02 December 2013

A good man needs a lill assisstance

So... it's come to my attention that Dennis at Dragon Leatherworks has recently had some serious medical issues, to the point that he has been unable to work at his bench (meaning holsters are behind, and cashflow is suffering).

Since I think Dennis is a good guy, and I REALLY want to see my holster, I'd like everyone who has a couple extra bucks to go here and buy some DLW swag. Let's help keep one of the good guys going!

18 November 2013

New project

So... some friends have been running a podcast for awhile, and they've managed to draw me in as a part of their cast. Recorded a new episode today: if you follow a pagan path of any kind, go take a listen at Another Pagan Podcast

Roughly biweekly: I'll post here when we do another episode. And by all means, let me know if you have a topic you want to hear about!

This ep, we discuss misused words.

09 November 2013

On this day...

On this day in 1775, the world's most elite group of bellhops was founded.

Happy birthday, jarheads. My bags are in the trunk: make sure they make it to my room ok >;)

Seriously though: Happy Marine Corps Birthday

05 November 2013

THIS is the War on Drugs?

From Reason magazine: go read, I'll wait

Y'all back? Blood pressure going? Good. It should be

This poor man was pulled out of his car for whatever reason. And, because he "appeared to be clenching his buttocks" (maybe he had to go real bad?), was subjected to extreme measures to find drugs... that didn't exist.

Personally, I hope he not only wins his suit, but files further suit against the hospital (billing him? REALLY?), and presses charges. Willing to bet the docs and nurses are now open to sexual assault charges, as well as conspiracy to same on the cops, deputies, and possibly even the judge who issued the warrant

Hey... give me a hand with this barrel?

    Remember, remember!
    The fifth of November,
    The Gunpowder treason and plot;
    I know of no reason
    Why the Gunpowder treason
    Should ever be forgot!
    Guy Fawkes and his companions
    Did the scheme contrive,
    To blow the King and Parliament
    All up alive.
    Threescore barrels, laid below,
    To prove old England's overthrow.
    But, by God's providence, him they catch,
    With a dark lantern, lighting a match!
    A stick and a stake
    For King James's sake!
    If you won't give me one,
    I'll take two,
    The better for me,
    And the worse for you.
    A rope, a rope, to hang the Pope,
    A penn'orth of cheese to choke him,
    A pint of beer to wash it down,
    And a jolly good fire to burn him.
    Holloa, boys! holloa, boys! make the bells ring!
    Holloa, boys! holloa boys! God save the King!
    Hip, hip, hooor-r-r-ray!

04 November 2013

Ruminations on food (and paying for it)

So... was reading this piece over at Peter's, and it got me thinking: what CAN we get by with for food costs?
So... as I sit here at the local coffee shop, I'm writing up a quick shopping list. Now usually, Spoon and I do grocery shopping like urban Japanese: we don't have a lot of storage space. So I'm making a list to feed a family of 3 for 30 days, bought out of Sprawlmart, with explanations of each. Here we go:

Ramen packets: $2.18/12 (let's say 4 of these. Ramen is quick and sleazy, and usually filling. Also good to base a more elaborate meal on)  $8.72

Canned soup: $1.50 (A can of Chunky soup with oyster crackers tossed in is another good "quick & sleazy, but filling" meal. Let's say 30 cans) $45

Oyster Crackers: $.98 (good both for soups, and as a snack. We'll say 4 bags) $3.92

Mac & Cheese: $.68 (Ah yes, another staple of cheap eats. One box, mixed with cheddar franks, can easily provide a meal for all three people in my theoretical family. Let's say 10 boxes) $6.80

Rice: $6.53 (Largest bag of white rice they had. Should be good for the entire month, and provides a good base for all kinds of meals) $6.53

Bread: $1.38 (Assuming one child in this scenario. Provides both sammiches and toast. 5 loaves for the month?) $6.90

Milk: $3.38 (I go through a LOT of milk. let's go nuts: 6 gallons for the month) $20.28

Peanut butter: $3.98 (Figuring 2 jars a month) $7.96

Jelly: $1.72 (Smaller jars: we'll say 3 a month) $5.16

Lunch meat: $4.98 (Mom & dad need lunches too. figure 6 of these a month for that) $29.88

