It is MY cliff

What the hell is this web log even about? Why did I use the root instead of saying "blog?" Not all of these questions will be answered, but tonight I am going to metablog... I think.

In reality I would like to chat about what this blog is about. I am pretty sure blogs started as some sort of sick and perveted vanity journal. People scribbled in their journals by candlelight ages ago, longing for the world to read their thoughts. "If only more people knew what I think, then they would understand." Previously I would have said that nobody cares about what you think, but here we are, in a day and age where people make a damn living commenting on the world around them. Not like that is new in any sense, critics have been doing that for years. In todays world though, we no longer have a need of newspapers, review shows. Reviews are posted online, in text and video format. I honestly wonder what that volume of data generated every day is. I also wonder how much of that is total crap.

What sets MY blog apart? What makes my little cliff different as a dangle my feet over the edge and ponder the world?

In a nutshell? Nothing. I am just another guy. Words describe me, and the same words describe a bunch of other people. I am sure I am different, but the niceties of my personality become apparent in the nuances of my enunciation.

Should I give this blog a topic? A general theme? Yeah, ME. This is MY blog, these are MY words, this is MY cliff, This is my little area where I get to be myself and talk about the crap that I care about. So what do I care about? Oh, a lot of things. Let me make you a convenient list.

  • Guns - I am a soldier, I like em, deal.
  • Politics - I like to be involved and educated on the wiles of the nobles.
  • Parenting - I want to be a father one day, A GOOD ONE, so I think about it a lot.
  • Religion - Or the lack there of. I am an atheist personally, I try not to be a dick about it.
  • Video games - Love em, maybe ill review one someday. I guess this includes all entertainment, like video and text/narrative.
Yeah, those are some of the things I like, U guess ill be talking about that kind of stuff. I reserve the right to change crap and talk about whatever, it is MY cliff...


The American people practically designed Russia's next rifle

Took a trip out to the Larch Mountain shooting pits. It was a horribly planned trip, we were supposed to meet at a certain time, but everyone was late, but not late in a way that synced up in any way, cards were de-magnetized, ammo was purchased, the map was lost and forged anew en route, trucks gasped for fumes as we chugged through the clouds up a mountain...




But in the end we made it up, less Jim... Jim always dies. We shot off a nice sum of ammunition, and checked out some of the other rifles the people had up there. That's what it is you know, a social hobby. You know? Meeting new people with similar interests? Take a friend who has never been shooting, shooting, and meet new friends at the range. For the love of god though, don't forget some good earplugs.

When I got home from my adventure, which for those who weren't there for some reason, involved a mall and a Kalashnikov, I began to peruse the news. After a moment I happened across this story about Japan. All it really says is that Japan can now export military equipment, and I assume contracts (as it talks about them getting some F-35s). One of the first things I thought of when I saw it was "So can I buy surplus Japanese gear now?" After I mulled over that thought for a good 1/18th of a second I realised that selling surplus military equipment is quite possibly the best thing a nation can do!

You see, soldiers are trained to not complain, it's the first of many things you learn not to do! :D And beside the fact we do it anyway, we don't do it a lot. Now civilians on the other hand, they can do what they want. Take a look at the M16 line of weapons (to include the M4), it had a rocky start as a piece of equipment, and grew over time (mostly because that start was REALLY rocky...) and then kind of petered off. But in one of the latest Requests for Proposals (RFP) the military essentally took a look at what the civilians had souped up the rifle to be and said "I want what they're having."

Now this does not just go for rifles, many [avoid weasel words] airsofters use old military equipment for their military simulation gameplay, and while shooting plastic BBs at each other hardly qualifies as combat use, they don't mess around. When you have people using equipment free from regulations they begin to change it to suit their needs, and if they are using it in a similar capacity to how the military would (like having pouches hold magazines, or radios) the innovations and changes made in that field affect the other, improving the equipment the military uses.

But why stop there? Governments subzidize all kinds of things, so why not military equipment? Which got me to thinking...

Japan is renowned for shitty military arms, and what better way to fix that than selling semiautomatic versions to the American consumer for a dirt cheap price? Sure the market will scoff "Pah, it's just a shitty Japanese rifle!" they will proclaim loudly! But after their friends leave the store they will pick up a rifle for $300, and a few boxes of ammo. Soon everyone will have one, they will joke, say they got it as a conversation piece, or as a "social rifle." But give them time. Just like those maniacs who would soup up a VW Beetle, so too will the garage gunsmith fine tune Japan's rifle. Aftermarket parts will come out, at first to replace the parts that most often break, after that, to make them stronger, faster. Accuracy a problem? Not anymore, Jim figured out that if you just do this... BOOM, about as good as a sniper rifle on a bad day. Doing this would not only be good, it would make Japan money!

How do I know that would happen? Why, it already did. With all the accessories for AK type rifles being produced for the American consumer market, the American people practically designed Russia's next rifle.


