Sunday, July 17, 2011

Mmmm grill. Check out 'dem bunz.

I didn't really have a blog topic today (as usual) so I figured i'd rant (as usual) about something that's been bothering me for the last year or so.

I just recently passed my summer school course i mentioned in previous blogs with an A.  I find this both exhilarating, as it will raise my GPA, and a tad disheartening at the same time.  I say this because I quite literally did not pay attention to a single lecture after day one.  My "fuck yeah, i'm gonna do great this semester" attitude gave way to my inability to pay attention to things i don't care about.  By day two I had my netbook out for all four hours of class surfing facebook, checking up on forums, reading blogs, and other things of the sort.  Yet i managed to pull an A after 3 tests, 3 500 word essays, and 3 quizzes.  So why's that disheartening?  I mean don't get me wrong, I really don't mind getting a 4.0 semester with a class I couldn't give less of a shit about.

The ultimate time wasting tool: The Netbook.

Really, I just feel like it was a waste of time.  I mean, I should be learning about things that are actually going to benefit my career path in college?  I should be learning about the things I intend on spending the rest of my life working on.  That's the entire reason i'm attending in the first place right?  Thus far I've taken 3 summer school courses, and two full semesters of courses at my community college, not a single course relating to my major.  They've all be core classes.  But wasn't that what high school was for?  These core requirements are ridiculous, 2 English classes, humanities, speech, music appreciation?  I'm pretty sure that was covered in the other 12 years of schooling I have under my belt.  Are these bogus requirements just there for the colleges to make more money, or what?  My British literature/English 2 professor told us an interesting take on this issue once.  He said that in his eyes, and the staffs eyes, college isn't just a place to learn job skills.  It's also a place where you learn life skills.  And to an extent I can see what he means.  Speech is intended to help people interact with others better.  However, I took speech in high school, so i suppose that's already taken care of isn't it?  Music appreciation isn't intended to teach me anything work related.  It's supposed to teach me about music, and (apparently) how to appreciate it.  But i don't care that they want to teach me these "life skills".  I'm not there for that.  I'm there to learn about work skills.  I can learn life skills on my own (free) time.  I mean, i can see what they are going for with music appreciation, but that class was utterly worthless to me.  I already have a deep appreciation for music of several genre's and time periods.  I didn't need to pay for a class to sit in for that.  It's just a waste of my time, along with a boost to my GPA.  Perhaps my attitude will change next year, when i go off to attend a 4 year university and start taking more major specific courses, but as of now, i just don't understand it. (and by "don't understand it" I mean I think they should stop wasting my time and money with it.)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A very interesting read.

A while back before I discovered blogger, I made a tumblr account.  At first it was quite enjoyable, like a facebook type place where i could write long winded thoughts and things outside the view of my friends.  I quickly found that in reality tumblr is pretty much a place where hipster scene kids go to reblog pictures of scene girls, cupcakes, their shitty camera phone photography, overused memes, and more scene girls.  Note how i say reblog.  Meaning 99% of the content on my feed isn't even originally from the person posting it.  Why the hell would i follow you if you aren't going to post any shit of your own?  That's all fine and dandy, but I don't really care about most of those things (Scene girls are okay, but i don't want to look at re-blogged pictures of things you care about all day.).  That being said, every month or so i'll wander back onto tumblr to see what the few people I do follow have posted.  Most of it is uninteresting to me, but tonight I read a link one of my old friends posted.

It's one hell of a long read, but it's really interesting.  It's some guy talking about his experience after being in prison for 2 years for armed robbery.  He talks about how it's like, how his interactions with other inmates/staff go, how his family and friends reacted, how he coped, and described just how differently the media, and general public depict prison, as opposed to the reality.  He talks about his drug use, and how he blew his cellmate.  There's really no benefit from reading this (for me at least) because I wasn't really keen on becoming a felon anyways, but that was surely incentive to not fuck my life up (plus I don't want to blow any cellmates.)

Monday, July 11, 2011

I'm back bitches! (yet again.)

While writing my post the other night, it dawned on me why i don't regularly blog.  That post bitching and moaning about California legislation easily took me over an hour to write.  You see, i'm actually a terrible writer.  Because of this, whenever i type out a blog, or forum post, I generally proofread it about fifty thousand times, just to make sure i don't make myself look like an illiterate fool.  I re-word things, I re-re word things, then i re-re-re-re-re word things until i'm reasonably satisfied with the result.  Hell, i just re-wrote that last sentence about me re-writing things.  Because of my obsessive need to be sure I don't look like a retard in front of people I don't actually know, it takes a significant amount of time to write blog posts.  And as you may or may not know by now, i'm quite lazy, and would much rather do other things during my off time.  Like play video games.  Or eat waffles.

I find reading blogs is more interesting if they have pictures in them.  Therefore my blog is now interesting.  This is my dog, fluffeh butt.  He died like 2 years ago, but he was the coolest dog in the history of forever.   

On a somewhat related note, the careful observer may notice my most recent post before this was under a week ago, which means i'm actually going to start updating this blog again.  You see, my manager wasn't too happy to learn about my plans of leaving for college next month (apparently he expected me to stay at that dead end job for the rest of my life like everyone else who works there.  Sorry, I have a goal to not be a total failure in life.).  In retaliation, he has decided to schedule me no more than 3 days a week. (the fact we have 2 more drivers than before may also be a contributing factor too...)  I admit, having 4+ days off every week is quite nice, but my income has also been adequately destroyed... Which is actually kind of a big deal seeing as I won't be bumming everything from my parents after I move out (apparently the real world is super expensive).  But i digress my newfound spare time means I've decided to be more productive.  I've told myself I'm going to continue writing in this fancy little blog of mine, and I seem to be listening to myself this time.  I'm also starting to go jogging with a buddy of mine every other day in an attempt to whip my sorry ass into shape so i don't die at the ripe age of 27 due to heart failure.  I've also decided i'm going to start practicing drums again, as I pretty much stopped completely when I got a girlfriend about two years ago.

