October 03, 2005

Shooting and electronics.

Sunday was a good day. After getting a restful 6 hours of sleep, I woke up to my wife advising me that the DVD player is giving her a “Mecha Error”. That is what the display said, “Mecha Error”. At first, I thought that maybe something happened in the Middle East and the center of the Islamic religion was having issues. Then my sleep groggy brain realized that it said “Mecha” not “Mecca” and that there is no way my DVD player would know if something did happen there. After looking at it for a while, turning it on and off and trying some percussive maintenance (i.e. pounding on the case with your fist), I decided I needed to unplug it and open it up.

Yep, it was broke, as soon as I picked it up the tray that holds the 5-disc changer just slide right open. It should not do that. I opened it up to see if it was something, I could fix… nope motor fried. Time to go buy a new DVD player. Off we run to electronic stores looking for a new DVD player. When we arrived we noticed that I could get a home theater system w/DVD for just a little more then I was willing to spend on a good DVD player, so we did some more shopping and ended up spending over twice as much as I had originally intended. I kept deciding if I was going to get a home theater system, it needed more gadgets and functions.

When we got home, Graumagus was there. We planned to go shooting, he arrived a little earlier then I thought he would, but that’s okay. He helped me carry the home theater system in the house. Then it was off to go throw lead down the range. Fortunately, the range wasn’t too far from my house. Just as we arrived, I realized I had not grabbed my powder horn and I didn’t think I had enough powder in my shooting box for the day. Grau was about to make fun of my stupidity when it dawned on him that he left his powder horn in his van back at my house. After making the trip home and back, we were able to get in an hour and a half of shooting. Since we were practicing, we only shot at 25 yards. My weapon was my .75 caliber Brown Bess smooth bore musket, for those of you that have never fired a gun, let alone a flintlock, and especially a smooth bore… 25 yards may seem a short distance, but that’s a hard shot when you haven’t had a lot of practice.

It wasn’t the tightest cluster I could have gotten, but I had five and a half of the rounds in the black. All but two of my shots would have been a kill, one was low and right and the other didn’t even hit the backdrop. I flinched really badly when I fired that round. All I know is that large caliber round balls make a lot of noise flying through a forest. Speaking of large caliber round balls, I still love getting to the range and hearing someone exclaim, “God your balls are huge!” It just puts a smile on my face.

Since my musket doesn’t have sites, I have to aim along the barrel. The barrel is wider at the breech then at the muzzle; I have to improvise how I aim. This includes attempting to use my bayonet lug as a front site. This makes me constantly miss to the right. By the end of the day, I had compensated enough to be able to hit the center by aiming to the left of it by a good 6 inches. As we were leaving Grau made the observation that the reason I pull to the right is because, “(I) carry my heavy arse shooting box with (my) right arm making it shorter then (my) left.” My shooting box weighs about 20 pounds; each bullet is 1.26 ounces of lead.

I was home in time to watch the Viking/Falcon’s game. Grau helped me dispose of some extra Beer I had on hand. After the game Grau took off and I started assembling the home theater system. I discovered that doing this while I had been drinking probably was not the best idea I’ve had. Electricity, alcohol and me don’t make a good combination. No, I didn’t get hurt and the system works just fine. It just took longer then it should have. In addition, there was trouble hooking up our digital cable.

I’m just going to say now that Insight Communications sucks! The digital cable box they gave me doesn’t have the digital output to run to the home theater system. When I called them today to find out what was going on they advise me that in order to get “true digital” service I need a different box that costs $15.00 more a month. $15.00 more just so I can have my Digital Surround Sound? That is bullshite! Add that to the fact, they have raised our rates over $11.00 a month since May, and they wonder why people are leaving them in droves.

So this means I have faux digital? It’s like digital in that it costs more, but it isn’t really digital because you can’t have any of the features of digital. If I didn’t watch a lot of channels you can’t get with out a service, I’d drop cable all together. I’ve looked into dishes, but I’m not convinced that they are any better.

Needless to say, I’m not going to have surround sound coming from my cable, only from my DVD’s. I can’t justify paying an additional $15.00 a month just so I can have better sound.

Posted by Contagion in General at October 3, 2005 12:49 PM | TrackBack

I'm getting a dish within the next couple months simply because I can about 10 more channels for about $15 les a month.

Posted by: Graumagus at October 4, 2005 11:07 AM

Speaking as a victim of Dish Network, I consider it not worth the savings.

Biggest drawback is not being able to watch one channel while recording another.

Second biggest is random service interruptions while the dish "reacquires the signal".

I'll see if I can get TNT to give you the long version of the list.

Posted by: Harvey at October 5, 2005 09:07 PM