Sunday, March 6, 2011

To Work My Son...............

O.K. here is the long awaited post to explain where I have been.

As most of my friends know, one of my greatest joys is working on projects. These projects primarily consist of making or modifying items used in living history-reenactments. It all started in early December when I decided to cobble together a 17th century bandoleer of powder bottles as a Christmas gift for my best buddy, Ms. Nancy. (She has a matchlock musket that was just screaming out for it)Hers went together so well, I figured that I could make up
one for me and my doglock musket. That went together well too, so I started looking at a pile of various odds and ends that I have been gathering together when I was struck with what my dear wife calls "project fever". Bless her heart, my dear wife knows when I get into one of these "fevers" the best thing that can happen is to let it work out of my system. So for most of January and February I spent time eating, sleeping and working in my shop. I turned out a lot of stuff and got a big start on a bunch of other items.

Allow me to show off a few of the items I have done.

Hunting Sword with Shoulder Carriage

I made up this hunting sword for a young lad in my hospital unit. It's made by grinding out a flat piece of steel for the blade, a heavily modified guard, the handle is made of green dyed deer antler and has a hand poured pommel.I also did the shoulder carriage,hand sewed out of leather, the sword scabbard is wood covered with pig skin, just to aggravate any Islamic fascist that the lad might run into. (grin)

Bowie Knives

The knife on the left is similar to those that I have seen having been made in New Orleans. It has German silver guard and pins and ebony scales.

The center knife is a camp knife with brass hardware and rosewood scales. Because of it's weight and length, I think it will make a handy tool if needed for zombie defense.

The knife on the right is what I call a Texas style bowie with brass hardware and rosewood scales. It also has a "coffin" shaped handle (I like this style of bowie more than any other)

You might be able to notice that the blades are swirl damascus steel.

Plug Bayonets

The knife on the right side is a "officer's quality" with it's polished blade and brass hardware.

The knife on the left is a "munition's quality", something a common soldier would used. The blade is blued, the hardware is steel. Notice the guard also can serve as a hammer to sharpen your flint and can also be used as a screw driver.

Common seaman's knife

The scales are made of bone with a scrimshawed fouled anchor and a red painted Turk's head knot serves as a guard. The scabbard is hand sewn with waxed linen thread.

Leather covered bottle

I took two pieces of wet leather and hand stitched them over a glass bottle. This was commonly done in the colonial period so that people could use bottles as canteens.

During this time I also did several smaller leather projects, refinished three muskets, started four other knives, and either started or finished a lot of other odds and ends. So I was very happy with what I got accomplished. I still have a bit to do, such as final polishing on knives, made up some scabbards and belts, but I have a good head start on getting stuff done before I start the upcoming campaign season.

By the way, this post was approved by Rudi the wonder pup.....

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Better Than A Circus Freakshow.............

There I was, having a bite of lunch and about half watching a news conference with the Lightbringer and the President of Mexico.

A Mexican reporter ask if the Lightbringer couldn't use his power to "veto" that pesky 'ol Second Amendment.

The Lightbringer gulped a bit and told the reporter that it was a part of our constitution and he was subject to it's provisions. He also said that he BELIEVED in the Second Amendment. The amazing thing was that the Lightbringer's tongue didn't burst into flames, nor did his head explode. As I said I have seen stranger things to include a two headed calf and bearded lady but not recently.

However, in more predictable news, Felipe Calderon stated that American drug agents still could not carry weapons to protect themselves in Mexico due to Mexican law. So any gringo lawdawg south of the border might as well put a big bull's eye on his/her back.

And so it goes...........

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Various Observations...............

The Supremes (God love 'em) came back with their decision on Snyder vs. Phelps. They ruled 8-1 that Phelps and his church was acting within their rights to protest at the funerals of dead servicemen. The libertarian in me agrees, but the patriotic American disagrees.

Justice Alito was the lone dissenting opinion. In his first two paragraphs of his opinion he covers the case much better than I could.

Our profound national commitment to free and open debate is not a license for the vicious verbal assault that occurred in this case.

Petitioner Albert Snyder is not a public figure. He is simply a parent whose son, Marine Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder, was killed in Iraq. Mr. Snyder wanted what is surely the right of any parent who experiences such an incalculable loss: to bury his son in peace. But respondents, members of the Westboro Baptist Church, deprived him of that elementary right. They first issued a press release and thus turned Matthew’s funeral into a tumultuous media event. They then appeared at the church, approached as closely as they could without trespassing, and launched a malevolent verbal attack on Matthew and his family at a time of acute emotional vulnerability. As a result, Albert Snyder suffered severe and lasting emotional injury. The Court now holds that the First Amendment protected respondents’ right to brutalize Mr. Snyder. I cannot agree.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I am planing on sending some cash to Mr. Snyder to help him pay his lawyer bills and fines.

There is much discussion and debate over the antics of actor Charlie Sheen. I don't understand it, nor do I have the slightest interest in it other than you see it every time you turn on the TV. It's nothing more than Bread and Circuses for the masses. I guess the fascination boils down to what a buddy told me about NASCAR racing "You know that there is a percentage of people sitting in the stands just hoping and waiting for a wreck that might just get someone killed." A person self-destructing does have a certain fascination to some people.

It seems the Somali pirates are still acting the fool. Since no one but Stingray and Labrat have taken the idea of the letter of Marque and Reprisal seriously, perhaps we should again look back in history and adopt the Q-ship idea. Q-ships were developed by the British navy in WWI to combat the U-boat menace. The British took older tramp steamers and cargo ships modified them and armed them and put them in the convoy lanes. These ship would try to lure in U-boat who wouldn't want to waste a torpedo on such a small target and would surface to sink the Q-ship with gunfire or scuttling charges. When the sub got close enough, the Q-ship would drop it's disguise and open fire on the sub. Q-ships had a bit of success, until the U-boats started sinking ships without warning. Our naval forces should adopt both the Q-ship idea as well as a German concept when confronting the Somalis. After the Somalis are confronted at sea, the after action report report should be simple and to the point.

"Gesunken ohne eine Spur!"

Today In History..............

In 1807..............

The U.S. Congress prohibited the importation of slaves into any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States from any foreign kingdom, place or country.

This is something that I bring up when I portray a federal sailor. Many people don't know that there were MAJOR efforts to end slavery as well as the slave trade YEARS before the Civil War.

As a older fellow, who wears the blue portraying a union sailor it would have been very likely that I would have served in the African Squadron to suppress the slave trade if I have served in the Navy for a long period of time before the war.

Again, the study of history with it's many diverse paths is endlessly fascinating.

Hitting The Nail Right On The Head...........

I stole this from Big Gay Al's Big Gay (Gun) Blog.

"The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president."

Hardcore, Just Plain Hardcore.............

You want to see part of what made "The greatest generation" great, check out today's blog at STORMBRINGER