Category: Geekitude

Wednesday Links

Turning to the continuing fiasco that is the NRA, John Richardson over at No Lawyers, Only Guns and Money that Allen West has agreed to run against Wayne LaPierre for EVP of the NRA.

Lawrence Peterson, over at his Battleswarm Blog agrees that WLP needs to go, but West might not be the best person to clean house.

Randy Weaver passed away last week. I agree with McThag that he wasn’t the hero some in the gun community make him out to be. That didn’t mean he or his family deserved what happened to them.

Speaking of notable deaths, Fred Ward passed away last week as well. Tremors had a lot more influence on a young Derek Ward’s taste in movies than I like to admit. And Tremors 2.

To end this post on the lighter side, Lego is releasing an Optimus Prime set in June. And it transforms! I’m interested, but $170 is a little steep for me at the moment. Got things to save up for.

Colors, Colors, Colors

After a year in Ward Manor, The Wife is starting to decide on painting. She’s contracted out the stairs, which is smart. The contractor’s wife came over to select colors for the stairs. As well as the rest of the house. I’m kinda listening as The Wife and the color person are going through various shades of gray for the downstairs.

Me: ”Wait, did you say there’s a shade called Dorian Gray?”

Color Lady: “Um, yeah.”

Me: ”What does it suck the life out of us to look freshly painted?”

Nervous laughter. I don’t think Color Lady got the reference. Which is a common thing.

Some Lighter Links

First, from the Volokh Conspiracy is a list of audiobooks on European history. Part 1 Part 2

Now, on to Robotech. The feeds have been full with Sony choosing Rhys Thomas to direct the live action movie. I’m still in the “not believing until it hits the theater” camp. At least they have someone who is used to working within an IP.

Still, if the Robotech movie happens, Gizmodo has a guide to watching the series to prepare. I’d probably just binge the whole series again.

State of the Podcasts – 2022

Previous posts:

State Of Podcasts 2018

State of Podcasts 2019

State of Podcasts 2020

State of Podcasts 2021

This is the fifth year I’ve reviewed which podcasts I listen to, how I listen to them, and when I listen to them. Part of it’s my own curiosity at how my podcast habits change. I’m also curious what others think about the same podcasts and which podcasts come and go.

I listen to my podcasts in Overcast. I prefer Overcast because the app deletes podcasts I’ve listened to, plus it has a smart speed feature which will speed up if it hears dead air. Generally, I listen to my podcasts at 2X speed.

Rather than try to fit podcasts into categories, I apply categories to the podcasts. Also, I try to listen to podcasts “with a shelf life” (i.e., current events) first.

Podcast Categories

Comedy – One of the central themes of the podcast is making me laugh

Debate – The podcast uses a formal debate format

Economics – Discusses economic theory and impacts

Entertainment – Main subject matter is an entertainment form or persons

Free Speech – Discussing the current issues and assaults on free speech culture and laws

Government – Discusses the review of government operations

Guns – Discussing gun hardware and associated technology and skills

History – Delving into history in general or one facet/era

Legal – Discussing legal cases and theories

Libertarianism – Discusses libertarian theory

Interview – Substantial episodes interviewing guests

Opposing Views – Hosts regularly espouse politics or theories that are substantially different to my own

Prepping – Discussing prepping gear, methods, and skills

Politics Of The Day (POTD) – Discussion of current political events

Right To Keep and Bear Arms (RKBA) – Discusses issues around gun rights

Science – Discussing current science news and skepticism-related issues

Self-Defense – Discussing best practices for self-defense

True Crime – Podcast is a narrative/story of real crime events

War – Discusses issues surrounding armed conflicts

Writing Improvement – Helps me improve my writing

My podcasts as of February 2022:

Active Self Protection Podcast (Guns, Interview, RKBA, Self-Defense) – Mike Willever interviews people whose self-defense situations were shown on the ASP YouTube channel. This is good for discussion on self-defense incidents and the aftermath. The host has a segment afterwards where he discusses RKBA issues with Stephen Kurtowski of “The Reload Podcast.” I generally skip that part, because I listen to that podcast.

Advisory Opinions (Legal, POTD) – David French and Sarah Isgur discuss legal issues and theory on the politics of the day. With some pop culture on the side.

Alienating the Audience (Entertainment, Libertarianism, Interview) – Andrew Heaton brings on guests to discuss different aspects of various science-fiction properties.

