On Unexpected Knocks

When I first moved into this apartment, I’d open the door whenever anyone knocked. I never used the peephole. In retrospect, this was rather dumb, so I rapidly stopped doing it.
Instead, I’d observe the person at the door through the peephole, position my foot so as to stop the door from opening very far, then open the door far enough to stick my head out and speak with them. My thought was that if someone kicked the door, they’d be stopped by my foot. After thinking about this plan, I realized that I often don’t wear shoes in the apartment, and didn’t want to have my foot crushed if someone tried to kick the door in. Also, I could be surprised, jump, or otherwise move my foot, thus allowing the door to open.
My current plan is that I observe the person through the peephole, and if it’s an obvious “good guy” (my friends, my landlord, etc.), I’ll open the door with no problems. Otherwise, I ask (through the closed and locked door) if I can help them. If I don’t recognize them or if they’re a solicitor*, I politely indicate that they should leave. I find it much easier to dismiss them if I don’t need to make face-to-face contact with them.
If they refuse to leave, or become aggressive (which hasn’t happened yet, thankfully), there are less-polite courses of action, such as calling the police, or racking the shotgun. Since the door remains closed and locked, and they have no idea how many people are in the apartment or where they might be located, I remain in a strong defensive position.
I’m constantly surprised to see how few people use any sort of defensive strategy in their home: the solicitor that stopped by this evening (I politely declined their offer and asked them to leave, all without opening the door) moved on to my neighbor’s apartment, where his knocks were answered immediately by the neighbor opening the door. If the solicitor was, in fact, a robber or had other ill will, the neighbor would be completely unprepared.
Peepholes and door locks exist for a reason. Why people choose to ignore them when someone knocks at the door, I’ll never know.
If I had my own house, I’d probably put a small wi-fi based webcam outside (sheltered from the elements, of course) in a discreet location so I could have a wider field of view than the peephole provides — it would allow me to see if the person was alone or not, and allow me to view the entryway without actually standing right next to the door. An intercom might be handy as well.
* Tip: don’t go knocking on people’s doors after dark. You might also want to avoid the apartment complexes marked “no soliciting”.

Custom LEGO figures, with guns!

There’s a company that makes realistic* weapons for LEGO figures.
They even have a zombie pack.
Of course, the Brits are in full PSH mode over the fact that the company makes customized LEGO figures, including WWII-era SS officers, anti-tank crew, and a modern-day terrorist.
Some people have no sense of humor. Some people have no sense of awesome. The Sun has neither.
*Some artistic license had to be taken, but they’re still quite good.

Amatuer Blacksmithing

I can see why blacksmiths enjoyed their jobs: you get to drink beer, get metal really hot, and hit it with a hammer until it’s shaped how they want it.
(off-stage whispering)
What’s that? They didn’t get to drink beer on the job? Oh, hell. There goes that career path.
In related news, last night consisted of drinking beer around a fire, making s’mores, fanning the coals with large pieces of cardboard, heating rebar until it was red hot, and then hitting it with a hammer until it was bent about 80 degrees. Hardly the best example of blacksmithing, but it was very fun nonetheless. I think that forge-building may be in my near future.

Signs of the Times

I stopped by Sportsman’s Warehouse to pick up a Blackhawk Serpa holster for my G19 (the fact that they have a 1911 in the picture for the Glock-specific holster amuses me) and noticed the bright orange signs (note the bad pun in the headline?) everywhere saying “NO AR RIFLES OR HI-CAP MAGS — NO BACKORDERS OR SPECIAL ORDERS FOR THESE ITEMS”.
Just goes to show you: good things don’t always come to those who wait.