So yeah.  Expect at least a blog a week, if not more from now on.  Goodbye now.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

SB 798, and why you should hate it.

For those of you reading this who don't know what SB 798 is (my guess is 99 to 100% of my followers), it's a bill attempting to be passed in California to regulate replica firearms (basically, that means airsoft guns, woodsball paintball guns, ect) by making it illegal to own a toy gun painted black.  It would have to be painted a neon color.  Throughout this post I will be defending airsoft over paintball because most people associate paintball with speedball;
Speedball team
a sport where players use "Markers" (not guns) and wear colorful uniforms.  The public is less aware of it's sister sport, woodsball, which is more of a milsim-esque "realistic" game.
Woodsball team

Just because i'm not defending paintball doesn't mean it's not in danger.  Anti-gun legislators hate pretty much anything that shoots anything.  Just wait, they'll try and ban nerf guns soon too.

It all started a while back when some officers ran into three boys playing with airsoft guns (I don't know all the details, but this is the main idea of the story.) The police assumed the airsoft guns were real firearms, and therefore pulled their guns on the boys, and told them to drop their weapons, as they were trained to do.  two of the boys followed the officers orders, and 1 moron pointed his airsoft gun at a cop.  Obviously, the cop fired on the boy as he was trained to do, because he felt his life was in danger at that point.  In a direct reaction to this incident, SB 798 was born.  In theory it sounds great.  Now the officers can identify toy guns and real guns right?  Wrong.  On many levels.  Let me enlighten you.

For starters, there is already a law in place to differentiate real guns from fake guns.  A blaze orange tip no shorter than 1 inch is required by law to be on the front of any toy/replica firearm when sold. 

Secondly, nothing is stopping criminals from painting their guns neon colors.  All it takes is a can of Duracoat, and an hour of your time, and you have yourself a hot pink hello kitty killing machine that looks less threatening than a lot of toy guns.  
Want the protection and reliability of a Glock, without that awful matte black clashing with your designer purse?  Introducing the new hello kitty marpat paint job! (and yes, that is a real glock.)

If this bill were to be passed, it wouldn't solve the issue it was trying to solve.  It still wouldn't be able to fully differentiate the difference between a real gun, and a fake gun. In fact, this legislation could endanger police officers even more, because now they may assume a legitimate firearm is nothing but a crossman.  And just imagine the public outlash if a police officer accidently shot someone with one of these neon colored toy guns, because he couldn't quite see it, or something of the sort. 
So there are some holes in the bill, but what could passing it hurt?  Glad you asked.

Surprisingly, airsoft is a fairly large sport.   Many people are attracted to it over its sister sport paintball (and it's genetically superior cousin, woodsball) for realism (airsoft guns are more true to size than paintball guns due to the smaller projectiles), milsim (military simulation, for both recreational, or training purposes) and cost (a bag of 5000 .2 high quality bbs costs you about 10 dollars.  A box of 2000 paintballs can easily cost 30 dollars).  If that realism aspect of the sport is taken away, it loses its appeal for many players.  Several major airsoft retailers, including Evike, and Airsoft GI are located in California, and this bill passing would mean huge revenue losses, and lost jobs.  Airsoft in California is a 170+ million dollar industry, and as you may or may not have known, California could use some of that tax revenue. 

So what have we learned so far?  SB 798 would be an invective solution to the problem it's trying to solve, as there's no solid way to differentiate a toy gun from a real gun during the heat of the moment, especially with custom painted real steel firearms.  This bill is essentially a "feel good bill" where in theory, it sounds like the legislators are doing the right thing, but in reality more harm will be done than good.  Millions of dollars, and tons of jobs.

Also, let's be honest.  If you're dumb enough to point anything that looks like a gun at a law enforcement officer, you deserve to get shot in the teeth for being so fucking stupid.  I mean seriously.  People dumbfound me, and there are people who actually side with the kid who got shot!  The officers did exactly what they were supposed to do, and trained to do.  The kid pulled what he knew the police would assume was a real firearm, and pointed it at them.  That's kinda a big no-no

Luckily, the bill was shot down on a 5 no, 2 yes vote.  Unfortunately, it has been altered to be even more severe (basically treating airsoft guns as actual firearms in legal stuff).  Even though i don't really think it will pass, it's still concerning. 

So why do i have such a firm stance on this bill, when I generally remain neutral on pretty much every government issue? (well, not exactly neutral, but I generally don't hold extreme views, and for the most part i empathize with both sides to an extent.)  I live in Texas, so aside from some retailers i buy from being effected, i'd be safe from this feel good bill.  It's because i'm an avid airsofter myself.  Heck, I've easily spent over 500 dollars on the hobby.
Here's a photo of me being a badass at my local airsoft field.  nbd.

And if this bill passes, it's only a matter of time before it spreads to other states.  Sure, it would get to Texas last, what with all of our gun crazy red necks down here :b but it's not something i want to see done to one of my favorite hobbies.  Additionally, a huge pet peeve of mine is people making an opinion about an issue without actually looking at it from both sides, and doing a bit of actual thinking for themselves.  You know who i'm talking about.  Those people who love to spout all this talk about some current issue, repeating the same 3 points they heard on the news earlier. They never bothered to think it over for themselves, or look at it from a different point of view.  And when you challenge them, they've got nothing to back it up.  People need to think for themselves.  Huge pet peve.  

Tuesday, July 5, 2011