Shopping Around

After spending a few days of spring break in Massachusetts doing wedding planning stuff and spending some time with the soon-to-be-in-laws (it’s cold in MA!), I’m back in Tucson.

After driving back from Phoenix (where I flew into and spent a few days with The Girl), I decided to stop at the Sportsmans Warehouse in Tucson and browse. As usual, their ammo/powder/primer supplies were depleted. A good 1/4th of their rifle racks were bare; I’m not sure if this is a result of their fun happy financial times or limited supplies from upstream suppliers. They did, however, have DPMS 30-round AR-15 magazines for a whopping $30 (not including tax) each. These same magazines sell, at retail prices, on DPMS’ own website for $18-$20. Yowzers.

On the same trip, I stopped by Murphy’s Guns and looked at their wares. Business was good, with two customers filling out 4473s for new guns, a few people buying ammo, and a bunch of people perusing the racks. They had several ARs in stock, an AK or two, the absurd-looking “Rolling Thunder” shotgun from Mossberg (photo here, press release here), and the normal selection of pistols, all at reasonable prices. There were a few higher-priced specialty rifles like the FN FS2000 (~$1,400, if I recall correctly) on the shelves as well. They were out of the Federal .223 ammo, but had plenty of PMC, Wolf, and Prvi Partizan .223 left (as well as a bunch of Prvi M193). They recently raised prices on the Prvi M193 from $9.19/20 to $10.xx (I forgot the cents), but they still have several of the old-priced stuff in the same crate, so I picked up 60 rounds of that stuff today. Get it while you can.

Alas, I ended up spending money today that I would rather have saved: one of the UPSes for my¬† computers had been indicating that its batteries needed to be replaced for some time (its runtime could be measured in tens of seconds rather than tens of minutes) and beeping annoyingly, so I bought some replacement batteries today. So far, so good — the batteries haven’t exploded yet, and they seem to be charging well.

I also took my motor scooter down to the shop, as I’ve been having annoying failures-to-start that would suggest a dead battery, but the battery is fine according to my float charger and my neighbor’s multimeter. Most days it starts just fine, but some days the lights only come on dimly and it won’t turn over (when I press the electric starter, the lights get even dimmer, suggesting that it’s supplying power to the starter motor but not enough to make it work). Occasionally it’ll turn over once, but not fast enough to start. If it does turn over once, something happens where I can’t kick-start it (but jump starting it from another vehicle works fine). If it doesn’t turn over electrically, then it’ll start just fine with the kick-starter. Hopefully the shop can figure it out, and hopefully it’ll be under warranty — money’s tight enough as it is.

As I had mentioned in a previous post, I’ve recently been struck with some inspiration for a lengthy piece of writing (whether it turns out to be a short story or a full-blown novel is left to my muse). I’ve been reading up on tips for turning such inspiration into a coherent story, and have been outlining some of my thoughts, detailing characters, etc. No idea when the first chapter will be done, but I’ll let you know when it is.

Inspiration

I’ve read several books and short stories over the years, but never considered myself much of a writer. I tend toward more utilitarian, concise, and direct writing over the creative word use of an expert writer. I’m not a terribly creative writer either — I tend to write about what I think and what I see, and am not often known for my flights of fancy.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I had an inspiration the other day for a short story. I’m still putting together the outline in my copious amounts of free time, so we’ll see when I actually get to writing. I’ll likely post it here in stages as the writing progresses.

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