Cheddar franks: $2.98 (These have become one of the staples for Spoon & I. Can be added to lots of different things for a meal, as well as just nuked & nommed. 5 packs for the month)  $14.90

Frozen chicken breast: $11.48/5lbs (Another staple for us. Can be used for a variety of different meals. 1 pack should last the month with everything else) $11.48

Cereal: $5.98 (Bagged cereal at Sprawlmart. BIG bag. We can say 4 of these) $23.92

Frozen veggies: $1.98 (Also able to be combined with a bunch of different things, for variety at mealtime. 10 bags, different combos) $19.80

Eggs: $1.68 (both for breakfast and other meals. We'll overshoot here, and say 5 dozen) $8.40

Hmmm... pretty sure I've overfed the Theoreticals here: there should be some leftovers. Or maybe there's 2 kids, instead of just one. Whichever, it seems that Mr & Mrs Theoretical SHOULD be able to get by for a grand total of $219.65 for the month (not including some small incidentals like spices)
Notice something though: no snack foods, no soda, no alcohol. And no fast food: the family eats together at home every night.
Anyone else wanna give it a try?

22 October 2013

New Scoot

So... a friend has owed my some money for awhile. He recently lost his job, and had this basket case sitting in his garage.

Guess who now has a new chopper (some assembly required)?

This is a LONG term project: little bits done as I can afford to and have time. But I figured I would document it on here.

The final plan is for a celtic themed bike. The origin of that concept was this:

A friend brought the sword hilts back from Pennsic War, and said "maybe you can find a use for them". They'll be the grips (thinking of getting 4 more for foot pegs).

The horse head? That'll be the handle of the shift knob: this is going to be a right side suicide shift. That means I can keep the hand clutch up on the bars (so emergency reactions will remain the same for this bike)

And here's the frame. Was chopped in a different manner: they left the neck alone. Instead, they cut the downtubes, and welded in spacers (you can see the lines if you look REAL close)

The engine is a '76 Sporty. NOT complete, unfortunately: that's part of the reason it's gonna be a long term project

The green on the jugs is NOT staying. The rough plan is for the jugs and tins (that's the tank behind the engine) to be dark green, the crankcase and heads black. The frame (and a few other pieces) will be bedlinered

And here's the rest of the engine. Like I said: some assembly required, and not everything's there

 Some of the work that needs to be done? Building a girder front end. Fabricate the shift linkage. Get the engine rebuilt (which is what I'm working on first).

Bags are going to be made custom: more on those when I actually get to that point 

As I get things done, I'll post updates

18 October 2013

A weekend in the woods

Hey all.

So I have received an invite to a "Pagan Men's Weekend", hosted by a friend who owns some property in the north central part of the state.

I have to admit, I've always been a lil leery in my interactions with other pagans. Too many seem to feel that it's a religious obligation to be in lock-step with every plank and nail of the liberal platform. But I've known Wade for awhile, the womenfolk were expressly barred (and I'll admit, that's where a great deal of my problems stem from. More on that in a bit). And finally, Wade said the magic words: "there'll be... and shooting"

Shooting? With other pagans? I'm there!

Finding the location was fairly easy, for all that it's the middle of nowhere. The only real problem I had was the dirt road: I HATE riding a bike on anything but asphalt, and this was looser than pea gravel & about 3 inches deep. But I managed to stay upright, and arrived safe at site to be greeted by a group of 5 guys who looked normal.* Got off the bike, lit a cigar, and off we went for a quick tour of the grounds.

Imagine 160 acres of almost untouched woodland. There are a few faint paths through the property, with a couple clearings for rit and gatherings. No electric or sewer (the outhouse has a composting toilet, and there are plenty of trees to water), and WAY off the beaten path. If you enjoy nature, this place is paradise.

At a stop during the tour, discussion was had about "what makes a man?". This was a recurring theme throughout the weekend: what virtues and characteristics make a "man" (and there was a clear divide between the concept of "adult male" and "man"). Ideas were wide-ranging, and no consensus reached. But I like to think that everyone had something to say that made everyone think.

