Friday, April 13, 2007

I had an interview with J.L. Kirk & Associates last year...

And I couldn't believe the scam job they were trying to pull over on me. It was a beautifully polished, nice setting, with well-groomed and dressed "counselors" and slick pamphlets. But no matter how hard I tried, they wouldn't tell me what their fees were to "network" me into a new job. That was yet another flag popping up in my view, and I felt like going into my professional interrogator role with the guy at that very moment. It would've been fun, too.

However, I didn't have time for his silliness, nor did I bother to attend his second interview where I was supposed to bring the wife along. For a while I wondered how that would've gone.

Not any more. The rest of the story is out there to view in BlogLand, and has caused J.L. Kirk to threaten a lawsuit, as well as shut down their email service. I knew it was a scam, but didn't know how expensive a scam because I walked (ran) away before I could be described as a victim. Here's what goes on, and I hope the Better Business Bureau gets an even bigger earful of what they're doing.

Just Another Pretty Farce

Note that it's also been green-lighted on, so that'll be a thorn in J.L. Kirk's side for some time to come. They may very well have to re-name their business again, like they did a few years ago when they were called Bernard Haldane & Associates.

It ain't a problem. (Until it's a problem...)

From the "poops where it eats" crowd, we learn that Spec Ops has gone against the grain and ordered the HK416 gas-piston upper for their M4 carbines.

The Army has gone on record as stating they won't purchase the conversion for regular troops. Not because it doesn't work better or increase reliability. Nope. They don't want to buy it because they're holding out for the next generation of issue weapons that fire airburst rounds.

The futuristic XM29 and XM8 didn't make the cut. I wonder how long they will hold out before M4 stoppages wake them up to the reality that is the HK416?

I understand the HK416 isn't cheap. It's also a German idea, but damnit, so was the Mauser 93, which was product-improved into the Springfield 1903, lest we forget.

If the GSA bean counters are so adament, let our defense contractors use the HK416 as a starting point for a homegrown gas-piston upper, change the design by at least 10% to avoid patent problems, and call it our own. Then get it to the guys in the sandbox who need it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

How do YOU back up your important files?

It was a good question, really. Maybe I'm a bit over-the-top, but I practice the "Law of Averages Scatter" computer backup technique. What's that, you say?

Easy. The Law of Averages states that if you have several computers on a home network, the chances of all those machines failing at the same time is pretty slim, and the more computers, the better! (Yeah, I know, a lightning bolt can do it, but that lightning has to go through all the APS, Powerware, and CyberPower UPS units first) So I "scatter" duplicate files throughout the network.

Each computer in the home network has an identical hard drive partition, with sub-folders for each person in the household. The partitions are also mirrored on a pair of Snap Server 1100 units. I have the backup software do a file compare of all the files on all the partitions one night a week, and then mirror them across the network. The IBM and Dell workstations also have individual RAID 1 arrays, something I did as part of my IT training a while ago.

Suffice it to say, I'm not too worried about losing data. I don't back up files to CD-ROM, because I've seen them degrade over time, and what's good for today's format will be tomorrow's obsolete format. It's already happening with the transition from CD-ROM to DVD-ROM. So for now, the rat's nest below does the job nicely.

Pee Ess: I really love the little Quantum Snap Servers. They're about as trouble-free as it gets.

The PowerMac G4 is still basically TOAST.

Looks like I'll be taking it to an authorized Apple/Mac shop in Madison next week, unless the Angel of Mac appears to me in a revelation with the fix before then. If it were a PC, I'd think it was a problem with bad or incompatible memory, the machine is so flaky!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

New reduced-recoil .357 Sig round revealed!

So at the behest of all those limp-wristed Glock 31 owners complaining about excessive recoil, it appears Sig has released a new "low-recoil" .357 Sig round. (History repeats itself, ala' the 10mm's downloading to .40 Short & Weak)

In what could be described as an incredible insider scoop, I have procured one of the aforementioned rounds. Without further ado, witness the new .357 Sig mid-range 148gr HBWC load. Remember, you saw it here first at Neural Misfires!

(Reptar dolly included to provide scale comparison)

The PowerMac G4 450 DP Gigabit makes a nice paperweight.

I've moved it into the closet after spending way too much time trying to get it to run.

I can assemble, configure, and boot a PC with Windoze or Linux like there's nobody's business.

But I'll be damned if I can get this PowerMac G4 to even boot reliably off of the OS 9.2 install CD. It's very flaky, and that's with a fresh 80Gb hard drive and 512Mb of (supposedly) Mac-approved PC100 memory. The local Mac shop in downtown Madison wants $65.00 to just look at it, they think it's a memory issue. I may have them do just that. Another option I was told might work is to try a fresh install of OS 9.0, which early-model PowerMac G4 systems shipped with. Then I'd get the "firmware" and work my way up to an OS X Tiger install.

For being supposedly "user-friendly", I'm finding nothing could be further from the truth with respect to my cute little Mac tower.

Bedside manners, revised.

I was never quite happy with the finish on my bedside HD rifle's walnut handguard and forend. So when the brown truck showed up with a nice full-sized wood Bulgarian pistol grip (Thanks, K-Var!), I took it upon myself to sand, stain, and linseed oil the entire complement of furniture that adorns my Romanian SAR-1 sidefolder. As anybody knows who's dealt with the process of using boiled linseed oil as a stock finish, it is tedious, time-consuming, and drop-dead gorgeous when done properly. So, without further ado, say hello to my little friend:

He's a cute little booger, ain't he? The Hungarian 20-round magazine is a nice touch, and makes for a more compact package when sitting between the nightstand and the headboard.

I could barely hear the tornado sirens tonight.

Sometimes, one digs through their music collection and pulls out a blast from the past.

Tonight, it was Queensryche (remember them?), the album Q2K, and the four 6550C pentode tubes were doing yeoman duty driving two 10" woofers and their companion Heil Air Motion Transformers to brilliant presence via the Sacred Ground track.

I disremember who said it, but long ago I was told "if a drummer ain't sweatin', he ain't doin' it right". All I know is that Queensryche co-founder and drummer Scott Rockenfield must've been sweating his arse off when recording Sacred Ground. There's some serious punch in that track, and the rest of the album ain't too shabby, either.

I'll wager John Bonham would approve.

Oh, yeah, we did have tornado warnings and sightings throughout the evening. I finally heard the sirens during a quiet passage between songs, and headed for the basement. Which reminds me, I need a decent stereo system down there...