Armor for the Zombie Apocalypse

As some of you may have noticed, The View From LL2 has been on hiatus for the past few months as a result of some conflicts with its contributors’ other commitments. Although Michael must unfortunately retain his status as blogger emeritus, I am now able to resume blogging, and look forward to catching up on all the exciting recent developments on obscure jurisdictional provisions of international law.

I am hoping to kick things back up this weekend with some updates on the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Daimler AG v. Bauman, but in lieu of legal blogging at the moment, here’s a follow up to my armor for lawyers and armor for cats: a suit of armor for survivors of the zombie apocalypse, made out of bottle caps and pop tabs. Sure, maybe it wouldn’t stand up against a sword or arrow, but it’s more than good enough to repel a zombie bite. And it’s a heck of a lot lighter than steel.

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How to Put a Computer in a Picture Frame

My home computer died last week, as a result of what appears to have been a suicide pact between my CPU and my motherboard. That’s my excuse for the lack of recent updates, anyway.

But while I didn’t have a chance to do any blogging, I did have a good excuse to rebuild my computer. Here’s the result:

Picture Frame Build 2

Space-saving, plenty of airflow, and no more reaching down to plug or unplug USBs. Also economical — it saves you from the expense of having to buy both a computer case, and also a picture to hang over your desk.

Of course, if I tried to make another one, there are definitely a few things I would do differently. Like use something other than a box cutter to cut out an opening for the front panel:

Picture Frame Build

A box cutter can cut through wood, as it turns out. It just takes a really, really long time.

There is one small problem with having a wall-mounted computer that I didn’t consider before I put it up, though. And that’s the fact that my cat is convinced the computer fan and the wires were intended to be fascinating new toys for him to play with.

Picture Frame Cat

Maybe I’ll get some pigeon spikes for the top of my desk, that should fix the issue. Otherwise I’m pretty happy with it, as a prototype. There’s even room left over on the board for a new graphics card if I want to upgrade later.


Ungrateful Cat Rejects Awesome Cat Bed

My cat is a jerk. I spent the entire morning risking electrocution and vacuum tube implosions to disassemble an old CRT monitor. All so that the noble Lord Ragnarok could have a nifty looking bed to lounge about in.

He loves boxes of all kinds, so I figured he’d enjoy this. He’s kind of, um, big boned, so I needed a big monitor — and the abandoned 21″ inch CRT monitor I found while cleaning out our closets was perfect. Taking it apart was difficult only because I am sometimes an idiot. Also it turns out there are lots of hidden screws on monitors. When in doubt, however, I found that just kind of forcing things apart, with liberal application of wire cutters, pretty much got the job done.

Once it was finished, complete with a stylish pink leopard print pillow, I put it upright and proudly waited for Ragnarok to discover his awesome new bed.

Instead, he excitedly jumped into the discarded metal box interior. And lounged there. For fifteen minutes. While purring happily. What an asshole.

Attempts to force him into the monitor were resisted strenuously. But I deserved to have pictures of my cat pretending to enjoy his new luxury geek bed, dammit, so it was time to pull out the big guns. After heavily dosing the pillow with crushed up catnip and scattering his favorite treats in the back of the monitor, Ragnarok finally agreed to hop inside.

Hopefully, he’ll learn to appreciate the new bed. If not, I’m just going to have to turn it into a cage and get myself a pet mouse.

Update: A solution has been found. To make Ragnar use the monitor bed, simply give him his favorite kind of bed — a plastic tub — and then load the whole thing into the monitor, like it’s some kind of demented kitty oven. Apparently this is much more comfortable than curling up on a nice pillow.


Kitten Tricks: A Lesson for Cats on How to Make Your Human Give You Treats

The commonly held belief that cats are incapable of learning tricks is nothing but vile propaganda espoused by the corrupt canine lobby. Cats are plenty good at tricks — they just refuse to pollute the free market by providing their services for free. While dogs advocate for nanny-state policies by doing tricks on command in the expectation of receiving welfare benefits at some point in the future, cats will do tricks only when they know that they will be immediately and satisfactorily rewarded for it — i.e., for every trick they do, they better see some food. Cats do not perform on credit.