Returned to the main area for lunch, then break out the toys. Since I was on Eva, there were only so many things I could bring, but I encouraged everyone to try whatever I had along. And I will admit, I was afraid I would be doing a LOT more time as RO than actually shooting... was certainly not the case, as everyone seemed to have a fairly firm grasp of the 4 Rules. So fun was had by all.

More discussion insued after making things go bang, including discussions of problems in the pagan community and how we could address them. One thing I did NOT run into is the usual "you're not liberal, so you're automatically wrong!" issue that is normal in my dealings with other pagan groups. Granted, this was something of a select group, but it was still unexpected. At a guess, the complete lack of "womyn**" probably played a part in that.

One thing that became readily obvious in our discussions was a lack of "accepted manly virtues or characteristics". Many that have existed throughout history really don't have a readily apparent connotation in the modern world. That discussion is still somewhat ongoing, with an eye towards doing the Men's Weekend again next year. Possibly even creating some sort of "Rite of Passage", as that is sorely lacking in the modern world.

But all in all, was an experience I look forward to repeating.

* anyone who has dealt at all with the pagan community knows that WAY too many pagans range from "marching to a different drummer" to "where's the circus". This group was completely normal

** not trying to be misogynistic, but WAY too many pagan ladies have attitudes that set my teeth on edge. Which has resulted in my removing myself from more than one gathering.

17 September 2013

Almost missed it!

Hope everyone had a happy Constitution Day!

Painful truths

Go here, Read. Mike bats one out of the park... hell, out of the city.

I only WISH I was half the writer this man is!

07 September 2013

I'm baaaaaaaack

Ok... time to work out some kinks on here.

No, not that kinda kink, ya perv! Mental things, trying to talk out some things that are going on.

Here... I was a guest tonight on Another Pagan Podcast. Go listen (show 69). I'll be back there from time to time

28 March 2013

The poiwer of personality

So this story was related to me a couple weeks ago. Thought it was funny as hell.

Not sure how many are aware, but Chief (the founder of BACA) is friends with the members of Kansas. Well, they had a show in Florida the same weekend as our International Conference in Orlando. Meaning a couple lucky pukes from Australia (no, I'm not jealous. Why do you ask?) not only got to go for free, but also got backstage passes. Chief himself couldn't go, as there was a meeting the same time as the concert.

Since their friend couldn't be at their show, Kansas decided to join him in Orlando for breakfast. Which is where the story gets funny.

Aych & Kuhn, from our temp charter in LA Crosse, were in the restaurant. As they put it, they saw Chief sitting with "a group of older looking guys", and went over to say hi. They greeted Chief with hugs, waved at the rest, and headed for their table to sit down for their meal. Only realizing later that the rest of Chief's companions were the members of Kansas.

Says something about your importance in a group, when your presence outshines that of actual rock stars. But that's my brother Chief  for you

Thoughts on gay marriage, and hyperbole

So the Supremes are hearing arguments about the gay marriage issue, with both sides hoping that their ruling will end the discussion their way. A couple things I've noticed about this issue over the years.

First off, those opposed have shown that they stand solidly with the debate techniques of all "antis" I've seen, resorting to sillyness and illogic to support their position (my favorite has been "what's next: allowing pedophiles to marry their victims, or people to marry their pets?"). The "religious argument" is (or should be) a non-starter: plenty of non Christian folks in the US, who feel no obligation to follow Biblical law. This leaves most of their points to boil down to "Ug, the gheys... YUCK!".

That said, I HAVE heard one decent point in the "con" column. And it's a powerful one: "the government doesn't belong in peoples' bedroom". Unfortunately, they're already there, with benefits granted to married couples. So...

We come to the "pro" side of the argument. The funniest I've heard from them was on Facespace, written by someone obviously single: "but this is an issue that effects these people EVERY DAY".


The only ways the government recognizing a marriage has any effect are rare circumstances: taxes, inheritance, insurance, and (in some places) hospital visitation (and I haven't been in a hospital in over a decade that still restricts to "immediate family").  Government recognition (or it's lack) doesn't make you more able to love (or cohabitate with) whoever you wish, regardless of the design of their plumbing, and it's similarity to your own.

So really, either way the Supremes rule is a net "meh" for society. It might have further repercussions on some other issues, but is anybody who's invested in "gay rights"* really interested in those other issues?

