::::: : the wood : davidrobins.net

My name is David Robins: Christian, lead developer (resume), writer, photographer, runner, gun enthusiast, libertarian (voluntaryist), and student.

This is also my son David Geoffrey Robins' site.

New Glock 19

News, Guns ·Saturday October 26, 2013 @ 13:56 EDT (link)

I bought a new (generation 4) Glock 19, which is a compact 9mm, just a little smaller than the standard Glock 17 which itself is smaller than the extended-slide Glock 34 that I had and would typically carry (in a Blackhawk Serpa retention belt holster, although usually under a sweater or coat rather than open). The long slide on the G34 would usually extend beyond my coat or sweater so I wanted something a little smaller that wouldn't.

I took the Glock to my range (ACC) and it performed well as expected, shooting plates and paper both at about 10 yards.

Kimber Master Carry Custom

News, Guns ·Saturday October 19, 2013 @ 10:34 EDT (link)

I have had my Kimber Master Carry Custom for over a week now, but hadn't had the opportunity to shoot it; either I got home too late (takes 35 minutes to get to ACC, and they close at sundown) or something else was going on. I should note that I bought it from The Foxhole Guns and Archery in Georgia, via GunBroker, and had it transferred via U.S. Defense Solutions, a small but well-stocked dealer south of Indiana (with $15 FFL transfers). I picked up an extra magazine (Wilson Combat) and a .45 bore snake from them to tide me over until my .45 jag arrived from Amazon. Since this is my first .45, I had no .45-specific cleaning gear. I also bought 400 rounds of .45 at a gun show (200 rounds Federal, 200 rounds hand-loaded by Jim Waldrip).

I got out to shoot it for the first time yesterday; I had already disassembled and reassembled it (the barrel bushing trick is strange) and made sure it was in shooting shape. I shot several paper targets at 30 feet, and it performed excellent well, and then went over to the bay with steel targets and dispatched them handily, one round apiece. When picking up my brass, I couldn't find a few but I found a few extras next by the plate rack that made up for it.

It kicks a little more than 9mm, but certainly manageable (as it ought to be in a full-size metal 1911). Trigger is very crisp; I love it. I was shooting the hand-loads, and had no problems with them. I only shot about 50 rounds; I want to clean it reasonably frequently during the break-in period.

Books finished: The Golden Transcendence.

Canadian Thanksgiving; tricks of the border Nazis

News, Auto ·Tuesday October 15, 2013 @ 20:02 EDT (link)

We went up to my parents' in Canada for Canadian Thanksgiving, leaving Friday the 11th (had to run out on a demo that went overlong) and staying until the morning of Tuesday the 15th. (Since Canadian Thanksgiving isn't a recognized US holiday, understandably, I had to take a couple vacation days.) I drove the Acura up, since people wanted to see it. Very comfortable trip, and the XM radio is addictive: not having to find a new station every 100 miles or so is convenient.

Since (as my father-in-law reminded me) dealers tend to underfill tires for a smoother ride, and cold decreases pressure, my tire pressure alarms had been coming on as it got colder here in Indiana (rear passenger, which I filled) and in Canada (rear driver, filled while there). At this point I had figured out what was going on (I really hoped it wasn't a leak already) and wasn't surprised to see the two front tires report low pressure on a cold day after we got back home.

I'm rather annoyed with the OED, although not them specifically, but the general mechanism of words being used and moving to dictionaries. I'm not objecting to language being dynamic; dictionaries should follow use; but rather the somewhat random delay between usage and documentation, although I expect (hope) that the OED at least has and tries to follow a documented process (much like the Jargon File, or New Hacker's Dictionary, does).

The border was not closed, but it seemed (from a sample size of one, plus comparison to a few previous trips) that they were at least conducting a slowdown; crossing Windsor to Detroit midday Tuesday had everyone (including trucks) down to a single lane and they asked a lot more questions than usual (e.g., how I got my citizenship). Going both ways, they asked me to roll down the rear window of my car. I think that's meant to be a quick "check if it's stolen and the driver doesn't know how to do basic things" heuristic, but it's not that hard and a legitimate owner might not yet know how to do that after a few weeks. I was asked the same thing several years back, when I had a rental car from Buffalo, and I didn't know, so they pulled me over and conducted a (relatively quick) search (turns out the window controls were in the central console, which I have never seen since).

We had a nice visit. On Saturday dad and I went looking at laptops for him (the family had managed to persuade him toward a laptop rather than a desktop), and Honey went with mom to run errands. We went to Thorold South Sunday morning (since they didn't have an evening service due to the holiday) (as an aside, I wish they would keep their name and not call the new place Rolling Meadows or whatever is that state planners are forcing them to name it), and Brockview in the evening, where we lucked into a fellowship hour. Attendance seems to be down there (about 40 people, but they really rattled around the large auditorium; it might have looked like normal attendance in Thorold South's smaller room, say), although at least the youth were fairly well represented.

We had thanksgiving dinner Monday; the traditional turkey, stuffing, and home-made cranberry sauce; delicious as usual (well, as in the past, at least; it had been some years since we'd been there, and since all of my siblings and I had been together for the day), and apple pie for dessert. It was good to see everybody, and we also celebrated Michael's birthday and got an (extended) family photograph in the back yard among the leaves.

Books finished: The Amber Spyglass.

ASIS 2013

News, Technical ·Tuesday September 24, 2013 @ 22:10 EDT (link)

Today I went to the ASIS 2103 security conference; Exacq chartered a bus up today (and Wednesday, so people had a choice), and some people (mainly sales and upper management, and some people involved in new projects) were there most of the week.

It was held at the McCormick center in Chicago (about four hours drive each way); the halls (A1 and A2) had a capacity (as advertised by the fire warning signs) of 20,020 (yes, twenty thousand and twenty). There were hundreds of exhibitors (and seminars, but we day trippers got free exhibit-only badges; no free bag, either). I grabbed a map and tried to be systematic about visiting all the booths, although it was easy to get turned around at the food court areas. Mike had his pedometer and figured he walked about four miles, so I probably did about the same, maybe more.

I picked up a lot of cloth bags, a couple screwdrivers, juggling/stress balls, tinfoil credit card holder, pens (everyone had pens, so here I could have standards…), a bottle opener key ring (Canon logo; maybe I should give it to my dad), some ties/badge holders, flashlights, cup holders, and managed to avoid literature except some pre-inserted into bags. We'll never need to use plastic shopping bags again. (Hey, it's my first conference of the type; I'm sure I won't bother much at the next one; and I actually stopped at each booth to learn what they did. Surprisingly many weren't obvious from what they had displayed.)

The bus left Exacq at 0730 and we left Chicago at probably around 1645 (all times Eastern, even though Chicago is in Central), although 1630 was advertised. We made a stop on the way for breakfast (Gatorade and trail mix) and on the way back (Wendy's, salad). I guess it was close to 2030 when I got home; long day.

Exacq's booth was a good size (with the smallest ones being 1x1, which is maybe 10' square?, it was a 2x2 and had no direct neighbors. We were also in other booths—Tyco's, of course, due to the acquisition (they had a 6x6 and a 6x5, both near the entrance, and were conference sponsors), and some of the camera makers: Samsung, Arecont, ACTi, Axis, etc. There was plenty of physical security gear (bullet-proof vests, security vehicles, including Segway and Cisco's mobile command center van, and Motorola had a technically equipped police car, and some security barriers), uniforms (5.11 was there too), network security, X-ray and other scanners.

Car care

News, Auto ·Tuesday September 24, 2013 @ 00:29 EDT (link)

My Meguiar's car care products (soap, wax, microfiber wash mitt and drying cloth—I read AcuraZine and other forums and went all out) and others items (bucket, grit guard) arrived in pieces the previous week; so I drove the Acura over to the apartment car-wash area (has a roof, couple hoses, vacuum, nearby drain). Well, it ain't rocket science; I tried to follow the Junkman's directions, but "sheeting" the water off the car and "drying with water" are a bit of a trick (especially with the hose nozzle attachment they had; I think I'll take it off next time, to use the basic hose, as he did, or maybe even get a quick-connect with a valve); I ended up with some water spots, mainly on top. The (electric to avoid smoke and fumes) leaf-blower idea is a good one too. Still looked a lot better after I was done. Should probably wax it to make it better proof against bugs and birds.

First time shooting at ACC

News, Guns ·Saturday September 14, 2013 @ 00:30 EDT (link)

I drove out to ACC today to shoot for the first time in many months (the main thing was the wait for the Nazis' protection racket department to issue my LTCH, since the club requires it). There are some indoor ranges around, but I hadn't thought getting a membership would take this long.

I shot my Glock 34 and P226 Elite Dark, at a little over 30', did just fine: generally within a 4" circle, some better. Once you get in (gate requires LTCH number as a code), the range is very informal (after the membership requirements, they can afford to be): pick a bay (I think only one of eight? was actually occupied, and they were on the other side: four bays on each side, about 25 yards, so not great for rifle), establish a firing line, make sure people around (if there was anyone) know when you're going hot. I brought the targets back to hang up at work.

Playing with jQuery: dates and choosers

Technical ·Thursday September 12, 2013 @ 20:44 EDT (link)

We released version 1.17.6 of the exacqVision API today; this release had a couple bad bugs: 1.17.4 was released on the 6th, and we discovered we had stopped sending input trigger events (mea culpa; flipped a ! in refactoring), so released 1.17.5, but then the current version was released today to fix an integer overflow issue in JPEG scaling code.

