The Caffeinated Penguin

musings of a crackpot hacker

Finally got back to modeling

| September 14, 2015

I’ve been messing around with my 3D printer (longer post on that to be forthcoming) so I haven’t been doing a lot of modeling recently. However, we got Divergent in from Netflix, so I broke out the minis and worked on my Sentinel’s and mortar crews.


Divergent was okay. A lot of how they set up their society doesn’t make sense, but I suspect may be better explained in the books. I think that, in isolation, I might have liked it more, but after seeing the Hunger Games, the comparison is inevitable, and Divergent is not as good.

I do like the recent spate of anti-establishment movies, however. (Hunger Games, Divergent, Lego Movie, etc.)

A short movie review

| October 17, 2007

Liz and I watched The Village. What a retarded movie.


| July 9, 2007

So, the shindig for my birthday was a nice success. I'm starting to get a little burnt out with all the stuff I've been trying to do around the house, so we kept it small and simple. Parents, in laws, my brother and my sister in law. I figure we'll have a big blowout housewarming come fall and invite everyone over for that one (our housewarmings usually take about a month to plan and we spend the week prior making food). The main limiting factor here is refrigerator – our current one is a small side by side, which means it can't fit a half-sheet pan, which means it's really poor for storing sheets of appetizers. Anyway, we stuck with burgers (with barbecue spices) and hot dogs, and a grilled potato salad (forgot to put in the bacon – d'oh!), and Lizzy made peanut butter filled chocolate mini-cakes for dessert. We also tried to churn some ice cream, but it really doesn't set up in the churn appropriately, so Liz and I just have a gallon of one of our favorite ice cream recipes in the freezer (oh well, life is hard). But, I won't try the “oh, we'll have fresh ice cream!” approach again. Besides, it's better when you deep freeze it for a couple of days, then bring it upstairs to the slightly-less-cold freezer which allows it to soften. There's something about how it ages and all gets happy that works here.

My brother Nate brought some little 50cc motorbikes, which are quite a bit of fun – there's a little bit of “bear on a tricycle” feel when you ride them, but they're fun for put-putting around the yard.

Not to be outdone, I fired up the lawn tractor and we started driving that around so that all the menfolk could try it out. Before I knew it, my father had mowed one section of lawn – I guess he liked the way the mower handled.

Yesterday, Liz and I slept in, then went out to a store which carries unfinished furniture and bought me a wardrobe and a chest of drawers. They're unfinished so we can paint them as accent pieces to the room, which works out well.

So, a good time, though for some reason I'm rather tired after this weekend – I don't know why. Liz wants to watch all the Harry Potter movies before we go see the new movie, so plans for the week are to watch one a night after working on the furniture, fixing the drippy shower faucet, patching some holes in walls, etc. I'll probably dig out some 1:300 scale buildings (for Battletech and Micro armor) and continue painting them up. Buildings are a nice way to ease back into painting minis, because I'm a little out of practice.

Anyway, to work!

Random bits

| December 26, 2006

(1) We're watching the pilot of “The Lone Gunmen” and a bunch of government agents are planning to get congress to appropriate them some money by flying a plane into the world trade center.

(2) I got the big DeWalt power tool kit and a vacuum packer thingamajigger.

(3) You don't need a Core 2 Duo CPU to get the nice Intel VT technology – some of the Pentium D 9xx series chips come with it. Have a look. The 920 is about half the price of a a low-end Core 2 Duo.

(4) I also got a copy of Call of Duty 3 (or maybe Call to Duty.. not sure). Anyway, it is smart and autosaves the game at checkpoints about every couple of minutes. When you exit the game, then load the level back up, you continue from that save point, not from the end of the level, like you do in Red Steel, which is stupid.

Waco and crazy people

| November 2, 2006

Okay, so I watched the documentary about Waco I talked about here. I posted about it in the community as well, which led to a discussion about the FLDS (Fundamentalist Mormon splinter group), where I found myself defending them on the grounds of freedom.

Link to guns discussion

(pay attention to the long-running thread by )

And, he cross posted to his personal LJ, so I can get heckled

Notable quotes are:

“I've always thought that dude was creepy and annoying.”


“that dude's a fucking tool.”

As quoted in SmallestMinority, “Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle”

Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It’s worth it. It’s a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else’s rights, because if you don’t there is no one to defend yours. – MaxedOutMama

Watched Waco: The rules of engagement

| October 28, 2006


I highly recommend that folks watch this movie.

The most telling part of this documentary was much much of it is merely footage from the depositions in front of a congressional committee. If this is what was said publicly, then who knows what was covered up (and there were a great many things for which the committee asked and were never produced because they were “lost”).

The other thing which this documentary makes one realized is just how much of an enemy of freedom Sen Chuck Schumer is. He strongly supports the inviolate authority of the federal government, and balks at the idea that, under American case law, citizens have the right to shoot at law enforcement officers engaged in unlawful activites, such as the use of excessive force. The example given is that if the officers are serving a warrant and come in shooting, you have the right to shoot back.

Now, one can argue that this is just a bit of creative editing trying to make a point, and perhaps that is the case. However, I am fairly convinced that the sequence of events was as follows:

(1) The ATF stages what was supposed to be a simple “serve a warrant” arrest raid a week before their budget review comes up. (2) It all goes horribly wrong when they take fire from a group of armed citizens. (3) The ATF retreats only when they have expended almost all of their ammunition. (4) The armed citizens let them leave (5) The FBI comes in to try and clean up the mess. (6) The FBI negotiates to try and end the standoff. (7) It takes too long, and everyone is getting angry, so the FBI decides to end it. They light the compound on fire, and shoot people as they try and escape.

Now, don't get me wrong – I don't think that the whole FBI and ATF, or even everyone there onsite, actually even knew what was going on. That's what's so great about beaurocracy – it allows some folks there to be told one thing and be hanging out in front for the cameras, and then another select group around the back doing the dirty work.

Another interesting quote is from law enforcement agent, where he says (and I paraphrase here):

“The days of showing up in a 3 piece suit and serving a warrant are over, and it's people like me, (some other guy) and (some third guy) who stand between folks like you (meaning the members of the panel) and the David Koresh's of the world… it's law enforcement.”

Sorry buddy, but the David Koresh's of the world don't scare me. Jackbooted government thugs however, do.

A final interesting point is that Koresh worked with a gun dealer and worked a lot of gun shows, making money. His “arsenal” of weapons could also be known as “inventory” and (while not stated in the documentary), the fact that they estimate that he had something like 50,000 once fired pieces of brass in the basement make perfect sense – that stuff is like GOLD. Hell, I have a few thousand pieces of .45 ACP brass. Additionally, none of this is illegal.

I repeat my position that the ATF should be immediately dissolved, on the grounds that it is not necessary. The items which it regulates either do not need to be regulated (firearms, explosives) or do not need to be regulated any more than other food products need to be regulated (after all, the USDA doesn't need police powers; why do we need that when dealing with alcohol and tobacco?).

I don't think that the FBI necessarily needs to be disbanded, but should definitely be reexamined.

Recent movie viewings

| July 24, 2006

The Weather Underground

Documentary about the weather underground from the 60's and 70's.

I have no cohesive response, merely a series of points:

(1) They are lucky more of them weren't shot. If I owned a business, and knew that some anti-war protestors were going to be coming around, I'd make sure to be there to keep an eye on the shop. As soon as folks start breaking my windows, I start shooting them. Same with robbing stores and banks and such.

(2) The problem with their idea of revolution is that, even though I would love to see a more constitutionalist/libertarian philosophy take hold, that's not what they're advocating. They're talking about various flavors of Marxism, socialism and communism, which I vehemently oppose (something about the idea of a “greater good” and taking away individual liberty in the name of grand societal ambition just rubs me the wrong way). So, even if I agreed with them about the need for revolution, I would not support their revolution. Personally, I think that in order to be successful, these things can't be too tumultuous – a slow progression towards libertarian ideals will be much more easily accepted than violent overthrow. Additionally, it's playing within the system, which is always a plus.