Because the internet already has plenty of blog posts about the law, but is almost entirely lacking in pointless cat videos, I thought that I might help correct this deficiency by forgoing legal commentary for the day in favor of posting a film clip of Ragnarok doing some tricks.

Ragnarok’s first birthday is sometime this month. Back in December of last year, he was found all alone on a soccer field in Athens, GA, nothing but a starving, smelly, trash-covered kitten, and only a couple months old. Twelve pounds and ten months later, he is not really a kitten anymore, but he still has not learned to meow. Although he can squeak louder than just about any cat I’ve ever met.

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Armor for the Medieval Kitten

This weekend, I spent far too much time sacked out in the living room watching the World Cup. While the games were going on, though, I decided that my kitten almost-cat deserved to have a shiny suit of armor.

Every cat should own a set of sturdy armor, of course. It provides valuable protection for the spine and flanks when an inevitable battle breaks out with the dreaded Forces of Dog. And so I made a chainmail suit for Ragnarok, my faithful feline companion.

The armor didn’t take as long as expected — I finished up even before Germany vs. Australia came on. (I cheated and used a really really large ring size. That helped.)

Not too surprisingly, Ragnarok was slightly less-than-thrilled about having his own armor to wear. But he is a very brave kitten, and although he looks at me with very sad eyes when I put the chainmail on him, he wears it with a stoic grace. And by “stoic grace,” I mean, “occasionally and unexpectedly falls off chairs because the weight throws off his center of gravity.”

Sir Kitten boldly surveys his domain.

And because my co-blogger might just murder me if I dare post more than one gratuitous kitten picture outside of a cut, click below to see more of the Adventures of Brave Sir Kitten: Continue reading

Armor for the Medieval Lawyer

The Middle Ages were a rough time for everyone, but lawyers were especially vulnerable — the pen is not, it turns out, mightier than the zweihänder. Medieval lawyers were therefore dependent upon their expertly crafted chainmail armor in order to survive attacks from opposing counsel, unhappy clients, or people who had just watched productions of Henry VI.

The complete chainmail lawyer collection.

It’s all about the Abrahams. This lightweight, durable wallet comes complete with card holders and notepad. Try using the chainmail pen below to write in it.

This dragonscale tie is not just fashionable — made of steel and copper, and coming in at a total weight of 1.2 pounds, the tie easily doubles as a short range weapon, ideal for repelling any nun-chuck wielding ninjas that may attack a courtroom in the midst of oral arguments.

Guarding the pocketbook is a timeless concern. With this European style chainmail covered checkbook, your negotiable instruments are safe from stray bullets and/or meat cleaver strikes. Plus, in a pinch, when unfolded, this checkbook doubles as a 8″ x 7″ chainmail shield and/or bludgeon.

What corporate warrior would be complete without a set of business cards?

Not having any colored rings, my initial plan was to either use a sharpie on or paint individual rings and build the writing into the weave itself. I was deeply annoyed to discover how bloody hard it is to color aluminum rings yourself — the sharpy ink rubs off immediately, and if you paint it with enough coats for it to not be rubbed off, the rings become too warped for a snug weave like this business card uses.

My annoyance later evaporated, however, and I became deeply grateful for how easy paint comes off of chainmail, when I made an extremely unsuccessful attempt to paint “” on the card. And it turned into a gigantic painty mess. So I doused it in hot water, cleaned it up, and went with a simple “LL2” written on it instead.

Finally, there are few things more precious to a lawyer than their blackberry. How else will they know at 11pm if an unhappy partner needs them to come back to the office immediately? Plus it is only one eighth as lame as all those other cellphone holsters on the market, so if you must advertise the fact you are a complete tool by carrying your phone about on your belt, at least switch to a chainmail pouch.

Here you can see the blogyer (blogger/wannabe-lawyer) in her native habitat — the desk where she applies to jobs from. With her sturdy lawyer armor, she can battle against any judge or tortfeasor that dares to get in her way.

Although lawyer chainmail armor is intended to intimidate legal opponents, as demonstrated by this photo and the previous one, it does carry the risk that you could be mistaken for a waitress who does not know how to center her tie, or else a parking enforcement officer that you really do not want to mess with.

Next: And for more chainmail, check out Chainmail for the Medieval Kitten.


Read more to see the materials and weaves used: