Release 10.0: Los Angeles, California, 4 Dec 1999

The 10.0 Geeks With Guns was a relatively quiet affair on the evening of my 42nd birthday. I'd come to LA nearly the end of a three-week road tour that ran through Zurich, Trondheim, Oslo, Dublin, London, and San Francisco with barely a one-day stop at home in Philadelphia -- with New Haven, Connecticut yet to go before I'd come off the road.

I'd given two talks in LA, one at University of California and one at Caltech. They went pretty well. I got some face time with Michael Elkins, the author of the mutt mail client that I use.

My host, Clay Claiborne of Cosmos Engineering, took a small group of us to a range called "LAX" where he'd heard rumors of a live-fire videogame -- a video shoot-em-up that you play with real pistols. Turned out to be real enough -- a laserdisc simulation projected against some kind of target that can locate bullet impacts.

The premise of the game is that the players are cops shooting their way through various operations of a drug cartel. Usual tac-shooting situations -- a heavy premium on reacting fast without popping any no-shoots. The action was punctuated by various bits of immemorable dialogue -- like the assault on a smugglers' airfield that starts with a man in a Panama hat gritting out "They don't just smuggle dope, they lose your luggage", or the city scenario that started with a detective yelling "The Cartel is holding hostages at the courthouse. Let's just hope they're all lawyers!".

All in all, it was pretty cheesy but nevertheless enjoyable. The rented Colt Government Model in my hand shot pretty well. It had an extended ten-round magazine, something I'd never tried shooting with before; fortunately it didn't seem to change the balance of the gun seriously.

Afterwards, a small birthday party at Clay's, and talk of many things with Clay and Rick Moen and Deirdre Saoirse and Mei-Ling Mak (all three of whom had flown down from the Bay Area to join the fun).

No pictures from this one, alas.