NRAAM 2016: Saturday Morning

Better than cartoons, Knives!

Ka-Bar sold out yesterday, they were offering sporks 3 for $10. Their booth was the first place I went this morning. The deal was changed to $5 each, but still less than the $7 MSRP. It’s all plastic, though I don’t know the specific kind, no metal that I can tell (There may be some hidden in the handle, but that’s just a guess. I’ll have to test when I get home).


NRAAM 2016: Thursday Night

Picked up our badges early, grabbed some merch at the NRA store before it sold out, and then headed downtown for some dinner. A local pizza chain drew us in with a discount.




Oddball tells me the deep dish pizza is the best in the region. Jack and I stuck with non-breaded wings to keep to our low-carb diets.

I Made a Thing: HOTAS/Chair/Desk

tl;dr - finished chair-mounted desk for joystick mount.

tl;dr – finished chair-mounted desk for joystick mount.

I play Star Citizen a lot. ( It’s a new space-sim online multiplayer game still in alpha with six degrees of freedom when piloting space craft and fully simulated Newtonian physics. It’s being made by Chris Roberts, the creator of Wing Commander. Check it out if you’re into that sort of thing. ) You can play it with just a keyboard and mouse, but other controls are much more fun and immersive. I needed a more ergonomic solution to using my Joystick and Throttle. Leaning over my desk wasn’t comfortable and couldn’t be done for any real length of time.

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The Return

Life has gone in directions I did not anticipate. For a little bit I thought I’d be getting into Joomla plugin development. Other things grabbed my time and interest, so a return to WordPress it is. Pardon the dust, as I import all the old articles and comments as best I can into the database. Here’s hoping I don’t screw up too many RSS feeds for too long.

Upcoming posts will cover high power lasers (in the 60 Watt range), custom computer chair construction, Project BigMacintosh, and hopefully a new PC build. Also, I’m heading to the NRA Annual Meeting this month with Erin Palette. I’m looking forward to seeing most of you in person (And let’s be honest. If you’re reading this, we probably already know and like each other).


Gunvault – Nanovault NV300 Review

This is a repost from 4/23/2013 and applies only to NV300 safes with a shiny metallic lock mechanism. Locks with plastic combinations dials have been revised and a future review is forthcoming.

Before getting into the review, you must understand my reasons for buying the NV300. I needed something to:

  • comply with safe storage laws
  • store a carry piece while in a disarmed victim zone
  • be moderately priced

I found the NV300 on sale on Amazon for $28 with Prime shipping in December 2012 and all three requirements were met.



The construction at first glance seems very sturdy; the metal exterior is very solid. I need to be very clear, though, that this is not a safe. Having only three digits, the combination lock can be bypassed in less than an hour just by cranking out successive combinations from 000-999. Most shocking, however, was how I accidentally discovered the construction of the latching mechanism.

After returning home from a trip with my carry piece locked inside the nanovault (I live in Mordor), the latch wouldn’t open after I entered my combination. Thinking the latch was stuck a little, I shifted the two halves of the nanovault and pulled. I heard a snap and the nanovault popped open. For a few seconds I felt like the hulk. I had only used a small amount of effort, not even straining myself. Sadly, it was not superhuman strength that led to the lock’s failure – it was poor material choice.


The cylinder that holds the latch in place is made of plastic. The one mechanism in the entire product that receives the most stress under an attack is supported by a brittle piece of plastic.

While the design department might have been lacking, customer service was very helpful. I had some difficulty with their online chat client – it kept disconnecting my session – but that may have been an issue on my end. I emailed them a copy of my Amazon receipt and they shipped out a new NV300 within a week, free of charge, even after I told them I broke it with my bare hands.


The replacement came with a much sturdier cable. Unfortunately, this “safe” suffered from the same flaw.

All things considered, I’m still using my NV300 since it meets all that I require from a container. Anyone looking for a secure container, however, should beware that the security is comparable to a TSA approved lock for a soft-sided suitcase.

I try Generally to Keep it Clean

but FUCK YES!!!

Finally there will be legal carry in IL by people that aren’t politicians. I really hope the Republican side of the ILGA sticks it hardcore to the Chicago group. Now that we have to pass a law, we should make it the closest we can to Vermont-style carry. Shall-issue, non-binding signage, few restrictions, etc. The anti-gun lobby had their chance to pass a restrictive bill earlier this year. They held it off by only 5 votes from a 3/5 majority needed. Now they’re the ones that need a vote, or it might just end up as Vermont-style carry by default.

Here’s a copy of the ruling: