19 November 2009

masculine women and girly men...

LabRat over at Atomic Nerds put one up today about about Masculinity, that is certainly worth a read. It's something I run into all the time...

See, I don't fit most peoples' definitions of "masculine". And it's not just the kilt (although that seems to throw too many people for a loop): I don't like sports, I'm (at best) mechanically declined, not a fan of beer, and tend to not fall in line with most "guy things". So most guys have no CLUE how to react to me...

Of course, get me on metaphysics, weapons, gaming, sci fi... I'm good to go. But around here at least, most of the things that I find interesting are alien to most guys. Add in the kilt, and I might as well have two heads.

Holly at the Pervocracy linked in, and she makes a valid point: if you don't show the "whole package" of gender identifiers, society vapor locks on how to deal with you. Guy in a kilt, who would rather read than watch a football game? Must be queer! Woman that likes to go work on engines? Not feminine enough!

It's funny, as I see it EVERYWHERE, even places that you'd think would avoid it. Ask me about some of the assumptions in the pagan community sometime...

How do we fix this? What can we do to actually get people to judge others as PEOPLE, instead of trying to pidgeonhole folks based on their sexual plumbing?

Other than, as I do, simply being ourselves and ignoring those who have a problem with it...

18 November 2009

Wait... dude... WHAT????

Via Yahoo and AP:

President Barack Obama says he's worried that spending too much money to help revive the economy could undermine a fragile U.S. recovery and throw the economy into a double-dip recession.

Wait a sec... THIS, from the President who has tripled our debt in less than a year?

This is like a rapist giving a speech on the merits of abstinence. WTF?

Humpday Hardware goes Eastern (again)...

... but not how you think.

Several years ago, I was at a small local gunshow, and saw the subject of today's post. It was sitting there, forlorn, on a table with a BUNCH of other rifles (who were all getting MUCH more attention). I recognized the safety, and asked about the rifle.

It's a Japanese Type 99 rifle. Shamelessly stolen bit:

The Japanese Arisaka Type 99 Rifle, manufactured 1939 to 1945 in the Tokyo and Nagoya Arsenals, Japan. It was the replacement of the Type 38 rifle and was the primary Japanese battle rifle until their surrender to Allied forces in 1945. The Type 99 is a variation of the Mauser design and early production models have probably one of the strongest receiver/action of any military bolt action rifles.

At the end of WWII the chrysanthemum (mum) markings on the receivers of surrendered Japanese rifles were removed. The sixteen petal mum is the imperial symbol of the Japanese Emperor. Below is an example of one that escaped being defaced.


Both the Long and Short Rifles were fitted with a sliding bolt cover (which traveled in narrow grooves cut in either side of the receiver as the bolt was worked) and a folding wire monopod pinned into a T-shaped block on the lower band. The monopod and bolt cover were usually dispensed with in battle. Later versions of the Type 99 may be unsafe to shoot as the quality of the metallurgy began to decline sharply after 1942. The later (1943-45) rifles are often identified as having a fixed notch rear sight instead of the customary folding/sliding leaf sight, no provision for attaching a sliding bolt cover or monopod or mounting an under barrel cleaning rod and the lack of a chrome-plated bore. Check with a qualified gunsmith if unsure.

The Japanese ideographs on the rifle receiver ring below the chrysanthemum in the photo translate as "99 Type." Many of chrysanthemum markings were ground off the rifles by surrendering Japanese troops because it was considered a disgrace to hand over a rifle was considered the property of the Emperor. An unconfirmed tale has it that General Douglas MacArthur at war's end also ordered the chrysanthemum markings removed from scores of captured Japanese rifles as part of the process of de-deifying the Emperor. (contributed by Michael E. Kreca)

This particular piece, while being earlier production, is (sadly) missing monopod, bolt cover, and bayonet (all of which I WILL be replacing). Still, the price was good ($100 out the door)...

Here's two shots of the "anti aircraft sights". Notice the notch on the arm: yes, you could lead the plane you were shooting at by different amounts. Not that I've heard of many US planes being shot down by one of these...

