The Caffeinated Penguin

musings of a crackpot hacker


| November 11, 2008

This was actually a thread from , where I made some predictions about what is to come regarding guns. I repost them here for the interested:

  • I think that the Assault Weapons Ban II will be introduced like it has every year since it sunset. I do not think it will pass. Why? Well, I think everyone knows that as long as the Heller court is in existence, they will hold that the fedgov can't ban guns like that. That said, if the court changes, I think it could happen.

  • I think that we will see .50 cal guns rolled into the destructive device category. Why? Well, they won't be able to ban them, so just regulate them the same way as they do machineguns and stuff bigger than .50. I think blackpowder and shotguns will be exempt from this.

  • We will likely see a federal one gun a month law.

  • We will likely see a “close the gun show loophole” law.

  • We may see a federal registry (Heller acknowledged that this may acceptable), but I doubt it.

What I'm worried about is the stuff which doesn't have to go through congress. The president can direct the department of commerce (or whomever it is) to not allow foreign guns and ammunition to come into the US anymore. (Like they currently do with foreign AK's having to come in as low-cap and then have the requisite US parts put in and converted to high cap). Same thing with calling things “destructive devices”, etc.

This assumes an 8 year term, which I think will happen.. unless some of these get passed in his first term, in which case he will not likely be elected to a second (see how the first assault weapons ban backfired). In fact, I think we are more likely to see these following a reelection in 2012 than we do from now until then (lame duck syndrome).

Had to repost

| November 11, 2008

Thought it was super cute.

Also thanks to all who have served and continue to do so.

Ministry of peace?

| November 10, 2008

Calls for a “Department of Peace”

One, the name reminds me of Orwell.

Two, hahahahhahahahahahahaaa. Just what we need, more Chamberlains.

On games

| November 9, 2008

  • I’ve decided to start playing some video games again. This is not unusual, since winter is coming and there’s lots of evening darkness – aside from working on indoor projects (including the garage) it’s not like there’s much else I can do. I started with some computer games, and played a little bit of Vegastrike and Tremulous. Vega strike was very “meh”. Hard to learn, didn’t much see the point, etc. I suppose I could make the effort to learn, but at this point, with such a large selection of games which I have to choose from, I’m not really going to bother with too much learning (unless the game comes highly recommended, which this hasn’t). Now regarding Tremulous – this was VERY good. Well done FPS with lots of variability/points/classes/etc. That said, as much fun as it is, I’m looking more for “progression and accomplishment” – beating levels/games/etc. and playing through storylines. So, I’m picking up my large pile of PS2 games – 3/4 of which I bought used and haven’t beaten – some of which I haven’t played. Right now, I’m hitting the Star Wars: Battlefront games, playing through the campaigns. I also have several platformers (Jak and Dexter, Ratchet and Crank), those sneaky shooty special ops games (Metal Gear, SOCOM, Splinter Cell), the “roaming” games (GTA, True Crime), and a few other noteworthy ones – Red Dead Revolver, Resident Evil 4, etc. So, that will keep me busy for awhile.
  • Since I didn’t get off to Carnage this weekend, but also hadn’t planned on being here, I split the difference and got some work done around the house, cooked lots of food, hung out with Liz and and worked on assembling and basing a pile of microarmor (for playing Dirtside II… by myself).
  • The furniture for upstairs is coming in this week. This only pertains to gaming in that it gives me a bright, central, happy place to read gaming books.
  • Speaking of books, I found Amerikkka, which is being given away for free for the month of November in celebration of the election. After that, it will be $5. The rules are simple, but the setting is really the interesting part – a Balkanized and fragmented former US – the Confederate States, the United States of Nugent, Texas, the Free States Coalition, etc. Really good stuff.
  • We watched The Gamers: Dorkness Rising Good stuff. I highly recommend it.
  • Partly because of Dorkness, and partly because of a conversation which I had with some weeks ago, I think I need to reconsider my aversion to fantasy-based roleplaying genres. (For anyone who doesn’t know, my general rule is that if gunpowder and steam power haven’t been invented, I’m not really interested). I mean, really, think about it – is there really much of a difference between LOTR and Star Wars? So, I’m going to try to back off on some of my prejudices and be open to any opportunity to game which presents itself. I’ll also be reading the Burning Wheel rules (I liked the Burning Empire rules.. well, the first 50 pages, which was all I’ve read so far) and will also be picking up the D&D 4th edition rules.
I think that’s about it.

An open letter…

| November 5, 2008

Dear potential assassins,

Please don't assassinate President Elect Obama (or, President Obama when he is so inaugurated). While I would be very happy for him to say “Haha! I punk'd you all!”, step down and fade into obscurity, I don't want to see him get killed.

You see, he's already being likened to JFK – a fairly mediocre president who is placed on a pedestal because he was shot. Consequently, for my whole life I have had to hear about how he was a great man cut down by ignorance, and how America kills its best and brightest. I really don't want to hear about how great Obama was and America hates black people for the rest of my life.

Let him write his own page in history, and be judged accordingly.


| November 3, 2008

Unfortunately, it looks like I'm not going to be able to attend Carnage. On the other hand, I was going to miss 's visit, and it looks like now I'll be able to see her.

Can someone tell me….

| November 2, 2008

Can someone tell my why everyone seems to think Sarah Palin is stupid? I'm not being rhetorical here, I'm serious. I mean, the way she says nuclear annoys be, but that alone doesn't make her stupid. However, there seems to me tremendous vitriol that she's a stupid country bumpkin, and I'm curious where it comes from.

Bonus points if you can justify how being a smart, smarmy socialist bent on being the next FDR (subverting the constitution and increasing social programs in the country) is somehow better than being a simple person who believes in the constitution and the rule of law.

Oh, hey, and for those of you with whom I've been talking about various election things, I believe you have swayed me into the McCain camp. Justification:

  • A write in for Ron Paul is a throwaway vote anyway, since he's not even on the ballot (well, he is in a few states, but doesn't particularly care to be).
  • I still don't like Bob Barr.
  • Both McCain and Obama will mess up civil liberties and violate the constitution.
  • The supreme court justices are the determining factor – and I'll trust McCain's appointees over Obama's.

So, there we are.

(Oh, and the more you dig into it, the more you just listen to the man talk – Obama is one scary dude.)

Upgrade to Ubuntu 8.10

| November 1, 2008

  • Went smoothly
  • Tried KDE4. Pretty, but wasn't impressed. Went back to Xfce4.*
  • 3D works out of the box, so the radeon drivers for the R500/R600 seem to be working nicely.
  • Not much else to say.

  • = KDE made my computer feel slow, likely because of all the bling. With the advanced desktop effects enabled, it also got in the way of hardware accelerated video displaying correctly.