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.