Interesting little sidelight: you can (apparently) create 7.7 Jap brass out of 30.06. Which is a good thing, as 7.7 Jap ammo is NOT cheap (running around $37/20 currently).

Haven't taken it out much, although she's fairly smooth. Being a Mauser design, that seems to be expected. Hit fairly close to point of aim. Once I pick up dies (NOT a high priority currently), she'll be getting much more of a workout...


That's it for this week's look into the armslocker aboard the Privateer. Next week, I'll TRY and get Spoon to go cowboy for y'all...


Just remembered... I haz a blog! And people sometimes read it!


So... 'bout two weeks ago, we had a visitor board the Privateer. Hence the title.

Squeaker needed someone to watch her boy (who is now, officially, "Warhorn": small, but VERY loud). Thought y'all might get a kick out of the child.

His "Yes, I's sleeping, Unca Strings" pose: something that was VERY welcome:

And my favorite: "Power to the (Small) People!". He held this pose for about an hour: I can only imagine that he was dreaming of leading the Lost Babies to the Land of Plentiful Boobies...

And yes, Unca Strings changed that Horror of all Horrors, the Poopy Diaper. Honestly, some folks who go on about this torture need to grow a pair.

All in all, a good way to spend a couple days: he behaved, got a BIG smile when he saw the swords, bigger smile when he saw the rifle rack.

Actually looking forward to doing it again (and REALLY looking forward to him being old enough to take to the range)...


Regular posting resuming (now that I'm not working my balls off). There'll even be another Humpday Hardware posted later today (HONEST!). Something Far Eastern again...

2 more...

Via Jay G (actually heard about the first via the wire), we have 2 more victims of child abuse. 2 more children who will never get a chance to become adults. 2 more lives snuffed out by animals that walk upright...

People ask why I do what I do, in BACA and SARC. It's because society has monsters like this running around loose, hurting our kids. It's because, far too often, those children don't have anyone willing to stand up and say "NO! YOU WILL NOT DO THIS!". So maybe, just maybe, I can do some good with my life, and BE the person to stand up.

It costs me sleep. It costs mental anguish. It costs time. And it may, one day, cost me everything. But I, at least, am not willing to just stand by...

10 November 2009

Happy Birthday, Devil Dogs

On this day in 1775, a group of rather rough men were given the task of saying "BOYAH!" and protecting our Navy's vessels.

I kid... they were told to shout "Ooga ooga!".

All joking aside, the crew of the Privateer wish the Corps a happy birthday, with many more to come!

02 November 2009

Servant of a Dark God (review)

Ok... Larry made an offer, and I accepted.

He offered a free copy of John Brown's book Servant of a Dark God to anyone willing to do a review. I got my copy a few days ago.

Those who know me, know I almost ALWAYS have my nose in a book: it's my One Great Weakness. My preferences are for fantasy and sci-fi: pure escapism.

I cut my teeth on Tolkien and Howard, and have since amassed a fairly eclectic library. Point of fact, most of the shelf space in our apartment is taken up with books.

So... how does Servant stack up?


First off, Brown manages to avoid what is (to me) one of the biggest problems with most fantasy today: "religion in the imaginary world". Most writers seem to just ignore the concept totally (which rings kinda hollow), or they pop accessories onto Jehovah. Neither idea really works. Brown crafted an entire religion for this story, and made it a central theme (without ever getting preachy). That alone is worth a bravo!

The meat of the story flows well. For those looking for typical sword & sorcery, check elsewhere: this isn't the standard "knight rides in, swings his sword around, and rescues the damsel". Instead, we have what feels like a retelling of the Crucible in a fantasy setting. But he does it without plodding, which makes the book fly by (three days is all it took me, cover to cover).

The character introductions are a bit confusing at first, but it doesn't take long to sort out who's who. Plot twists well (there were some "obvious" things that turned out differently than expected, which was refreshing). And what action is there, is handled fairly tightly

One thing that IS obvious at the end of the book: this is more of a prequel than anything else. Based on it, the rest of the series should be worthwhile!

Of course, now comes the biggest problem with new authors: the wait for "the rest of the story"!