On to jQuery. When writing the last few entries on this site, I added a new Auto category, which caused my list of category check boxes to wrap the line. I decide that this was a baroque (and broke) way of doing things, so hied around for a jQuery control that would do it better, and came across Chosen, which is quite elegant. It looks a lot like selecting email addresses in GMail, in fact. I did have some trouble with it displaying tiny tiny text in the edit area, which eventually was fixed (through a process of starting with their demo page and determining what was different) by adding a <!doctype html> declaration, which then needed a margin-top setting on the top element so vertical space didn't appear at the top of the document. Yes, HTML is still a bit of a black art, but it has gotten so much better. Getting the control itself to work was trivial, and I needed only minor changes to the underlying Perl (mostly code removal, which is always nice).

Today I decided the date entry box was going to be a date picker, so added in the jQuery UI Datepicker control. With a minor tweak to use a sane format (ISO8601), it didn't even require any server-side code changes this time.

One snag I ran into is that the Popeye plugin that I use to display photos doesn't appear to work with jQuery 2.0.3. I don't have a solution for that yet; I may use a different photo widget, or attempt to fix the issues myself.

Books finished: The Phoenix Exultant; or, Dispossessed In Utopia.

2013 Acura TL SH-AWD Advance

News, Auto ·Monday September 9, 2013 @ 20:15 EDT (link)

I picked up my new car today. I confess I opened it up a little after Honey dropped her car off and we went driving around by the cornfields (actually, we went up to the gun range, since it's a nice drive). Accelerates real smooth, and a comfortable but not isolating ride.

My (2000) Toyota Solara will be spending some time in WV; I'm going to lend it to/store it at their place, and they'll be able to use it when they need an extra car. I don't want to sell it since it still runs fine and I may need it some day, or want to drive it on longer trips when we have a house to store it at, rather than taking the Acura, since it gets better mileage. It's worth more to me than the couple thousand, tops, that I could get from it. (Also, I was glad not to let the dealer have the opportunity to take money from me on the trade-in.)

Range membership, car shopping

News, Guns, Auto ·Saturday September 7, 2013 @ 19:49 EDT (link)

I stopped in to the Atlanta Conservation Club (ACC) this morning to submit my membership application, which required an online quiz, a paper quiz, an on-site safety check (which involved correcting common malfunctions such as a stovepipe, and shooting a line of steel plates), participating or volunteering at two events (I volunteered; I didn't want to shoot matches right now), and submitting rather too much ID (driver's license, license to carry handgun, NRA membership), which, although they are a private company, I blame the state for, as the sine qua non in the transaction. I gave the packet directly to Jeff Oakes, and a check for $150 for a year or so membership (they had some sort of deal for new members), and he said he'd put my gate code in that evening (and he did). So since I'd been waiting several months, mostly for the LTCH, but also do do the events and physical safety check, I was glad to finally be a member (or pretty close; it may require board approval?); unfortunately, I didn't bring cardboard for backing, and they didn't have any spare, so I couldn't shoot that day.

I drove around to a few gun stores, like Bare Arms (sic.), and eventually ended up back at the (Ed Martin) Acura dealer, where I took a 2013 TL (black, or crystal black pearl exterior, black leather, or ebony, interior, SH-AWD, Advance package, tinted windows) for a test drive. Very nice car (I had done another test drive in a similar vehicle in Florida, but it had been a little while). In fact, it was pretty much exactly the model and feature set I wanted, so I returned later in the day with Honey and bought the car. I also had a chance to go through Edmunds.com and request a price quote, using their "True Market Value" calculation, which brought it down some, and a little negotiation did the rest, as they really wanted to make a deal before I left. The car I was looking at had some "diamond cut alloy rim" wheels they wanted $2k for, which I certainly didn't value that highly especially as the package already came with 19" wheels, so they asked if I wanted them if they left them on and didn't charge for them, which was fine by me. They kept trying to get me to go a few hundred higher than my "buy now" price and I told them that'd be fine, but I'd take the numbers down and shop around first. I took the 0.9% financing even though it meant a 36-month loan. I pick the vehicle up Monday.

Books finished: The Subtle Knife.

Tenth anniversary dinner

News ·Sunday September 1, 2013 @ 21:42 EDT (link)

Today we went to Ocean Prime for an anniversary dinner; we had a reservation (via OpenTable) for 1930. I had mentioned on the reservation "special notes" that it was our 10th anniversary, to see if they would do anything for it; and they did, giving us champagne and comped desserts. Honey wore a white "crocodile" pattern dress she had just bought, and new heels, and of course her new earrings.

For the main course Honey had the 10 oz. filet, medium (but they may have done it medium well) and I had the 14 oz. New York strip, medium rare, and we both had baked potatoes on the side (all à la carte, no "included sides", but that was fine). We were pretty full but not uncomfortably so and had called for a box and the check when we received word about desserts on the house, so managed to squeeze it in. I had a white chocolate key lime pie and honey had a chocolate peanut-butter cake. Our waiter, Emmanuel, did a great job.

We were there a couple hours, all told, and had a great time, although we could have wished for quieter neens next to us. I think we brought home enough food for another meal.

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