Questions for the wisdom of the internets

1. Does anybody have a picture of the prototype Browning BAR from the 1950s that was in bullpup format?

I heard such a thing existed, so I need to see it!

2. Is it true the new KneeCapping Trade bill includes a provision where you have to get your home inspected for environmental stuff before you can sell it, unless your mortgage is from Fanny or Freddy?

Got this on the radio, but unconfirmed, because you know, nobody in congress could bother to actually read a 1300 page bill with the largest tax increase in history that will destroy two million jobs, break the dollar, and assure China’s place as the world’s superpower for the next generation, before they voted.

3. Does anybody actually care about Michael Jackson?

Seriously. Shut up already.

4. Do my blog postings seem “angry”, or “full of hate”, or “maniacal”, or do I have “right wing-extremist” views, Or am I “a bitter rasist” (no, that’s how they spelled it) whenever I post about politics?

All from actual e-mails. The really nasty ones get marked as spam. And actually, if you aren’t angry right now, then you haven’t been paying attention. So yes, I am angry. I’m not however “Rasist”. I do not, nor have I ever worshiped the Babylonian sponge-god Ras. Way too much flagellation and scourging for my tastes, but if you’re into that whole invertebra romance thing, it isn’t my place to judge.

5. Is global warming sorry, climate change, such a bad thing if it turns Utah into Seattle (in a good way, with lots of rain, not hippes)?

We had record rain fall in June. This is the greenest I’ve ever seen this brown state, which is kind of a brownish-green at best, but hey, I’ll take it. Plus my garden is looking awesome. Or I should say, my wife’s garden, because I’m only good for killing things and having allergy attacks. I actually have a black thumb. I don’t garden. I execute plants by condemning them to a slow withering death until they are devoured by snails.

On that note, it is so cute when your kids are well read, but haven’t heard how the words are pronounced. So when I was surveying all the snails my wife poisoned, I asked my daughter if she knew that the French ate snails, and she answered, “Yes, they called it Escargets.”

6. Government sponsored health care… Seriously… WTF?

No comment. Too filled with maniacal hate-rage-malice and blood shooting form my eyes getting all over keyboard. Maybe I should get that looked at, but then I’d have to stand in line for six years so a doctor imported from Baluchistan could shake some chicken bones over me or something.

 7. Do I really look that much like James Gandolfini?

I got this one. Yes.

Anybody seen the Mexican? The one where he plays a gay hitman? Yep. I look just like him in that one. Only I’m neither gay, nor a hitman, but that’s pretty much what I look like. I also bear a suspicious resemblance to the big guy who did the Donkey Show in Clerks II. MadOgre called me at home three seconds after the movie was over and told me I had to rent it.

So yes, I look like a donkey-molesting mafia don.

8. Have any of the geniuses in congress paused to think that something like, I don’t know, ALL medical breakthroughs have come from people inspired by profit, and most of those have come from America, and that the world’s medical research will pretty much end once we have Socialized Health Care?

I can’t answer this one, but look at the words Socialized Health Care… doesn’t that seem oxymoronic? You don’t really think of Care and Socialism going together. I think that the only medical research Stalin supported was that thing where he tried to breed a Super-Ape Army.  The only thing socialists “care” about is staying in power.

9. If you could clone one Founding Father, and stick him in congress, who would it be?

I don’t know… which one shot Hamilton?

Tough question. I think philosophically I would like John Adams, but the time for reasoned discourse might be past, and it would be really fun to watch Sam Adams punch Harry Reid in the face, then bust out the tar and feathers.

10. And finally, Monster Hunter International vs. My Little Pony in a grudge match to the death! WHO WILL WIN?

I don’t know, but if it was directed by Michael Bay, there would be lots of explosions.

HK hates you, but they especially hate Airsofters

Apparently H und K is now suing every manufacturer of Airsoft guns for copyright infringement…


Oh, you have no idea the delicious irony of this moment. See, when I wrote my “HK, because you suck, and we hate you” rant a couple of years ago, I did it as somebody in the gun business who didn’t like the way they did business. As a store owner and NFA guy, HK was a pain in the rear to deal with. Since that time, that one rant has gotten more hits than anything that I’ve ever written, and I get constant hate mail from people who tell me I’m a big-stupid-mean-jerk-face for not worshipping at the altar of Teutonic superiority.


