doesn't show up in photos. It's a minor annoyance, but I still want o find out how to fix it.

Ta ta for now, folks.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Yes, I am busy packing boxes in preparation of moving.
I haven't had time to get a lot of new photos recently, so here's on old one:
Take That!
With some editing, it might be able to be ok, but as it is, it's unimpressive, especially with "Snowball thrower Noah's" face being underexposed. I may get around to further editing once I have the time and figure out PS actions and other advanced editing stuff. Remember, this isn't going to win any awards; I just though it fit the theme of "family fun," and I thought it was amusing at one time. 
Speaking of non-high-quality photos, there's another one from a while back of Pepper again that I just think it looks funny, but I can't find it; if I do I'll add it to this post.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sign Here

Eenie, Meenie, Minie, Mocro. Er, macro.
Update: we're getting the house repainted this Saturday, so I probably won't have a lot of time online this week...anyway, I don't have a lot of time to catch up on things right now, so here's a photo I've used before (but not for Macro Monday). I may try entering Ashley Sisk's Scavenger Hunt Sunday sometime if I remember and have the time.


Burn, Baby, Burn

If you are a daredevil of sorts, like to impress people with various feats, simply like to do extreme things, and/or like spicy foods, here's something that is quite extreme, would impress many people, and is very spicy.
I do not recommend eating this pepper unless you have masochistic tendencies and/or an obsession with fire and burning yourself.
Here's the article about the insanely hot pepper I'm speaking of; make sure you are not drinking anything if you decide to read the comments - you'll probably spit it out if/when you start laughing.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Earlier, a storm knocked out the power over here, so when I got to work, I just had to wash some dishes and fold boxes and then came home to wait for a call if electricity is restored to the restaurant. Getting home took a while since the traffic lights are also not working.
As you've probably guessed, I'm writing this from my iPhone.
Right now I'm just waiting, playing the piano, etc. I think I'm going to go look for a non-refridgerated food item to eat.

Update - 4/17, 4:53pm:
The storm was actually a tornado, and it hit a nearby city and did some damage. I'm writing this on my phone at a church family's house, where we had church today. I'm sorry I haven't been able to comment on your blogs and respond to every comment yet (Alli, I tried to answer your comment, but the power outage turned off my PC before I had finished it). So, no Macro Monday or other posts or whatever until power is restored...

Update - 6/17, 6:17pm:
We got back home a few minutes ago, and electricity has been restored! (according to the blinking clocks, it's been back up for more than six hours, but that doesn't really matter)
Unrelated: those of you who have good eyesight and don't need glasses or contacts, be thankful. Right now I'm wearing glasses since I tried putting on my contacts yesterday and it hurt a little bit (actually, it really, really hurt); I don't like wearing glasses - they keep falling down on my face, etc. Hopefully I'll be able to get new contacts soon and they'll feel better.

Last update:
I just read an article about the tornadoes and other severe weather happening recently; it appears there have been quite a few fatalities already, with the possibility of more confirmed deaths soon...
Thankfully, God was watching over us and not only are we unscathed, but we did not lose our house, cars, etc. due to the storm.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Photo Challenges and more

First, we have Macro Monday.

Rest in Pieces


Next up, it's Happy Monday, with the theme of "April Showers" (which means any kind of water).
Flickr was giving me a hard time about uploading photos today, so while I'm waiting to see if they'll all upload, I'll just upload them to my other blog and link to them.
It's a hard decision as to which photo to use for my entry, but I'll go with this one from last year (I probably should have used one of the newer grass photos below):

Here are a bunch of other images that fit with the theme of "water":

Green and Wet

Fallen Rain


Next up, it's "Friday Photo Fun."
Which to choose, which to choose...ah, I have it! What do you do when you can't decide on a photo? You just use all of them, of course! Or at least some of your better ones... 
Well, not for my entry, but just for fun.
Here's my entry:
Losing my marbles?

And a whole bunch of others:

A handful of light

Blue Orb


Step Into My World

A Glass and Lights Revisited

Abstract 2

Abstract - edited

Lastly, there's Carlotta's "spring" photo challenge.
This was also a hard decision, but I'll go with this one, which you may have seen before. It's not a masterpiece, but I like the perspective.
Reaching to the Heavens

And more "spring" photos, many of which you many also have seen before:

Lit from Above

Aqua Sky

This is now my photo post of the month (or the year), not because it has the best photo of the month, but because it basically has a month's worth of photos in it. :)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Stuff You Wish You Could Get (UPDATE at bottom of post!)

Recent updates: 
You probably know I got an 8gb iPhone 3Gs recently, that I've had a job for a couple of weeks after a long time of not having one, etc. 
I am also going to try to get a job at McDonald's to work mornings , since my current job at the pizza restaurant is only from the afternoons evenings, and today I only worked for around 2½ hours. (yes, Ara, I doubt I'll really like it, but it's close by)

Sorry for the delay...this post is taking way too long to get finished, as usual, but I'll see if I can finish it tomorrow.
Here's a bit more for now to give you a clue as to what this post will be about:
If you're like me in the way that you like knives, guns, and other stuff like that, stay tuned (if not, stay tuned anyway, since I might put a photo at the end of this post and might link this up to a photo challenge as well).

Finally, Part I: Guns
Ladies and gentlemen, we can now get started. Here are some of the guns I wish I could have that the all-knowing government lawmakers have decided aren't for people like us. I can only play with them on my iPhone's iGun app and wish I had the real thing...

I'll make a note here that many "illegal" firearms and firearm accessories such as automatic weapons (pre-May 1986), suppressors, short-barreled rifles and shotguns, and "destructive devices" like the Vietnam-era single-shot grenade launcher known as the "Thumper" are able to be legally acquired by civilians, with some prerequisites. First, you must be 21. Second, to get an automatic weapon (machine gun) or possibly a "destructive device" (I'm not sure about them, though), the gun must have a serial number from May 1986 or before. Unfortunately, there are a limited number of pre-1986 guns, so the ones available for sale aren't cheap - things like the HK51 and MP5 can cost around $20,000-30,000, whereas submachine guns that look like they were basically stamped out of sheet metal such as the M-10 (MAC-10) can cost "only" about $5,000. 
Not only that, but a lot of the really cool and sophisticated automatic weapons are new, not from the 1980s. 
Next, I'm pretty sure all you have to do is pay $200 per item (a one-time thing for each item; not an annual fee) for a NFA/Title 2 license or stamp or something like that, fill out the various paperwork, and wait.
You have to give your fingerprints if you go about the process the normal way, but I believe if you get the item as a trust (the preferred method), corporation, or LLC, you skip the fingerprints part and also have the option of putting someone else's name on the list, so if someone such as a spouse or other family member might be using the gun, suppressor, etc., they can legally do so.

In case you were wondering, I'm no expert on this subject. However, after scouring the Internet and various forums, I'm pretty sure that the popular idea that if you get the stamp/Title 2/NFA license/whatever it is, ATF agents can enter your home or wherever the items are thought to be located, without a warrant, is wrong!
I've read that agents can pay you a visit any time they feel like - if you are a federally licensed NFA/Title 2 dealer - but not if you are an ordinary citizen; obviously, the license for owning a Title 2 weapons and being a dealer of the said weapons are two very different things. Although civil rights are constantly being eroded, to my knowledge, if any agents want to gain entrance to your premises when you have a Title 2/NFA weapon, they need a warrant, or you can basically tell them to "Get off of my turf." Well, you could try that even if they had a warrant, but I certainly wouldn't recommend that option. I've rambled way too much and probably didn't make my points well, but I hope you got some sort of an idea of what I was trying to say; it did take me a fair amount of time.
Update: I just checked Wikipedia, and it appears I was right: "The M-10 was built predominantly from steel stampings.

Anyway, here is the first gun in our lineup: the AA-12, a 12-gauge, fully-automatic shotgun engineered from the ground up for military use, unlike regular shotguns that are simply modified for combat applications. 
In case you haven't already made the determination for yourself, this gun is awesome. If you like explosions better than just the smoke from a 12-gauge shell, just switch to the grenade shells, which are accurate to a much larger range and needless to say, are considerably more devastating than buckshot. 
In the event that one isn't enough (which would be a pretty bad situation, considering someone with one AA-12 is essentially a one-man army already), stick two on a turret (called "The Hammer") and you can control twice the firepower from the safety of a vehicle or elsewhere. Gizmag has something funny to say about the said turret under the "Other Applications" heading. (I would have copied and pasted it and given credit but I don't want to worry about copyright issues)  

You may have noticed that I used parentheses and ramble a writing style might not be the most professional, but I'm not trying to write a book right now; that might come later.

Now to the second gun in my/your/our dream arsenal (it is yours as well, isn't it?).
The FMG-9 looks like a laptop battery, flashlight, or something similar (including a VHS, but who carries those around nowadays?) but it unfolds to become something quite a bit more intimidating than a laptop battery. While I don't think it's currently being manufactured in numbers (and might not ever make it to production), it won't matter to most of us anyway. 

Next up, we have the KRISS, which fires .45-caliber rounds (consequently, it has much more knockdown power than a SMG like the the MP5, as that gun uses a 9mm bullet), but like the AA-12, it has almost no recoil. It also looks pretty cool, in my opinion. And did I mention that its firing rate is around 1500 rounds per minute? (that's fast, people)

The last gun on this short list is the M32 Multiple Grenade Launcher (embedding disabled). If one 40mm grenade (such as from the M203 single-shot grenade launcher often mounted under M4 combat rifles) doesn't cut it for you, get yourself one of these, which can shoot six rounds in rapid succession. Also, it can be outfitted with a wide variety of 40mm rounds, including the Hellhound, which is twice as powerful as a standard 40mm high explosive grenade. In other words, KABOOM! 

I could make this list ridiculously long and include everything from the extremely impractical, such as a minigun or the Mk19 grenade launcher (both of those have to have mounts; there's no way you could fire one handheld), to the somewhat more practical, such as the FN SCAR or XM25 smart grenade launcher, but then I'd probably never finish this post and wouldn't get to part 2. 

