Sunday, July 24, 2016

5000+ Words

5000 words knocked out over the last couple days.  1700 last week, to bust the rust off.  Yeah, baby.


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Shockwave Arm Brace Mod

I like my new Shockwave brace on the .300 Blackout Pistol I put together.

Adjusting the pistol's brace to suit the boy's stance and mine required taking an allen wrench to the range, so the set screw that holds the brace in place on the buffer tube could be undone and retightened.

There had to be a better way.

There is.  I found it on one of my favorite gun forums,, in the AR Pistols subforum.

Here's the thread link...

I went to the local Best hardware store, and bought a 5/16x18 male threaded knob. Price was about $4.

I cut the thread to length, ground a point on it, and threaded it in. Damn. Too short. Stupid me.

So, I ground a notch in the Shockwave blade. Now, it seats flush. Almost like I did it on purpose.

My thanks to user compulynx for the idea.



Sunday, July 3, 2016

Third Writing Snippet

A third snippet from my summer's writing project.

* * * * *

      This wasn't Charlie's first rodeo, so the activation of the security protocol wasn't the cause of some huge adrenalin dump like the new agents on his team were exhibiting. Just another day at the office, he thought, even though 'the office' in this case was the White House. Counting this new guy, this was Charlie Randolf's fourth administration as part of the Secret Service presidential protection detail.

      Despite the pageantry and hype, Presidents were only human, of course. They all react and overreact to different things in their own way. For only being in 'the big chair' for a few months, this guy wasn't taking it too bad. He knew them by name, didn't treat them like wait staff, and almost always followed their advice on protective matters, which was nice.

      This fellow was a Senator from back west, a decent enough dude, Charlie thought, who waited his turn in line until he was his party's inevitable nominee. The fact that the new First Lady was easy on the eyes and a former Miss Colorado didn't hurt, either.

      This was the first Secret Service security incident for the President, though, and he had looked a bit pale when he was bum-rushed by the evac team through the White House.
      That being said, it wasn't every day that the heavy weaponry and armor was busted out. Some of the junior members of the team, and most of the younger Marines, were still pretty tense and on-edge. Charlie just suited up, met his team at the response point outside the conference room, and kept his muzzle trained on the elevator doors. Just another day at the office.
      After a half-hour of waiting, Charlie, his partner Tim Martling, and the rest of his response team received the all-clear signal. Martling gave a radio acknowledgment, and the conference room doors behind them unbolted, their thick steel locking pins pulling back with a half-greased shriek from their sockets in the reinforced frame.

     The two dozen generals, cabinet members, and other staff members and advisers all emerged from the bunker, some popping antacids, other rubbing their temples, their faces a uniform shade of haunted gray. Charlie Randolf had seen some meetings go bad, but this one must have been pretty serious. The satellite feeds on the walls confirmed his suspicions. Screens with rapidly escalating counters were titled "Initial Casualty Estimates," and the numbers were already in the millions. Charlie was careful to not be caught gawking at the screens.

     The president was still seated in the room, his elbows on the table, his head in his hands. Mr. Portsmouth stood behind him, his finger tracing across the screen of a tablet, scanning through some breaking news or some other report. The displays in the room were full of maps of Texas. There were rings around the Dallas area. Big, broad, red and black rings, some solid in color, others shaded or striped, like ripples in a pond of toxic paint. Shit. That can't be good.
     Randolf turned to his team mate who was busy undoing his assault vest and packing it away in a large black response bag.
     "Hey, Martling, aren't you a Dallas Mavericks fan?"
     "Yeah, why?"
     "Not any more, you aren't. Look at that shit in there, but don't get caught."
     Martling handed his rifle off to the junior member of the team, Ramirez, to return to the armory. He zipped his gear away and stood up, slinging the heavy duffel bag over his shoulder. He scanned the screens in the briefing room for a second, then pulled back when Portsmouth looked up, frowning, from his tablet.
     "Damn. My wife's got people down there. Well, fuck it. The Mavs have a rebuilding year ahead of them, I guess."

     "Yeah, you ain't bullshittin', there. Dallas. Vaporized, man. Wow."
     "Who do they think did it? Russians? Chinese? Home-growns?"
     "Damned if I know. They were talking about some experiment that went sideways when the doors first shut. That must have been one earth-shattering kaboom. Maybe it was Marvin the Martian from the Bugs Bunny cartoons."
     "Man, you and your fuckin' cartoons, man. Just, please, don't do the voice again. You suck at it."
      Charlie Randolf did his best impersonation of an extraterrestrial looking for his missing PU-426 Modulator. Martling's unkind assessment of his talents proved true: it didn't come off so well.

     There was a shout from the inside of the armored briefing room. Randolf and Martling bolted back in to the room, their hands unsnapping the holster releases for their pistols. The president was on the phone, his back turned to them. Portsmouth had dropped his tablet, and was pointing at the two of them.

     "Agents, get on the horn. Get the National Security Council back in here. There are survivors in and around the dead zone, and something's not right. Hurry up."

     "What do you mean, 'something's not right?' 'Something's not right' that there are survivors, or there's something wrong with the survivors?"

      Chief Of Staff Sherman Portsmouth's mouth became a grim line, and his normal, cheerful disposition disappeared. "Agent Martling, I don't have time to explain, so do me a favor, shut the fuck up, and call it in. Charlie, get them back in here, and you and your team post up at the elevators again. Break out your gear."

     Martling slipped his response bag off his shoulder as he pulled out his radio. He looked at Charlie Randolf with annoyance.

     "Well, shit. You armor up while I cover the door, and then you do me. At least we go into overtime in a couple hours."

     "Yup," Charlie said, as he pulled his vest back over his head.  He winked at Martling as he secured the snaps of the load-bearing gear.

     Martling caught the look, and said, “Don't say it.”

     Charlie grinned, and said, “Just another day at the office!”

     “Dammit, Charlie, I hate when you say that. Ramirez! Get back here with those rifles!"

* * * * *

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

A Little More Writin'.

A little more writin'.

* * * * *


     “What the hell do you mean, 'it's all gone?'”

     “I mean, Mr. President, that the D.F.W. area is no longer there. Gone. We've confirmed it. We've even moved one of our new recon satellites over the area. The whole place is wiped off the map. From Denton to Waco, everything is gone, or burning.”

      The tall man from Colorado was incredulous. It was only his fourth month on the job, and the new streaks of gray in his hair were a testament to the burden of the presidency.

     “You mean, like scooped out? Like a giant crater?”

     “No, Mr. President. The new particle supercollider in Waxahachie was going to come online today and run its first series of experiments. Your office was going to issue a statement congratulating them on the start-up effort--”
The President bolted up in his chair. “Well, Jesus, Sherman, we haven't put that out, yet, have we?”

     “No, Mr. President. I'm on it,” the president's chief of staff said, his hand brushing his mustache as he looked over the preliminary reports coming from Texas. “As I was saying, sir, the greater part of the Dallas area is burned away to nothing. Everything around the supercollider is a charred cinder for miles in every direction, except for an anomalous area in the center of the blast. We're looking into that now.”

      The president held his head in his hands. “Jesus Christ, Sherman...Dallas is gone. Just...gone. Gone? Really?”

      “Really, Mr. President. I've called the National Security Council. They're assembling downstairs in the secure conference room,” said Sherman Portsmouth.

“Any leads as to the cause? Anyone claiming responsibility?”

      “None at this time, sir. This is all just coming in now, so the picture isn't exactly complete, yet. The scheduled start of the experiment was slated for about 35 minutes ago. I've issued orders on your behalf to immediately stop work at the other particle accelerators at our national labs and others at private and state universities. We should also get our science folks to talk to the CERN supercollider people about shutting down.”

      The president took a hard swallow from the glass of water on his desk, and said, “That sounds like a good plan, Sherman. Good job. Let's go with that.”

      “Yes, sir. Now, we should be heading to the ready room.”

      The president held up his hand for a moment, and said, “Wait, Sherm, you said there was something strange in the middle of the burn area. What's there now?”

      “Perhaps we should move to the ready room, Mr. President. We'll have a clearer assessment of the situation there.”

      The leader of the free world blinked, nodded his head, and straightened his tie as he walked out of the executive office.
The president and his chief of staff made their way though the winding office mazes and wide public hallways of the White House. An agent was on every corner, looking towards the next guarded intersection or corridor for clearance, then bidding them come forward. 
      His normal security detail was double in number, and the hallways were clear of their normal governmental bustle. After they entered the conference room, the small cloud of Marines and Secret Service agents, all armored, all wearing rifles or submachineguns, closed the doors behind them, weapons pointed towards the sealed-off elevators.

* * * * *

Friday, June 17, 2016

Hawken Coming To X-Box One and PS4!

Looks like one of my favorite mecha games, Hawken, is coming to the console of your choice (as long as your choice is the X-Box One or the Playstation 4).

Very cool.

I spent a lot of time on that game.  Probably more than I should.  Now I get to steal the X Box away from my son.  Yay!


Saturday, June 11, 2016

Little Writing Snippet. A Taste Of Things To Come.

Here's a little taste of what I'll be working on over the summer.  Hopefully, it will get the voices out of my head.  This particular set, anyway.

Paragraph spacing is to keep you from going blind due to the massive wall of text.
Oh, and my most sincere apologies to my friends in the DFW area for killing you.  ;)

* * * * *


There was a glow in the air, a widespread feeling of giddiness and hope, in the crowded supercollider control room. Years of construction gaffes, monstrous budget overruns, and endless regulatory hearings melted away, leaving only this final symbol of scientific victory over the bureaucratic and political process.
It finally came down to this: the throwing of “The Big Switch.” As the administrators and politicians looked on with glee, the test director pulled the oversize electrical connector to the “on” setting, like Igor pulling the lever on one of Dr. Frankenstein's mad experiments.

     The switch was only a prop, though, a gift from the prototype shop of the huge supercollider's electrical contractor. The final particle collision sequence was really started by the click of a mouse to a button on the master control computer's interface screen.
As the ceremonial switch was thrown, the test director nodded to her assistant, who gently tapped the shoulder of the particle physicist manning the real initiation button.

      Lights danced on the display screens. The control room's three main walls were dominated by racetrack-like representation maps, oval arrays of lights surrounded by status screens for the six main experiments strewn along the collider's miles of superconducting magnets and conduit. Relays opened and closed in a carefully-orchestrated sequence, dumping a significant portion of the state of Texas' power supply into the supercollider. A deep, almost insubstantial hum filled the ears of everyone in the control room.
Light applause filtered in from the small stadium-style gallery of seats adjoining the control room as the racetrack display's lights all turned to green. Behind the plexiglass separation, the media representatives turned to address their cameras and audiences. Selected family members and other VIPs took pictures on their phones of the assembly.

    The hum in the room continued to build. It was no longer just heard, but also felt. Those in the audience with extensive dental work or phone implants in their jaws agonized as deep pains shot through their heads.
     A small, red-rimmed pop-up alarm came up on the main interface screen. The particle physicist frowned at the unexpected trouble signal.

      “Whoa, that's not supposed to happen. Allen, are you seeing this?” he said, looking to another scientist at a separate workstation across the room. He reached to acknowledge and knock down the alarm. His hand passed through the mouse and desktop. A hard white light began to flare from the control room wall closest to the supercollider.

      The rising hum in the room drowned out his cry of surprise. It also masked the murmuring and outbursts coming from the audience as the racetrack's solid green lights turned to flashing red. More and more alerts blanketed the status display screens.

      The room's temperature grew too hot, too fast. Screams were cut short as meat, metal, and all other physical matter shifted from solid to superheated gas in a matter of seconds.

      There was a flash, and everything within a fifty-mile radius of the supercollider, including the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and its population of millions, boiled away to nothing.

* * * * *

Monday, May 9, 2016

Ah, Gun Parts In The Mail...Vereh Nice.

There's nothing like getting gun parts in the mail box.  It's like Christmas at the end of the driveway.

I recently ordered a Shockwave Blade, a brace to stabilize my AR pistol when it's hanging WAAAAY out there at the end of my arm.

Here's what it looks like.

Here's where I got it.  Skid Tactical.  $60 for the brace and tube, shipped.  Good deal, so I jumped on it.

This, of course, is not a shoulder stock.  It's a stabilizing brace.  It doesn't go against the shoulder.  That would be wrong and evil, of course.

Here are some pics of the AR pistol, pre-new-gun-parts.  I had wrapped 550 cord around a standard carbine stock and taped the hell out of it, so that a normal buttstock could not be added.  That's a regular A2 pistol grip, and a Yankee Hill .338 flash hider up front.

I didn't really like the result, and looked for a better way.  Thus, the Shockwave.

And here's the end result.  My Dissipator carbine with a 16" barrel is shown for scale reference. 

Pistol grip on the pistol has been changed out to a Magpul MIAD. 
.308 A2-style birdcage flash hider up front.
Lancer Mags have been color-coded so I know to just load .300 BLK in them.

The pistol is chambered in .300 Blackout.  I'll probably add a 11.5" 5.56 NATO barrel to the mix this summer, a cheapie red dot, a light, and some back-up iron sights.

Until next time, enjoy.