Ironically, most of that hate mail has come from Airsofters. My rant has shown up on every forum you can think of, including ones in German, French, and Slovokian (I think). I can always tell when those links get posted because then I then get fifty e-mails telling me how stupid and poor I am, and that I need to go play with my Rugers because I must be too poor to appreciate real guns.


Oh, wait, Ruger makes a piston AR now too… So how are you guys enjoying those HK 416s that you all swore to me would be available TWO YEARS ago? Oh, yes, I know, Delta Force uses the 416… It really is that awesome. I’m sure it is the finest killing machine ever forged by the hand of man or god, but you just can’t have one, because you still suck, and they still hate you.


One day I’m sure that HK will make 416s available for civilians for twice as much money as their competitors, and then I’ll get a couple thousand e-mails telling me how stupid and wrong I was several years after I posted the rant… The internet is timeless in its own way. So you guys just keep your fingers crossed, and I’m sure your 416 will be delivered by a magic leprechaun riding a pegasus, and it will only be years after every other gun company in the world has already been selling thousands of copies of whatever their assault rifle is in the US for less money.


Heck, I’m waiting for the Marlin Advanced Combat Rifle to come out the same time as the Perazzi forward-ejecting Battle Bullpup.


Oh, man, I’m laughing out loud as I type this. Because all those Airsofters who’ve given me crap are now getting sued by HK! Not only do they not want you to have their real guns, they don’t want you to own toys that look like their guns. That’s a whole new level of hate.


Ironically, this is about the stupidest thing they could have done from a business perspective. So either the Airsoft manufacturers will pay them a tiny royalty, or more likely they will just alter the design enough not to be a trademark violation. If HK was a normal company, they would realize that they’re kicking their fan base and their stalwart internet defenders in the crotch, but you’ve got to remember that actually hating the people who purchase their products is standard operating procedure there.


It seems like every other gun company I’ve dealt with actually encourages Airsoft companies to make guns of theirs available to the public, because that just increases brand awareness. It is just like getting their gun put into a movie as a prop. It doesn’t hurt their overall sales. What… you were totally going to buy that USP .45, but went with the one that shot plastic BBs instead because of the cost?

MHI ships in ONE MONTH!

We are now exactly one month away from the shipping of the Baen edition of Monster Hunter International. I’m positively giddy. If I get a little too giddy, I’ll just watch the news to bring me back down, but until then I’m eagerly awaiting July 28th.

When I signed my contract with Baen and discontinued the Print On Demand version of MHI, it seemed like it would be forever until it was available again. During that time I wrote two and a half other books.  I can’t believe that it is time.

MHI is available from Amazon:

Barnes & Nobel:

Tower Books:  Now this one is by far the cheapest at $6.79, but I’ve never purchased from Tower and don’t know anything about them. (though they lumped me into Christian Romance, which doesn’t make any sense at all, but I’ve been dominating! Take that Romantic Christians!)

Baen’s Webscriptions E-Books plus this has Seven FREE SAMPLE chapters.


It should be in your local book stores. I’ve called every Barnes & Nobel in Utah, and they’re all ordering between 8-12 copies to start, which seems decent as far as I know. My county library system has ordered a dozen.

If you are a long time fan of MHI, all I ask is to go out and harrass your friends until they’re sick of you, and then go harrass complete strangers until they purchase this book. If you take your harrassment too far (which I don’t hardly think is even possible) then you can inform all the other folks on your cell-block about the sheer coolness that is MHI.

Then when it releases, I need everybody to go to Amazon and post an honest review. I said honest, not mean. You know the kind of Amazon review I’m talking about: “Moby Dick, there was far too much whale action in this book, or at least in the first chapter that I skimmed. I hate whales. They’re like all fat and eat plankton and stuff. Plankton is stupid and so is Herman Mellville! 1 star!”

I’m doing the happy dance. Picture a large man that looks like Tony Soprano doing an end zone dance, and you’ve got the basic idea. One month and counting!

A cartoon from 1948

Say what you will about it, but can you even imagine somebody making this today? And that probably says more than anything.

California can go to hell. Go to hell and die!

Ladies and Gentlemen! Allow me to show you one of the finest pieces of straight-up propaganda I have ever had the pleasure of reading! I give you the article from TIME: California’s Fiscal Crisis: The Legacy of Proposition 13.


Today I stand in awe. I stand in awe of the sheer amount of crap that has been shoved into one article. I applaud the blatant disregard for fact. I feel like a circus ringmaster. Behold the lies! Marvel at the incongruities! Up is down! Right is wrong! It is Topsy-Turvey World! 


The financial crisis in California grew worse this week as State Controller John Chiang warned he would begin paying California‘s bills with IOUs on July 2. The last time the state did this was during the Great Depression. What has brought California to such a perilous state? How did its government become so wildly dysfunctional?


That is a great question. Why is California the most fiscally screwed up state in America? I’m excited to see what the wizards of TIME have to say on the subject.


One obvious cause is the deep recession that has caused tax revenues to plunge for all states. But California‘s woes have a set of deeper reasons: direct democracy run amok, timid governors, partisan gridlock and a flawed constitution all contribute to budget chaos and people in pain. And at the root of California‘s misery lies Proposition 13, the antitax measure that ignited the Reagan Revolution and the conservative era.


HA HA HA HA HA!  Oh… wait… you’re serious. For real? California is a financial cesspool because of conservatives? I didn’t know that there were any of my kind left there. I thought that after most of us moved to away, then you took the few that were left and put them in camps.


In Washington, the Reagan-Bush era is over. But in California, the conservative legacy lives on.


They’re for real.


Read the article. Put your thinking cap on, and go read it. I thought my head was going to explode. The basic gist is that California was an FDR inspired utopia of magic unicorns and rainbows, and then nasty conservatives came along, and said “well, we’d kind of like to keep some of the money we earn, and not give it all to the government” so then everything fell apart. The unicorns were personally hunted to extinction by Ronald Regan, who wore a mask made from human skin and an antlered helm while riding a fire-breathing dire wolf and he ground the rainbow under his spiked jack boots.


And only in the news media can Arnold Schwarzenegger be a conservative. I swear to almighty God I will personally scissor kick the first person that says that to my face in the throat.


California is almost as close to being a completely liberal state as there is. You’ve got a republican governor who would be a democrat anywhere else, like what, four state legislators that are republicans, then the fiscal conservatives are actual democrats from counties that aren’t insane, and even then, they’re outnumbered by five to one by socialists who call themselves democrats, and the rest is from La Raza.


Social Security is the lasting legacy of the New Deal era because F.D.R. understood that workers who contribute payroll-tax deductions from their paychecks would not want politicians tinkering with their retirement dollars. Conservatives have mounted assaults on Social Security through the years but to no avail.


I love that bit. Those nasty Conservatives keep picking on Social Security. We’re so mean. We should just leave it alone. It is just fine the way it is. Except for that whole thing where it is going to completely run out of money in a couple of years, and there are a lot more people getting benefits than there are working, and it will take the bedraggled remains of our economy and beat it over the head with a aluminum bat until it finally quits twitching and then we can descend into blood, madness, and chaos. That’ll be just peachy.


Listen, you friggin’ idiots. It is a Ponzi scheme. It is failing. We keep assaulting it, because it sucks, and will inevitably fail. Do the math. You morons keep propping it up as the problem gets bigger and bigger and bigger until it will eventually explode. But we’re the big meanies for wanting to deal with your asinine FDR crap now, before the web of lies collapses.


Oh, wait… Because of recent record government spending, too late. Sorry Grandma.  


Now Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger says there is no choice but to complete the demolition by slashing essential services.


Yep. The article then goes on to talk about how the programs being cut will be things like teachers and police and prisons… This is the same state that spends billions on bike lanes, billions on beach cleanup, billions on trail beatification, billions on wild animal protection, billions on parades for every race and sexual orientations that I couldn’t even come up with in my strangest imaginings, billions to prop up every picked-on ninnyhammer, billions to replace the homes of idiots who rebuild them on hills that fall down or catch on fire every single year, billions for studying the mating habits of harp seals, billions on every bit of nonsense you can possibly think of, for every pet project a legislator dreams up while huffing paint or snorting coke off a $1,000 an hour hooker’s cleavage.