(3) What amazes me is that most of them are STILL proponents of socialist revolution. While I admire their tenacity, don't they realize that socialism doesn't scale, and is an especially hard sell in this country? The ideal of rugged individualism is still quite well entrenched, especially in large sections of middle America, and runs directly contrary to any type of socialism excepting old-fashioned charity. One might even propose the idea that this ideal is increasing. Witness the spread of concealed carry laws, castle doctrine laws, and the backlash against social welfare programs.


Yeah, I don't get it. If the point is “everyone's life is valuable, even though we're dirt poor and have AIDS”, if I agree with you, can I have the two and a half hours of my life back? Liz's response was that she didn't know how they could make a movie which completely lost the power of the stage production. Like I said, I just don't get it.

Jesus Christ, Vampire Hunter

| December 20, 2005

  • Was better than Bubba Ho Tep
  • Rivals Army of Darkness as the best B-horror-movie error.

New Gun pr0n

| November 23, 2005

By the way, Garden State (just finished watching it) was overrated and featured a storyline that's been done way too many times.

An aggregate of lots of gun stuff.

ammo day purchasesNational Ammo Day purchases. 500 rds of 7.62×39 FMJ, 500 rds of .22LR, 100 rds of .45ACP reloads and 50 rds of .45 Colt. new .45 grips New grips on my .45. 45 target This is 30 rounds from my .45 at 20′, aimed. I have no idea how many went through that large ragged hole. That’s an oval on a regular letter size sheet of paper, by the way, to give you an idea of scale. New AK My new AK, picked up on ammo day. As it turns out, this is a straight SAR-1, imported by Century Arms. Surprisingly, I don’t mind the color of furniture, but the stock is a bit short. So, I got a 1″ rubber extension for it, which does double duty as a shock pad and stock extension. I have a pile of magazines for it too. It shoots very well. I don’t know why people complain about the accuracy. It’s as accurate as I am out to the distances which I can see without a scope. I might get a rail for a dot sight, so maybe I’ll throw a 4x scope on it and see how it does with a scope. But, I’m happy with it. Heck, even my mom shot it (she liked the short stock, because she’s all of 5 feet tall). It was sold as a used gun, but it was so new that there was still cosmoline on the bolt, and it started leaking out of the joint where the barrel and gas tube come together as the barrel heated up. Which reminds me – after 60+ rounds, that barrel gets HOT. New SAA My new Reproduction Single Action Army, an Uberti Cattleman, also picked up on ammo day. This thing shoots great. Takes a little bit getting used to a revolver again (it’s been years since I’ve shot one). My fiancee has decided that she likes it and has sort of adopted it. SAA and 1911 Awww, aren’t they cute together? (Yeah, the little emblems have fallen off the grips. I guess they just couldn’t take the stress of being on the gun as it was being fired. They were just superglued on anyway. No worries). Broken down AK For those of you who are unaware of just how simple an AK is, this is one field stripped. That’s right, excluding the magazine, it breaks down into 5 pieces, the smallest of which is the bolt. No springs to shoot little fiddly bits across the room, no little pieces to lose, just large solid pieces which can get ripped apart, wiped down, oiled up, then slapped back together. Of course, it’s a Russian gun, so you probably don’t have to clean it all that much. I shot about 150 rounds through it, and it wasn’t really that dirty.

Serenity and Supernatural

| October 2, 2005

Serenity was excellent. I shall refrain from serious discussion until next Monday, giving everyone a chance to see it and not have any spoilers.

I finally watched the Supernatural episode that was TiVo-ed like 2 weeks ago (the Wendigo one). I don't see what the big deal is. The acting was half-rate, the whole thing shot in overly contrasted amber hues, and the storyline was a that of a horror movie compressed into an hour. Hopefully, it will improve, but if it still sucks by the end of this season, I'll probably stop watching.