Merry Christmas

Christmas is coming, it is going to be amazing. Now, I am not a Christian, but my family traditionally celibates it together. We do need to see each other once a year, how else will be beg each other for money? Lol, no we just meet together and exchange the greatest currency of all.

Sexual Innuendo.

Merry Christmas.


What a debacle

Late again, sigh. the trip home was... eventful to say the least. Just a few hours into our journey we t-boned a car on the highway. With the amazing combination of fog and ice I am honestly suprised that nobody was seriously hurt. Myself and my two friends in the car emerged unscathed, thigh my laptop did not fare so well... The worst injuries were in the other car. One guy about 20 was walking around saying he had a concussion, but the fact that he was walking around saying he had a concussion, with no swelling on his head, was a clear indicator that he was just a little bitch. His baby on the other hand... had a MASSIVE bump on his forehead. But it was not red swollen, and honestly the kid was the calmest of everyone there. It got better from there. They were traveling in a convoy and piled in their other car and were on their way. We, on the other hand. Stood outside for about 4 hours trying to fix the car, but to no avail. It was a pretty low speed collision, and their car ran still... we had hope. Eventually we got towed and dropped off at a diner. After a bit a friend's dad came and drove us to the Seattle area, and from there I got a ride with a friend down to Vancouver. What a debacle.


Late blog, apologies

I apologize for being late. I left town and got into a car accident. Ill resume my schedule... on the day of the moon.


On a rocket powered wheelchair

ADD is a common topic in todays world, as are the drugs that are prescribed to counter it. Like several other people I wonder how many kids actually need treatment, and how many just need some better guidance. Mind you I don't just want to talk about ADD, there are a bunch of other things that can effect learning! Brain chemistry is remarkably complex, and often people refuse to acknowledge that we are so much a machine as to be manipulated by a little pill.

My experience with ADD is somewhat firsthand. I was diagnosed and treated with something, a learning disability ("retardation" is the English word for that, FYI), I don't remember what it was exactly, I was young and did not make it a habit to record my medical history. I remember I took Citalopram, which apparently is used to treat depression and anxiety.

Growing up in the US' education system there were a lot of ways to get ahead. I remember in middle school I had a special plan, or status in the schools records that permitted me to take longer on stuff, or dictate assignments that would be written, and a myriad of other considerations designed to help me perform better in school. It was quite nice of them.

The story for both... is the same, and oddly grounded in a realization I had in World of Warcraft. Yes, the MMORPG.

Lets start with a simple saying, probably from the Media. I suppose I should also tell you that everything I say gets echoed in my head several times, and often several times under my breath.

"Drugs are bad, drugs make you someone you are not, they make you someone else."

Playing World of Warcraft (WOW) I was a priest, a healer, and I had the ability to make a wide variety of potions that would boost my abilities. One day I was dueling someone and I used my self made potions, and won. After the fight the other person said I cheated and that using potions in a duel was akin to steroids in sports. Then it hit me, this is exactly how I felt in reality.

Years before, in middle school I had looked at my special plan and seen a set of roller blades, that I got to wear in the footrace because I was slow. Regardless of what it was in reality, that is how I felt, so it was real to me, using the plan made me feel dirty, it made me look at the special education class and thing "that is where I really belong, I am retarded." So, I did not use it, I got rid of it, and it cost me.

Years before that, in elementary school I got prescribed Citalopram, I used it for awhile. I was probably too young to notice the effects on myself, and my mother noticed this. She noticed a difference in my skin sensitivity and demonstrated that when off the drug i was so sensitive to stimuli that I could feel a single hair on my forearm, and that when off the drug I was less sensitive to stimuli, and therefore less prone to distraction. But in my mind the thoughts I had internalized rang clear.

"Drugs are bad, drugs make you someone you are not, they make you someone else."

I was young, I was determined to be independent, to be strong, to be myself, and these drugs made me someone else, someone more. If I could not succeed as myself, what was the point? Everyone else does these things, I am not inferior to them... I am a genius! I am strong, I can do this, I can beat them, by myself, the way I was meant to be! I will, work, harder!

So I poured my pills down the sink,
and it cost me.

It cost me school, and in my mind at the time it cost me a wonderful girlfriend, so it was real to me...

Eventually I dropped out and joined the army, which honestly was a good decision (I say as I enjoy free college at the age of 22), but I feel like I could have done better at life as a whole. My time in the army was good, but the whole time felt like a deployment. I never "settled in" to the military life, never made it completely my own. No matter where I was, I was waiting to go back home to see my friends. I was so eager to see all my friends that I planned and scheduled out every hour of my leave, it felt more like work than my work at a military hospital. I digress...

Talking about "performance enhancing drugs" for studying... I was dumb when I was a child, and I still don't like to take drugs. Ill be in quite amount of pain before I even think of ibuprofen for my hip, but maybe it is time to rethink my personal policy. I am not talking about drug abuse, I am talking about doing whatever the rules of life let you do to win. I am talking about entering into that race, the race of life, on a rocket powered wheelchair.