And then multiply those billions to do the same thing, but for illegal aliens this time. Oh, wait, forgot that. Hmmm… I’m sure millions of people who don’t pay taxes, but use the schools, hospitals, services, make up a disproportionate amount of law enforcement’s business, and fill the prisons have absolutely nothing to do with the fiscal crisis.


California throws millions of dollars on big bonfires of crap, but don’t worry, they’re gonna fire the cops first, because that’s how they roll…


and the state aqueduct that carries water from the well-watered north to the parched south.


Let me tell you about the state aqueduct. I was born and raised in that well-watered north. Basically we were told to shut up. We could grow crops with dust for all they cared, because damn it, there were swimming pools to be filled in Los Angeles. Sure, San Joaquin Valley, you might be the breadbasket of the world and grow 1/8th of America’s food, but we want to have green lawns in the suburbs!


I’m guessing that it hasn’t gotten anymore sensible since I fled with the other refugees either.


Oh, nope, it hasn’t. They’ve shut down huge pieces of the San Joaquin Valley to protect some stupid fish. Apparently growing food is bad for these fish. Hmm… I wonder why my home county has like the highest unemployment in the country right now… Must be from all that Conservative Legacy. I don’t even know what a smelt is.


South of Los Angeles at California State University, Fullerton, Nicole Muth, 22, has just finished her junior year with straight A’s. Muth grew up in Modesto with “lots of love but no money.” Raised by her aunt and uncle, she receives a Cal Grant of $4,500 a year. “It definitely helps,” says Muth, who credits the grant with allowing her to focus on her studies


That’s $4,500 dollars that came out of somebody’s pocket so that she could “focus on her studies”… And keep in mind, with how efficient California state government is, there were twenty state employees who processed her application and sent her a check.


It definitely helps. I bet it does. But why is that everybody else’s problem?


Hell, I grew up with no money and a little bit of love, and still I put my ass through college working thirty-five hours a week making $7.15 an hour. Don’t give me your friggin’ sob story. Modesto is forty minutes from my home town. I don’t care how poor you are. I don’t care if you had to live off of cockroaches and moss and wore clothing made out of newspapers and mice pelts. Your state is BROKE. So you don’t get any more money. Deal with it.


Modesto is also right down the road from where a few young children were pitchforked to death by a mad man, because California also requires you to keep your guns locked up. One more reason California gets the finger.


But Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, a nonprofit advocacy group, says, “These are no longer cuts. These are amputations, and the question is, Which limb are we cutting off today?”  


I got an idea. How about the head?


Productive people have fled California en mass. We got tired of being bossed around, taxed to death, placed under the command of legions of petty bureaucrats, milked of our blood, sweat, and tears, and then left defenseless because you don’t even think we’re worthy to protect ourselves.


TIME, you disgust me. You are a pathetic shadow of a news organization. Your propaganda isn’t even clever anymore. How stupid do you think America is?


Smart enough to move out of California apparently.

Transformers 2 script

After posting about how much Megan Fox sucks and wants ya’ll to just die already, my buddy Rabbit sent me this. It pretty much sums up Michael Bay’s awesome style.  Warning, Mr. Bay’s doodles may not be work safe if you are a nun or teach 4th grade or lower.

That said, if Michael Bay showed up on my doorstep and said here is a giant sack of money with a dollar sign on it, and I want to buy the rights to one of your books, my “artistic integrity” can go to hell. I’m taking the money. I can always write more books.

Excellent sample chapter

 Marko at Munckin Wrangler has just posted a sample chapter of his military-SF novel.  I read it over lunch. This looks like a really promising work. Marko’s got a great voice, and he’s one of the more intelligent folks on the interwebs, so I’m looking forward to this.

Megan Fox sucks and hates you 

“TotalFilm recently interviewed the actress and asked her how she would stop the villainous Megatron from demolishing the planet. Fox first said that she would “make a deal with him,” adding: “and instead of the entire planet, can you just take out all of the white trash, hillbilly, anti-gay, super bible-beating people in Middle America?”

I guess Fox is not too worried about losing acting gigs due to her comments. She previously stated that she will keep getting cast in movies and doesn’t need to be a good actress, because Hollywood is superficial and she happens to be good-looking.”

Wow. All I can say is, girl, save your money. Invest wisely, because nobody is ever going to hire you for your brains or your talent, and that body will only last so long.

I’ll admit, I enjoyed the first Transformers. Giant Robots Fight, enough said. Then I watched it again recently with my son for his birthday on DVD. I realized that like most Michael Bay big explosion movies, the human interaction in between the action scenes are rather painful.  Really, how many of us have this on DVD, and don’t skip most of the scenes? Hmm… humans, humans, humans, ahh giant robots! Play!

For example, listen to the dialog of the soldiers in the opening bit aboard the V22 Osprey. Hey, let’s throw some stereotypes together! “I can’t wait to get back to Fenway and eat a hotdog. Not me, I’m the handsome white guy, and I so dearly miss my baby. Whoo Wee I gots to eat me some aligator! Yee Haw!” 

Then you’ve got the whole asinine family interactions, and scenes that go on far too long. Look, we don’t care. Make the giant robots fight.  I don’t care about your stupid dog. I don’t care about your homework. I don’t care that Shia is a horny teenager. Whatever. Make the giant robots FIGHT already!

Then you’ve got the Anthony Anderson character… because remember, it is us despised middle-Americans that are racist. Not Hollywood… They’d never perpetuate a negative stereotype… “Grandma don’t like no PO-Leese in the house! I done ate up all them doughnuts ’cause now they know I ain’t guilty!” Then he immediatly betrays his friend. “Ooooh, I done ate me too many of dem doughnuts!”   

And back to our brain-surgeon, Megan Fox? She was the worst.  Many people liked Megan Fox in the first move as eye candy, despite the fact that she can’t act, and her delivery is so wooden that it made the 1980s Transformer’s cartoons look like Masterpiece Theater. Yes, she is hot, in a sleazy, Kid Rock video kind of way. I find it ironic that she’s bashing us middle-Americans as white trash hillbillys, when she looks strangely like the meth-fried village-bicycles I saw in various Alabama trailer parks. Look, if I wanted to watch a no-talent hack who was just easy on the eyes, I’d rent porn, and then I wouldn’t have to suffer through her trying to string coherant sentances together either.  

I did like the heroic Donald Rumsfeld character, you got me there.

So now we’ve got Transformers 2. I’ll skip the theater, just because now that I’m aware of how much the dialog is going to drag, and the newness of the giant robots is gone. I’ll just watch it on DVD so I can skip the insipid humans, and the dreck that passes for story, and go right to Optimus Prime hitting things.  And I’ll make sure I borrow the DVD or get a bootleg, because sorry, Megan, you dimwit, you aren’t getting a dime of my white-trash hillybilly bible-thumping money.

Capping Trade, it’s just like capping knees

So there has been some discussion about pushing through this new 1200+ page law that no one has read, that will take our already weakened economy and kneecap it with a baseball bat, all in order to stop global warming.


Does this actually make sense to any normal person? Does anyone in America who isn’t a complete idiot think this is a good idea? It is just one more power grab mega-tax, and even if you believe in the global warming/climate change stuff, it won’t work because our industry will scale down, and China, India, and Brazil, who couldn’t possibly care less about the environment, will pick up our slack.

So nothing will change in the enviornment, except that maybe Americans won’t consume so much… because we’ll all be too POOR! 

Barack thinks he’s FDR, and sure enough, just like FDR, he’s going to take an economic downturn that should have been over in a few years and make it last a decade. However, Barack is reaching for the stars. He’s making FDR look like a piker. FDR only dreamed of controlling 2/3 of the domestic auto industry, the insurance industry, and the finances. So, if we continue our FDR train to its historical conclusion, then I’m excited to see what kind of epic war Barack gets us into that could have been avoided if only we’d exercised a little preventive maintenance.  (I’m still hoping the Brit’s get a Churchill again, fingers crossed).

I was having a conversation with someone last night who thinks Barack is doing an okay job. I asked how he figured, when you looked at our out of control government spending, that was going to wreck the dollar, and enslave our children to eternal debt. He responded that George Bush was bad too. Okay, a given, but just because the previous guy sucked doesn’t excuse doing the exact same thing only multiplied by four times in one eighth of the time, and then it is okay. So he said what was more important was that Barack gave us Hope, and that the economy doesn’t matter anyway, (and he was totally serious) because something terrible is going to come along and reboot everything, like a plague, or a big meteor, or a nuclear terrorist attack…

So… if I’ve got this right, putting my Finance Manager hat on, your economic exit strategy is to spend your way into a hole, and then to pray for death? Hmmm… That sounds about right. 

And while we’re looking at this 1200 page Boost the Chinese Manufacturing Industry Bill, they’re ramping up for government sponsored health care. Yay.  The only thing the government is even half efficient at is the military, and anybody who’s worked with it knows that things get done there despite the bureacracy and not because of it, so now we’re going to take 1/7th of our economy, and our health, and our very lives, and turn it over to the same douchebags who brought us Polar Bear protection and Bullet Trains from Vegas to Disneyland.   Oh, this is going to go so very well.

At least now all those uppity Canadians who talk about how friggin’ wonderful socialized medicine is, but then come over the border to get surgery here before they die while waiting in a government que, can now just shut the hell up and die like the rest of us.

Writing Music

And no, from the title, I don’t even know how to read music, let alone write it. They just look like a bunch of squiggles that go up and down, and my wife always cringes when I try to sing along with the hymns in church.  I’m talking about the music I listen to as I write.

I always listen to music as I’m writing. I find that it helps me set the mood. The most common playlist sets the mood entitled “Owen punches monster in face”. But anyone who’s read my stuff shouldn’t be surprised that my action sequences are fueled by a constant stream of heavy metal.

Many writers won’t listen to music while they’re working, because they say that the music influences them. That’s cool. Others say that they will, but only music like classical or soundtrack themes that don’t have words. Personally for me, it doesn’t matter, since it is just kind of in the background.

I got to thinking about this subject because my kids bought me $50 of Itunes for my birthday. I purchased the latest Disturbed album (Owen Z. Pitt’s favorite band), the soundtrack from the movie 300, a bunch of Hans Zimmer (including the superb Black Hawk Down soundtrack, Last Samurai, and some from Gladiator).  Some Mogwai (check out the Miami Vice soundtrack for some of the most awesome prog-rock mood setting ever, plus how can you not love somebody with a song called Glasgow Mega Snake?)

There is a scene in MHI:2 that exists because of the Disturbed song Darkness. A major blow is struck, people have died. It is sad, haunting, and it made me want to cry writing it. (and no, I won’t tell you who dies).

I discover that as I write, individual characters will pick up theme songs.  Lorenzo from the Dead Six books has best been described as a self-absorbed, godless, narcissist. He’s a jerk and a scumbag, but he’s trying hard to do what he thinks is best. He has his own peculiar, violent, sense of honor. At some point in time No Such Thing as Nothing by Chris Cornell became his song. When I first heard the lyrics, I realized that it was written for him, and when we make the movie, it is in the closing credits. Though his favorite song is War Pigs by Black Sabbath. No, I didn’t plan it that way either. He’s a classic metal kind of guy. 

Mike’s POV character, Valentine, gets .45 from Shinedown. Song Ling, from the same series (originally a character of Mike’s but we’ve both written her), gets Flower of Carnage from Kill Bill. It goes on and on.  My half of Dead Six runs on vaguely middle-eastern sounding movie soundtracks and classic rock.

I was in a bit of a quandary when I started Grimnoir. I had no music from the 20s and 30s, but my old pal, Pirate Bob, came through for me with his massive music collection. Only I discovered that it is really hard to write to 20s-30s music. I suppose I’m just a child of my time, but I just can’t get into that age, though it did help me better understand the feel of the world. (that and rereading the collected works of Raymond Chandler, another accountant turned writer!) 

So the main character from The Grimnoir Chronicles: Hard Magic gets the theme song of Only the Strong, by Flaw. And once you read him, you’ll understand why.  As decent as I can make myself, in time, we all know, that only the strong survive.  He’s a hard man in a tough time, and he’ll do the right thing, no matter how many bodies he has to stack up in the process.

I find that music can be a valuable tool for a writer. I’ve got about 20 hours of songs that form my core writing list, and those are broken into action scenes, quiet time, contemplation time, romance (which is my weak spot to be sure), and Other.


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