Angry Planet (War, Interview, Opposing Views) – Formerly known as War College, this podcast is an interesting look at politics and military issues through interviews with specialists.

Assorted Calibers Podcast (RKBA, Guns, Entertainment, Interview, Self-Defense) – Weer’d Beard and Erin Pallette are the real reason I listen to this, but the other segments are generally surprisingly good. I’m also a patron, and listen to the Mag Dump round tables, Film Tracks, and Blooper Reels.

Blocked and Reported (Free Speech, POTD) – Katie Herzog and Jesse Singal discuss the various social media dust-ups with occasional interviews.

Bound By Oath (Legal, Libertarianism) – From the Institute for Justice, this podcast focuses on specific issues. The current season is focusing on the myriad of protections and immunities public officials enjoy.

Bribe, Swindle, and Steal (Interview, True Crime, Opposing Views, Writing Improvement) – This one popped up when I was searching for podcasts on white-collar crime. It focuses on issues, challenges, and items that are of note for compliance officials.

Clockwise (Tech) – Two hosts and two guests discuss four tech topics in thirty minutes. Sometimes those topics on current tech news. Sometimes it’s just musing on tech and life. Generally enjoyable.

Daily Tech Headlines (Tech) – Good fast summary of the big tech stories.

Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History (History, Writing Improvement)- Dan Carlin’s storytelling on various historical events is spellbinding. Unfortunately infrequent, which can be a bit daunting since he does multi-part stories. I highly recommend, when possible, going back and relistening to the previous parts before continuing onto the new one.

Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History: Addendum (History, Interview, Writing)- A companion to the Hardcore History podcast where Dan Carlin does segments outside his normal narrative style.

The Dispatch Podcast (POTD, Interview) – The flagship podcast of The Dispatch network, the Wednesday show has the main hosts discussing the politics of the day, while the Friday show is an interview with a newsmaker, thought provoker, or just someone the hosts like.

Econtalk (Interview, Economics)- Economist Russ Roberts does great interviews with a wide variety of guests and topics. I’ve been learning a lot on economics, and even more on some wildly different topics.

The Economist (POTD, Opposing Views)- I listen to the Economist, because it provides a different perspective and reports on areas that barely hit my normal feeds.

The Editors (POTD) – Editors from National Review discussing the issues of the day. Part of my keeping an idea of the conservative side of the issues of the day.

FBI Retired Case File Review (Interview, True Crime, Writing Improvement) – A former FBI Special Agent and current author interviews retired FBI agents about the cases that had a unique impact on them.

The Fifth Column (POTD, Free Speech, Opposing Views) – This is an excellent roundup focusing on the issues of the day and how the media reports them. They also bring on guests who will disagree with them and have excellent discussions.

Free Thoughts (Interview, Libertarianism) – The hosts interview authors who promulgate new books that cover or intersect with libertarian issues and theories.

GAO Podcast (Interview, Government) – The Government Accountability Office discussed some of their reviews they’ve done on federal agencies.

Geeks Gadgets and Guns (Guns, Tech, Entertainment, POTD, RKBA) – A couple of geeks discussing guns and other geeky stuff – with sometimes politics intruding.

GLoP Culture (POTD, Entertainment) –  The hosts muse on the POTD, and the entertainment industry.

Gun and Gear Review (Guns) – This is a good review podcast for new stuff in the gun world. I enjoy the reviews and the banter between the hosts.

Guns Guide To Liberals (RKBA) – This is a good podcast focusing on techniques to use when talking about guns and RKBA to those who don’t share our views. Not active, but would recommend going back and listening to the whole series.

Handgun Radio (Guns, Interview, Self-Defense) – Delving more into the history and technological aspects of guns – mostly handguns. Also, just fun musings on different aspects of guns. Sometimes they bring on interesting guests.

High Caliber History (Guns, History, Interview) – Logan Metesh interviews specialists on the history of guns, as well as lending his own vast expertise.

The History of WWII Podcast (History, Interview) – This one is going through WWII chronologically, with interview episodes interspersed.

Honestly (Free Speech, Interview, Opposing Views) – Bari Weiss’s podcast where she brings on guests to discuss areas where the mainstream narrative isn’t working.

The Incomparable Game Show (Comedy) – Rotating panels playing rotating series of ostensibly board games. Often hilarious, sometimes dangerously so when driving.

Kenn Blanchard Show (Guns, RKBA, Interview, Self-Defense) – After an almost year-long hiatus, Kenn Blanchard continues his musings on gun rights, the black community, and other issues. Yes, I have a fondness for Kenn’s podcast since I wrote the Zombie Strike segment for a few years.

Left, Right, & Center (POTD, Opposing Views) – This covers the week’s political events with a progressive, a conservative, and a host who’s a left-leaning centrist. Guests are brought on to provide additional commentary – who have been overwhelmingly on the left-side of the aisles.

Mad Dogs and Englishmen (POTD) – Charles Cooke and Kevin Williamson opine on the issues of the day and other things that amuse them.

Make No Law (Free Speech, History, Legal)- Ken White delves into the case law around the First Amendment and free speech. Unfortunately infrequent.

Managing Uncertainty (Prepping, Writing Improvement) – This podcast is mainly focused on risk management from an organizational standpoint, but I find it’s useful as a prepping exercise as well.

The Michael Shermer Show (Interview, Science, Opposing Views) – Michael Shermer interviews scientists, scholars, and other intellectuals on a variety of topics.

Part of the Problem (POTD, Libertarianism)- Rabid anti-war libertarian comedian Dave Smith is interesting. He’s certainly challenging some of my ideas. Particularly when he veers over to the conspiracy theories.

The Political Orphanage (Interview) – Andrew Heaton interviews a variety of individuals to discuss issues. Not necessarily just the POTD.

Pop & Locke (Entertainment, Libertarianism, Opposing Views) – This one looks at pop culture media (books, TV, movies) through the libertarian lens. Sometimes the panel goes a little more woke than I appreciate.

Popular Front (Interview, War, Opposing Views) – A look into smaller conflicts going on or unusual aspects of modern warfare.

Power Problems (Interview, Libertarianism) – A Cato podcast focusing on foreign affairs.

Quillette Podcast (Interviews, Free Speech) – Interviews and articles focusing in on free speech issues and cancel culture.

The Reason Interview With Nick Gillespie (Interview, Liberatarianism) – Reason editor interviews a variety of guests. This would be an even better podcast if they had a different host.

The Reason Roundtable (POTD) – Four editors from Reason discuss the issues of the day.

The Remnant With Jonah Goldberg (Interview, POTD) – The Wednesday show is interviewing pundits, politicians, and others. The Friday show is Jonah musings.

Revolutions (History, Writing Improvement) – Really good series on various revolutions. Each season goes through one of the more pivotal revolutions in history, starting with the English Revolution.

The Rewatchables – (Entertainment) Variety panel of guests discussing a movie that is considered highly rewatchable. Depending on what movie they’re reviewing, if it’s one I haven’t seen, I’ll delete it.

Self-Defense Gun Stories (Self-Defense) – I like the analysis of what went right and wrong from a variety of professional trainers. This is another I recommend to new shooters and those who are thinking about using a gun for self-defense.

Short Circuit (Legal, Libertarianism) – From the Institute of Justice, this one discusses notable cases that IJ is arguing. I put it under libertarian theory rather than politics because it discusses legal libertarian arguments rather than issues of the day.

Skeptics Guide to The Universe (Science, Opposing Views) – This was my first science podcast and really helped forge my skepticism.

Skeptoid (Science) – Another one that helped in developing my skeptical outlook. It takes a particular pseudo-science claim and investigates with a skeptical eye.

So To Speak (Free Speech, Interview) – FIRE’s podcast discussing free speech issues. The guests and legal theories put this more into theory although it sometimes delves into the issues of the day.

The SoHo Forum Debates (Debate, Economics, Libertarianism, Opposing Views) – Oxford-rules debates on a variety of issues.

Tactical Tangents (Self-Defense, History, Writing Improvement) – I picked this one up originally because it has some excellent breakdowns of historical gunfights and mass shootings. It’s mostly geared to the professional, but the regular person can pick up some really good info.

Techmeme Ride Home (Tech) – This is a relatively short, but thorough examination of the big news in tech.

Unregistered with Thaddeus Russell (Interview, Libertarianism, Free Speech, Opposing Views) – Thaddeus interviews a varied list of guests he finds intriguing. Some are very interesting, some less so.

The Way I Heard It With Mike Rowe (Entertainment, History, Writing Improvement) – After growing up with Paul Harvey’s “The Rest of the Story”, this one is a wonderful substitute.

The Weekly Reload Podcast (RKBA, Guns, Interview, Opposing Views) – The audio companion to The Reload newsletter. The host interviews a wide variety of pro-gun and anti-gun guests, or those who just have something to important to add to the world around guns.

White Collar Crime and Fraud Podcast (True Crime, Self-Defense, Writing Improvement) – This show discusses more of the theory behind scams and frauds, but also discusses actual cases.

Words & Numbers (Economics, Libertarianism, POTD, Interview) – An economist and a political scientist discuss different aspects of economics from a libertarian perspective. Sometimes dipping into issues of the day.

Writer Dojo (Writing Improvement) – Larry Corriea and Steve Diamond discuss the business and techniques of writing.

Clearing Out the Old Browser Tabs

First a couple of older tabs I meant to share back in November.

From Politico, an opinion piece that the Dems should stop pushing gun control if they want a chance in 2022. You know, since all those new guns weren’t being bought up only by old white guys.

From Reason is an article on how a couple of recent court rulings show how the narrative that the opioid epidemic wasn’t caused by drug companies.

Now for some more recent ones:

This one was getting passed around by folks on Facebook who are instructors or do a lot of training classes. So, why am I sharing? Because I get asked about guns and self-defense a lot. It’s a good reminder that I need to meet that person at where they are.

This is a neat article about new information on the Clovis people.

Finally, Raylen Givens rides again!

Life At Ward Manor Update

— On Veterans Day, Mom and I went down to our local range and turned money into noise. She has one of those Taurus poly-revolvers, and I needed to test the Bren. I had field stripped it and cleaned it a couple of weeks ago, and I had this irrational fear that I’d done something wrong. The Bren ate the two mags of Speer 5.56mm without a hiccup. Unfortunately, I’d forgotten how to adjust the red dot to zero the stupid thing. I have a laser boresight on the way so that I can do the hard work in the comfort of my own home and not in the bay of a busy indoor range.

— I got the new mesh system up and running, which meant I could now get the outside cameras to work. This one went up much easier than the eeros I’d bought before we moved in. The eeros just didn’t want to play nice. I’ll give the new system a couple of months to before passing final judgement, but at least it’s a promising start. For the record, it is amazing how many individual devices are now connected to the network.

— I understand that restaurants have to be judicious in what they put on the menu. More to the point, I understand that they need to use just enough words to entice and explain, without making the menu unnecessarily long. However, if the restaurant is going to offer waffle fries, I think they should at least identify them as sweet potato waffle fries. That’s what we like to call “material information.”

Living With Future World Problems

I love technology. I love living with smart home devices. I know that there are risks and downsides, but in general, I get more use and enjoyment than not. Then, there are times when it’s not working right.

I bought an eeros mesh system before we moved in to Ward Manor. I had first gen eeros at the old place and my Tampa house. They worked great. Don’t know why but the new eeros just barely worked at Ward Manor. Any fluctuations in power or just oddness, and the whole thing came crashing down. Finally got frustrated with it. So, we talked to the internet company. They upgraded us to essentially a low-tier small business plan. With The Wife and I both working from home, and the MIL moved in, we were pretty much running two small businesses and a house. The internet company’s router seems to be handling all the load, so I’m loathe to get the additional expense of a new mesh system. (Sorry eeros, but if we do, we’re not going with you again.)

Fuck, I have a lot of stuff connected. It’s been a lot of finding things that are connected to the internet and getting them moved over to the new network. (Yes, my security friends, I changed the default name/password on the company-provided router.)

This frustration was on top of the fact that I got a new phone. Which entailed a lot of frustration getting everything switched over and logged in to my applications. When you build up essentially three-years’ worth of workflows from your device, you find all sorts of little issues. Apple is pretty good about helping with that, but there’s still a great deal of frustration.

Welcome to my week.

Tri-Link Wednesday

The Brother shared a NY Times article on glitter. Yeah, I was surprised about how cagey people were about how glitter was manufactured. I still maintain that glitter is the herpes of the craft world. And I detest how endemic it is on girls clothing.

Miguel (via Lawdog) brings us a helpful hint. BTW Miguel, great job on the weight loss!

And on a more serious note, Reason has an article on the Firearms Policy Coalition filing in opposition of Texas’s new abortion law. They assert that turning the citizens against each other to stop abortion can be done to stop the citizens from exercising their Second Amendment rights.