There is one thing that keeps popping into my mind, though. Many years ago, the Supremes had a big hit with their "Ten Commandments" decision. All the pundits covered it, media lauded it, women swooned. I was on a pagan mailing list, and it was all afire with justified vindication.

Funny thing: that same day, the USSC handed down the Kelo decision.

Now, don't get me wrong: keeping government buildings from posting the legal base used by one faith (OK, three major faith groups) was important. But isn't being secure in the ownership of your paid-for property at least AS important?

The "Ten Commandments" decision was trumpeted from the roof tops. Kelo? Not even close.

So now, I ask you: while we're spending so much time and energy on gay marriage... what else is the USSC writing a decision on?


* "gay rights" is a term that's always bothered me. Aren't the talking about basic human rights, not some advanced special rights?

18 February 2013

Earning your title

So... over at Squeaky Wheel, we get this abomination.

Seriously? You kill a mentally handicapped person over the cost of a ticket while working a gig off duty, then invoke your "rights as police officers not to provide statements"

Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot?

You don't kill someone for not respecting your authori-tay, Barney

16 February 2013

We're at a gun show, and you want us to WHAT?

OK... it has been a LONG while since I've been to a gun show. Although I agree with Tam about being required to unload your carry piece, I can kinda see it.

But demanding that I surrender my magazines at the door? You said WHAT? Whose side are you on?

Interesting observation from inside: never saw a Mennonite presence at a guns how before. Guess they see things coming, too

03 January 2013

Underhanded tactics for political purposes

Like many of you, I see a LOT of things on Facebook. And most of the time, I just sorta write them off, given how common exagerations are on the net.

Yesterday, someone posted a letter from the owner of American Spirit Arms, about the tactics Bank of America are using because they "don't think you should be selling guns on the internet". And this time, I did something different: I contacted American Spirit Arms, and asked them to verify the letter, and give me permission to write about it.

The email I received this morning said "The letter is legit, and you have my permission to post"

Here's the original letter:

My name is Joe Sirochman owner of American Spirit Arms and I wanted to share my recent experience with Bank of America .(which we have been doing business with for over 10 years)…. Everyone is familiar with the latest increase in guns sales , dealers selling out of inventory , Manufacturers back logged for months , large revenue all generated in the last two weeks …. American Spirit Arms is no exception to the overwhelming demand . What we have experienced is that our web site orders have jumped 500 % causing our web site E commerce processing larger Deposits to BANK OF AMERICA ..Well, this through up a huge RED Flag with Bank of America . So they decided to hold the deposits for further review , meaning that the orders/payments that were coming in through the web ,( being paid by the customer and that were shipped out by American Spirit Arms ),the BANK was keeping (UNDER REVIEW )..as you could imagine this made me furious…After countless hours on the phone with BANK OF AMERICA I finally got a Manager in the right department that told me the reason that the deposits were on hold for FURTHER REVIEW …HER EXACT WORDS WERE …
…I flipped the F**k Out and told them that they have no right to make up their own new rules and regs..that we are a firearms Manufacturer with all the proper licensing FFL (Federal Firearm license ), SOT and that we follow all Federal and All
States’ rules and regulations on shipping Firearms and parts ..and that we are also Audited by ATF and Homeland
Security on a regular basis … She said that she understands that but that the deposits will be released After they have a
Chance to review and clear them …I told her that This was unacceptable and the those deposits (that were a week old by now ) needed to be released ASAP, that we are a small business and rely on the revenue to run and stay operational.
After that being said another Manager got involved and released one of the deposits (to help out )… So far to date after
Two weeks of sales only 1/3 of collected internet sales have been released ..I am still pissed and looking for another
Bank and options …
I just thought the public should know ..

I will keep everyone posted on new developments ..


Joseph P Sirochman
American Spirit Arms
16001 N Greenway Hayden Loop
Suite B
Scottsdale AZ 85260
480-367-9540 phone
480-367-9541 fax

Now I don't know about y'all, but this (to me) is nothing more than a corporation utilizing an underhanded trick to promote a political agenda (namely, interfering with the lawful commerce in arms).

If you have a BoA account of any kind, and can drop them, please do. They need to know we, the public, do NOT support such actions