Why just spoken languages anyway?

I try to make it a habbit to peruse the TED talks, new ideas being shared, makes me happy. I happened across this one by the guy who helped make the captcha, now he is focusing his efforts on a new endeavor, and I find it quite noble.

Being bilingual is a personal goal of mine, and his "duolingo" idea is quite novel. It accomplishes something good, and helps people learn another language. I really hope they have this in Russian :)

Talking about the education system again, in the US we start teaching languages far too late. We should introduce kids to a wide variety of different languages before they are 10. I would be happy if I could have a conversation like this with my 7 year old:

"What classes do you have now?" I said to my child.
"French, multiplication, and python."

Why just spoken languages anyway?


Self-educating children.

Shut up! I have not slept yet, so it's still Friday to me! >.<

But in all honesty I did make a commitment to update every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday... and I fucked it up on day two. I could spin some excuse based on the various things that happened today, but honestly I played "Call of Duty: Black Ops" for about 45 minutes, so I have no valid excuse.

I did have a great time with all that other stuff that occupied my time though... ^.^

Anyways, something entertaining... I don't have any followers right now, so honestly I am only entertaining myself, and if someone finds what I do here entertaining I guess they are cool enough to stay. So...

Ill just talk about the education system.

It's fucked.

There are many different styles of learning, and many different styles of teaching, why cant we try and sync that up? And I am talking about just the U.S. here, I don't have any experience with other schools.

I know one of the big issues is pay, but in all honesty, I don't see how that is a problem. If you cannot make ends meet on $54k a year you are doing something wrong. Not to mention that sweet summer vacation you get...

One of the largest problems I can think of with the educational system is not even a part of the educational system, it's the parents. I may be critical of their pay, but I will in NO WAY deny the stress of dealing with kids all day. Sure it can be rewarding, but I am sure it can be equally punishing. But the parents seem to offload their responsibilities as parents onto the school district, and blame the school district for problems in their children. How many parents have taught their kids how to learn? Did your parents make you a deck of flash cards for your addition tables? If the parents don't take responsibility for teaching their own children how to learn, or how to study, what the hell good is a classroom environment going to do?

When I have children (which seems to be a trend of this blog) I will sit down with them after school and transcribe their notes into flash cards. At first it may be a pain, I remember being asked "what did you learn today?" by my mother, and replying "I don't know," but being able to recite a general lesson, or point out the parts of the textbook we read would have aided in my long term retention ability. Anyway- After school every day, flash cards. Every weekend, we go over the weeks flash cards, every month, ill have a game... Ill take the whole, sizable deck, and go through the whole thing. For every one correct they will get +1 reward (I have no idea what would be of value at the time), and for every wrong one, -2. I don't intend for the cards to be incredibly difficult, but they would be available. Hopefully this will have the effect of causing my kids to study by themselves, so they can earn more on their monthly exam. Of course this would guide them in a direction of only doing things for reward, not for personal gain, but if my childhood is anything like theirs, ill just need to turn on the history channel, and when they ask me a question, ill show them Wikipedia... once they learn how to check sources.

It is all part of my master plan you see,
Self-educating children.


Something I believe they call honor

Resolutions, goals, the things we strive for.

In my previous post I wrote about getting into a mindset, or habit of finishing what you start. Now I have had a million new years resolutions, and this was going to be one, but I thought to myself "No, this shit is always going to be something I do. I'm always going to go to the gym, just, you know... later." It became readily apparent that I was acting out (quite well in fact) the evils I had previously discussed. And you know what, I am going to do something about it, not later, not soon, not right after this thing I should totally go do, right fucking now.

I have seen several youtube serials, and read a few blogs. None of them are really that amazing, but they are successful. I was thinking to myself, "what makes them successful?" After some thought, and correcting for video channels that exist solely because their patron is an attractive female or some other outlier like that, I realized all these decently successful channels have a few things (mostly) in common.
1- Production value.
Not so much as a team of editors, rather they take a minute to set up lights so the camera can see them, and maybe jot down a few notes to guide their rant. Some of the best even proofread their blogs, for spelling errors, and sometimes even fact checking! Crazy I know, but the attention to detail, editing out of dead space, or splicing in a relevant photo as opposed to staring at a face or hands makes the video take less time and deliver more information, which I guess is what people are going for these days.
2- Consistency.
Seemingly more important than a little work into your product is delivering SOMETHING on time, and on a schedule. Not all the blogs or channels are great, but they are good, and they are there on time. No matter what crap goes on in my life I can count on Penny-Arcade and Xkcd to have something new on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. And places that don't have an official schedule usually are updating even more frequently. Either way, the point is they are constantly putting out new things for their followers to enjoy, consistently.

That said, I don't need to go into any more kind of detail, but it shall be known, that I will do my best to have Kale's Cliff update every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I have never been too good with schedules, I wish myself luck. Though I suppose doing what I say I am going to do should be an integral part of my being, something I believe they call honor.