One Step Closer to Permitless Concealed Carry in AZ

From AZCDL:

SB 1108, the Senate version of the AzCDL-requested Constitutional Carry bill, passed in the Senate Third Read, by a 20-10 vote, on Monday, March 29, 2010.

From here, SB 1108 will be sent over to the House.  Since the House has already voted for an identical bill, HB 2347, during their Committee of the Whole (COW) debate, we are expecting SB 1108 to be substituted for HB 2347 during the House Third Read.  We are also expecting the House Third Read vote to be as early as Tuesday, March 30, 2010.  This will be “the” final vote on Constitutional Carry to determine if it will be sent to the Governor!

Things are moving quick on this.

Of course, I think it’s rather silly that so much legislative time (even as fast as things are going) is spent to make it legal for people to untuck their shirts while carrying (permitless open carry is already legal here) while people could carry without a permit so long as their shirt is tucked in. Permitless concealed carry should be a no-brainer.

Fun

It’s amazing how fun a suppressed .22 is.

While everyone around you is firing off fifty-cent-per-round .223 and .308 out of absurdly tricked-out ARs and M1As, shooting free1 .22LR from a suppressed 10/222 is rather light on the wallet, not to mention an absurd amount of fun. Cheap, comfortable, quiet, and no recoil. What’s not to love?

I also fired a magazine through my 20″ AR today to make sure it was still holding zero since the last time I took it out (it was). It might be shooting a hair to the left, and I’ll have to check it the next time I go out. I’m thinking of scoping out my 20″ AR and suppressed 10/22 and moving the red dot from the 10/22 to the 16″ AR. Any thoughts on decent scopes for ARs? ACOGs are shiny, but spendy. I’d prefer something compact and rugged over longer and fragile, but so long as it’s rugged enough for regular use, I’m open to anything.

I need to get out to the range a bit more, and start pushing the range out. I haven’t shot further than 100 yards in some time and I miss it.

  1. Given to me as a gift from friends. Thanks Doug & Nathan! []
  2. The rifle, Trijicon red dot, and silencer probably cost less than a stock AR these days. []

Rangetime!

I’m going to the range on Sunday with my friend Ian to zero in the sights on his PTR-91 and generally get some trigger time. It’s been way too long.

84 Days

Until I get married, that is.

On a related note, my new passport arrived yesterday. It’s evidently filled with science in the form of RFID. The page with all the personal information and photograph is not on the inside of the front cover, but rather on the first page inside the cover.

What’s the big deal with RFID anyway? Don’t all the passports get scanned by an optical reader which then queries some huge database of worldwide passport holders so the Customs guy can verify what’s printed in the booklet? How does adding short-range wireless to the passport speed things up at all? The guy still needs to hold it in his hand? Does the extra second needed to run it through the optical reader slow things down too much?

At least I don’t look like too much of a chump in the photo…

Vacation

I got back on Saturday after a week of skiing in South Lake Tahoe, CA.

During the trip, I taught my friend Louis how to ski. With only a few days worth of skiing, he picked up the basics really well.

I’ve also taught him how to ride a bike (how he missed out on this during his childhood, I’ll never know) and how to shoot.

I’m practicing my future fathering on my friends, and so far, so good.

On Ads

I really, really, really dislike online advertising.

I find the claims made by many ads1 to be offensive to my intelligence, and I am not remotely interested in teeth whitening or novelty means of losing weight2. Fad diets and colon cleansing are right out.

No, I don’t want to punch the monkey or, for that matter, Osama bin Laden. I don’t want poorly-made faux Windows XP ads warning me that my registry isn’t optimized. I am certainly not the 1,000,000th visitor to a particular site, and I know I have not won any sort of prize. See “Free Lunch, No Such Thing As A”. Making them blink, flash, or vibrate around in ways that induce seizures will not make me click them. Sites that host such ads will likely have me take my eyeballs elsewhere.

I understand that advertising is an important means of funding the operations of many sites, large and small. I don’t begrudge non-intrusive advertising that tries to be somewhat related to what I’m reading. If I’m reading a page that’s talking about, for example, astronomy, advertisements for telescopes would be on-topic and related. So long as they’re not obnoxious, don’t blink, flash, pop-up, expand, make noise, or cover/crowd out content, I’m ok with that. If ads for teeth whitening or weight loss come up, that irritates me. If I’m reading a gunblog and there’s an ad for ammo, that’s fine…indeed, I might click the ad to see if the site in question has good deals. If the ad’s for some new TV show, I could care less.

Over the last few years, I’ve routinely used Adblock Plus, an outstanding Firefox add-on that allows one to block ads on pages one views. All this time browsing the web ad-free has been fantastic, and really sped up my browsing.

However, I realize that my actions may have resulted in a financial loss to several of the sites I visit, so I’ve decided to do an experiment: I’ve turned off Adblock Plus and removed the “opt-out” cookies from various advertisers3 so they can “target” ads toward my “interests”. Google makes it really easy to view and modify the categories and interests that Google associates with your ad-viewing habits. Cool.

