First off: OMG WANT.
(I swear, there is a gene in men that just rolls over and plays dead for nifty packaging. Witness our love of toolkits, survival packs, and suchlike things. Some gun companies -- I'm looking at you, Smith & Wesson and Mossberg -- have tried to court that gene before, but never like this!)
In other news, I finally got around to joining the National Rifle Association. It is far from the huge, all-powerful beast the anti-gun folks would have you believe it is, but while there are other pro-gun organizations, the NRA is still the biggest game in town -- and even if gun nuts aren't always happy with it, they do a lot of good stuff in terms of education and competitions. You can pay year to year or get a Life Membership; the NRA was having an insane special on Life Memberships, so I did that. (And yes, I'm considering putting NRA Life Member license plate frames on my Prius, just so I can watch people's heads explode from the cognitive dissonance.)
One thing I hadn't thought about: being a Life Member means that I can vote in the NRA's internal elections. (Did you know the NRA has internal elections? It does.) I got my ballot the other day, and now I have to plow through to figure out *who the hell all these people are* and what they stand for so I can vote for who I want on the NRA board.
Here's a synopsis of how the elections work. There are 76 seats on the board, one of which is up yearly and the rest of which are up every three years. So you vote for 26 candidates each year. Who decides who gets on the ballot? The Nominating Committee. Who gets on the Nominating Committee? Well, members of the board, mostly; convenient, ain't it? No, I'm kidding; the board is really a nice bunch. They knew I didn't know much about the organization yet, and that I joined too late to get the issue of AMERICAN RIFLEMAN with backgrounds of the candidates, so they very helpfully included with my ballot a list of the candidates they thought would be best to join 'em or stay with 'em on the board.
Hmm. You don't think this big Life Membership special was timed to produce a flood of enthusiastic new members who aren't familiar with the set-up and are thus inclined to vote for the folks whose names appear in the board endorsements thoughtfully enclosed with the ballot, do you?
I was in the gun store yesterday -- just chatting! I didn't buy anything! -- when the news came over the radio that Gary Gygax died. I just stood there for a little while, boggling as the news sank in; two of my geekdoms collided in that moment, and I felt the past, present, and future swirling around each other, like bath toys bobbing near the drain.