Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bridges and Tunnels

We have many bridges and tunnels in the greater Norfolk area. Its a bit like Boston would have looked like if no one had filled in all that inconvenient water in down town.

This causes no end of traffic problems (as any choke point will), but its made much worse by accidents _in_ the tunnels, or on the narrow parts of the bridges. My commute (very deliberately) does not even get on the highway, but the morning traffic always has at least one tunnel closed, or two tunnels down to one lane for accidents.

To quote Clarkson: "How hard can it be?'

You keep the car off the walls of the tunnel, that's the grey/brown stuff just over the white line, keeping the water out, and you in, for those in the back of the class.

Don't drive faster then the car in front of you, or slower then the car behind you. For those in the back: that's all the other boxy things on the road with you. If those two contradict each other match the speed of the car in front. The guy behind you will follow suit (and if he doesn't hopefully the damage to your car won't include anything too important).

It is no harder to drive in a tunnel then on the open free way, think of it as a freeway with a roof.

Either there is a respawn point for 'clueless fools' just before the tunnel, or they pump stupid gas into them, because I have a hard time believing that this rate of accidents is sustainable in the long term (although I'm told by my coworkers that it is).

I'm just dreading the day we move into a house, and have to deal with one of the above tunnels or bridges.


P.S. While scheduling draw bridge openings and announcing it on the radio is a great idea, who the hell thinks that opening a drawbridge at 08h00 is a good idea? Are they _trying_ to screw up the morning commute?


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Two Steps forward, One Step Back

I've moved to a 'free' state.
Have a valid CHP, with the only limitation being no concealed carry in a place that serves alcohol.

So far so good. Work, of course, does not allow employees to carry 'fire arms, other weapons, or any other instrument intended to injure or terrify other employees'. Given that I'm required to show up in business cloths I will have several items readily available to cause plenty of injury should I need to, but they all make it through airport security. To cut off the 'concealed means concealed' crowd: I will soon have a security clearance, violating company policy like that means you have to disclose it (or lie to a federal investigator), and that means no clearance, and hence no job.

But it gets better: It was just pointed out to me that our customer site(The DOD) where I can expect to spend most of my time after getting my clearance, is located on a federal reservation. So now I can't even leave the shooting iron in my car.

That snickering you hear is the universe laughing at me. And I suspect a few of you too.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Cool Car Man

While driving today I saw possibly the coolest car, driven by the coolest guy, in all of Norfolk, possibly all of VA.

I'm just guessing on the year, but I'd say it was a 1998 or so, Honda Accord. That's not so cool you say? But here is the list of 'extras our dude had included:

'Sport' muffler that makes the car sound like a riding lawnmower in need of major work.
Spinner rims, over sized to use very low profile tires.
Lowered suspension, so low that the tires touch the fender well when he hits a seam on the highway. The extreme camber on the rear wheels from having the ride height so low is a free extra.
Rear Wing fit for an F1 car, because we all know how Front wheel drive cars need extra down force.
Sound system ready for the next Rolling Stones concert.
Seat back set in 'ultra recline' so even a relatively tall guy can't see over the steering wheel.

But the best, and most important part:
Aftermarket Turbo with Boost Overflow Valve vented to the atmosphere.
Giant NOS sticker on the back window.
Oversize sunglasses, at night.

Now here is how we know he's the coolest guy on the road: He passed me, on the right, weaving through heavy traffic, yelling insults out the open window at the people in his way.

Then something gave out under the hood of his car, loud enough to be heard over the sound of his exhaust line, and the entire car filled with rich, white smoke. When I passed him, he had escaped the car, which seemed to be very close to 'on fire'.

I think the fire and smoke damage will be a nice touch to that rig, don't you?

Stay safe, and remember: Boost pressure is set by the factory for a very good reason.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Free State Politics

While out driving around trying to defrost myself at lunch the other day (the AC works really well in my office) I stopped at Bobs Tackle and Guns. He's in Norfolk, and seemed to have good prices on guns, a bit below MSRP, but not too much.

I managed to walk past the rack of Kimbers, and the couple Wilson Combat models, with out drooling (on the glass) or asking to handle any guns I don't have the cash for.

Then I got to talking with one of the guys hanging out in the store. He asked how Mass was, because everyone down here knows (generally) how bad the laws in MA are. At some point he opined that 'Shall Issue' permits aren't a great thing, because _AnyOne_ can get a CHP.

That floored me.

He was seriously arguing that 'some people shouldn't have guns' and not the 'felons and insane' argument either. That I (mostly) agree with, but after living in MA I can't conceive of how permits at all are a good thing, never mind may issue permits.

I suppose, as I try to wrap my mind around his statement) that if you have a decent on unobtrusive government, 'reasonable restrictions' sound well, reasonable. And as long as the government is harassing other people you're free to do as you please.

If I start arguing that some restrictions make sense some one come take my GOAL card, as I clearly don't deserve it any more.

I think its time to find the local VCDL chapter and get involved, because I have zero time or patience for people like the above twit.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Another Week Down

I've survived a second week at Big Defense Contractor. I should come up with a better name for them, but that will have to wait for me to get a better feel for the place.

So far I have been given Actual Work, which is good, and its interesting stuff to. Sadly that's about all I can say about it; Actually its fortunate for both of you, as you would either be bored to tears or start looking for ways to cut off your own limbs to escape.

On the house front everything is moved in, except LadyElf and Dr. Paws, who are still in Massachusetts. I'm going north to collect them this weekend. As a result: if you want to go shooting with me in Worcester this Friday Night (around 10 or 11PM) will be your last shot for a while.

LadyElf's father rocks for helping haul all our shit up to the second floor. That was not a fun morning, and now I have to unpack it all. I'm not sure which activity I like less, so I'm blogging instead.

Hopefully next week I'll have a computer at home, so I can get online at times other then when the business office for the apartment complex is open.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Update Content to Follow

I have an apartment down here now, nicer then the previous place, and about the same in rent. Still no intertubes at home though, so updates will remain sporadic.

I've found an IDPA chapter, who run a 4 stage indoor match 3 times a month. I suspect their chairman of being crazy, but have not met him yet. Last week's match as a good show though, we'll see how my times add up some time this week.

Jay_G has a post open carry, which I'm sure everyone reading this has already seen and commented on. I generally agree with him, from a tactical perspective, and was certainly glad I had my piece concealed the other night (I'll post the full story later). Suffice to say it made de-escalating the situation and dealing with hotel management much easier with neither the aggressors or the manager knowing I was packing.

On the flip side: not having to worry about flashing my piece as I get into/out of the car at a gas station is damned nice. I still have the 'Massachusetts Panic' when the wind blows wrong and my jacket lifts though, or when I am taking my jacket off to get into the car. Like many forms of mental trauma though it seems to be fading, and hopefully will continue to do so.

More content, and a write up on the above mentioned incident, and blog role updates, to follow.


Monday, August 11, 2008

Still Alive

I've made it to Norfolk, the job Does Not Suck.

Open carry is a new and different feeling, but mostly people don't seem to notice.

More to follow when I have my computer set up.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008


I'm moving to Norfolk VA this weekend, the job search has ended, and that's where I'm fetching up.

Blogging activity (like finishing setting up the blog roll :) will be non-existent until I'm down there and have a place to live and such.

More to follow when I know more.