And now, Part 2: Knives
There are a lot of knives I like, but while some are legal, carrying them is quite another matter, and having a knife just to keep at home doesn't make much sense to me. The same thing kind of applies to a gun; even though I could technically be given a handgun right now, I could only keep it on our property, and I'd rather wait until I can get a concealed carry permit at 21 (and by that time I should have enough money to afford a Sig for $500-600). 

Some of the knives in the "legal but not-so-legal-to-carry-around" knives include several from Cold Steel:
1) The Extra-Large Espada 
Being able to pull this massive folding knife out of a pocket in case of danger, hooking the thumb plate on your pocket so the 7½-inch blade opens in one motion, with a click! and being able to say, "You call that a knife? This is a knife!" and be taken seriously by an overly aggressive person would be very cool - not that I recommend brandishing any sort of weapon to "look cool" unless you want it confiscated and a possible free pass to your local jail. But even to have a knife in your pocket that big would be pretty neat, in my opinion. "Bigger is better," as they say... ;)

2) The Colichemarde dagger
This knife just looks nice, and it resembles the daggers worn by V in V for Vendetta to a fair extent, so imagine if you got a "V" costume and had six of these instead of props...that would probably make for some interesting self-portraits.

3) The Tai Pan
A broad point designed to resist breaking, a tsuba-style handguard, a steel pommel, and a checkered Kraton grip (kind of like rubber) probably make this dagger a very effective combat knife.

Now we get to the part of the list that consists of non-regularly-legal knives.
First, there are the OTF (out-the-front) double-action automatic knives made by Microtech, Benchmade and other companies. If they were legal for "regular people", those would be very cool to have; just going click, click as the switch makes the blade go out and back in to the handle would put regular folding knives to shame. Contrary to popular belief, a double-action OTF knife relies on momentum for the blade to go all of the way in and out of the handle, and since the spring doesn't push the blade all the way out, it would not be able to puncture much other than paper if the handle was placed on the object/target and the blade was released. I'm not making much sense here, am I? Anyway, one knife that could probably puncture something (within reason, of course) when the handle was put on it is the next knife.

Lastly, we have the ballistic knife. Unlike double-action OTF knives, the spring in the ballistic knife can only send the blade out of the handle; it can't put it back in. However, it can probably puncture something things it's placed directly against, and true to its name, when the blade is unlocked, the blade can shoot from the handle and become a lethal projectile. Unfortunately, it too is probably illegal everywhere, although there might be exceptions, just like the  
This image was on Wikipedia, so unlike the other things I linked to, I don't think there are any problems with copyright issues with it.

I forgot to include the very knife I was going to have be the basis for this post, so here it is:
The WASP Injection knife
I'd include more info about this one, but I've written an awful lot already and have to get ready for work, so read the info on the knife's website if you want to learn more.

I think I'll end this post here. I hope you enjoyed it, found it informative, or at least didn't think it was an absolute waste of time. If you consider it only a slight waste of time, I'm fine with that. :)
Now go back to work so you can save money for a new Sig (like this one) and a suppressor. ;)
But if you really are interested in suppressors, check out AWC and Advanced Armament.
The former makes things like .22 bolt-action rifles that are so quiet you can only hear a click, as well as detachable suppressors such as one for a .50 that reduces the sound to about that of a .22, and Advanced Armament makes lots of cool stuff as well. I'm thinking I might get some suppressors someday, after I have guns to put them on and money to spare...

Monday, April 4, 2011


First of all, let me remind you about this: 

Now to my Macro Monday entries, which may or may not be considered true "macros."
As you may have guessed by the note above, these macros are not of marbles or mancala pieces, but of "LEGO bricks or toys." ;)

Once again, Indy is oblivious to the danger around him as he attempts to get his hands on another prize.
Indy's at it again - SOOC
Fortunately for him, help has arrived in the form of a mask wearing, staff-wielding, scorpion-crushing, alien-kicking, brown-jacket wearing, yellow LEGO guy. :)

Although you can't tell, the 2x2 block the "orb" is on isn't actually white; it's an odd shade of lavender/white; I have yet to see another like it.
I know these photos aren't impressive; I just decided to try something a bit different today. 
I do wish I had a good studio lighting and background setup, though...and I suppose a Hasselblad H4D wouldn't hurt either. ;)
Here's the whole set (they're all basically the same as these and there are multiple copies of some because there are SOOC and edited versions, so you probably shouldn't bother checking them out):

Maybe I'll try some more LEGO photos soon if I can find that creation I made years ago or find out how to do LEGO levitation shots (not as good as human levitation, but still pretty neat)...but good lighting equipment, backgrounds, etc. would be helpful, as well as other stuff. Wow, now I'm making excuses for my mediocre photos again. :P 
On a happier note, I got a free 8x10 of one photo of mine I actually like, and it's now on the living room wall with some other photos. 

I have an idea for another post, and hopefully it won't be as boring as this one...
Have a happy Monday, everyone. :)