First impressions:

  • Holy moly, there’s a lot of obnoxious ads out there. I really don’t care that George Clooney and Anne Hathaway are “geeks”, nor is it relevant to my interests that a site exists for “Geek 2 Geek Dating”. Such ads are not remotely related to my reading of the news. Flash ads can go die in a fire, as can ones that play sound.
  • On the other hand, there’s a lot of great, on-topic ads. Take, for example, this page. The site allows car owners to enter information about their fill-ups and does some neat stuff with it. On the left there is a color-and-style-matched Google text ad that blends in with the overall layout. At the time of my browsing, it was showing subtle ads for Honda Civics (hey, the page it’s being displayed on is about the Civic! Fancy that.), Hyundai Elantras (a competitor to the Civic), and a few other car-related ads. Not obnoxious at all, and relevant to the topic at hand. I approve.

I’ll continue this experiment for the next week or two, after which I’ll turn back on the various protective measures. Based on my results over the experimental period, I’ll consider allowing ads on specific sites that I frequent and that don’t have annoying ads. Those that have irritating ads will be blocked.

Additionally, I’m going to make the following statement: unless it’s absolutely necessary from a financial/operational standpoint4, I will not display ads on this site. In the event that I do display ads, they will be subtle and as on-topic and relevant as I can make them. Fortunately, this site requires on the order of $20/year for hosting, domain costs, and other related expenses, so such expenses are barely worth talking about.

That said, I do use services like SiteMeter, Google Analytics, and QuantCast to get some interesting information about visitors. Basically, I like to see where visitors are coming from, mostly so I can edit a post to say “Hi, visitors from [referring site]!”. That, and I like looking at shiny graphs. Having a third-party service do this is far less of a hassle than analyzing server logs, though I’m considering turning off Google Analytics, as it doesn’t do quite what I want it to. I don’t seek to gather any personal information. Hopefully this is not objectionable.

  1. “Obama wants you to go back to school!”, “Obama wants you to refinance your house!”, etc. []
  2. If I was, I’d be talking to my doctor, not clicking an ad. []
  3. This add-on for Firefox makes your choices permanent, even if you clear cookies. []
  4. Or someone is willing to give me an absolutely outrageous sum of money. []

Survey

My friend Doug1 is doing a survey for his evolutionary psychology course at the university and is doing a paper on what reasons people have for becoming a firearm owner.

Although he would personally like to get several thousand responses and ask 30+ questions, the course requirements are such that he is only allowed to ask a few questions, and they are rather broad.

I would be very much obliged if some of my gentle readers would be so kind to go to his survey and answer the few brief questions.

He’s looking at closing the survey within the next few weeks, and so would appreciate answers sooner rather than later.

Thanks!

  1. Who is a fellow gun-owner, and has appeared numerous times in previous range trips that I’ve documented here. This survey is not some sort of sneaky trap. []

Calling Designers

After using a generic blog theme for some time, I’m looking at using a custom theme (nearly all canned themes don’t seem to work).

Unfortunately, my graphical skills are slim-to-none.

Anyone out there have any graphical skills? I’m a bit tight on money and so can’t pay with cash, but eternal glory could be yours1!

  1. For varying levels of “eternal” and “glory”. []

On Parcel Delivery

UPS seems to be extremely confused with parcel delivery to my apartment address.

About half the time, they deliver parcels properly.

The rest of the time, they screw everything up. Some examples:

  • A few years ago, they delivered a package when I wasn’t here. Rather than leave it with my apartment manager’s office (who is authorized to sign for, receive, and securely store parcels on behalf of residents), they left it outside, in the rain, for three days until I got home. Fortunately, the contents weren’t damaged by the rain during this time. When I called to complain and ask them to deliver to the manager if I’m not available, they somehow misunderstood and marked my address as “DO NOT DELIVER” in their system and refused to deliver packages (though I could pick them up at the local UPS facility) for about a year until repeated phone calls finally cleared things up.
  • On several occasions, they’ve attempted to deliver packages when I’m not here, and just take it back to the local facility rather than delivering to the apartment manager. (On one attempt, the manager’s office was closed and I was out, so they just took it back to the facility after leaving a note. That’s fine.)
  • On a few other occasions, they just leave packages, including “signature required” ones, at my apartment doorstep.
  • Finally, today, they left the package with my neighbor (who, while an amiable person who says “hello” whenever we run into each other, is not someone who is authorized to receive parcels on my behalf).

Is it really that hard for UPS to understand the simple procedure:

  1. If I, the recipient, am there, deliver package to me. Get signature from me if required.
  2. If I am not there, deliver package to apartment manager’s office. Leave a note on my door. This is SOP for this apartment, and UPS, FedEx, DHL, and the USPS usually know this.
  3. If neither I nor the apartment manager is there, leave a note and take the package back to the local UPS facility. I’ll come by that night to pick it up.
  4. Under no circumstances should packages be left in the rain, on my doorstep, or with unauthorized neighbors.

Easy, huh? Evidently it confounds UPS.

Don’t even get me started with the US Postal Service, though. When I file a “hold mail” request, that applies to all mail, not just letters. They should also hold any packages until I return to collect the mail, rather than repeatedly attempt to deliver the packages, fill my mailbox with “We attempted to deliver this package, but it’s too big for your box. We’ll try again.” and “We’ve attempted to deliver this package. Since we’ve been unsuccessful at delivering it (even though the mailboxes are attached to the wall of the apartment manager’s office -AR), we’ll be returning it to the sender.” notices, and eventually return the parcels to the befuddled sender.

I swear, my apartment complex appears to be located at some sort of weird nexus of package delivery suck. The only things that seem to get through without any hassle are letters and compact, heavy packages labeled as hazmat/ORM-D (e.g. ammo), probably because the latter scares the driver a bit.