Tuesday, December 25, 2012

That Long???????

I'm spending the holiday with Nancy R and family doin' a little well deserved R and R. it's been a VERY busy past couple of months and I needed a little decompression time. It's been fun to take this break,

Miss Nancy reminded me that today is the fifth anniversary of this blog, I can't say that it has been something of great importance to the general public, cured any diseases, helped to bring about world peace and understanding. But it's been fun for me, it's given me a chance to vent my spleen every now and then and best of all, it's giving me a chance to be a part of the gun blogger community. Since I have been blogging, I have met some of the finest people that I have ever had the privilege of meeting.

Thanks for reading these ramblings and allowing me to be a part of the family.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Attention All Hands...........

Attention All Hands..........

Splice the Main Brace!!!!

In honored memory of the immortal Nelson and his band of brothers of the Royal Navy who met and defeated the combined French and Spanish fleets at the battle of Trafalgar 207 years ago on this date.   

Buonaparte has often made his boast that our fleet would be worn out by keeping the sea and that his was kept in order and increasing by staying in port; but know he finds, I fancy, if Emperors hear the truth, that his fleet suffers more in a night than ours in one year.

Firstly you must always implicitly obey orders, without attempting to form any opinion of your own regarding their propriety. Secondly, you must consider every man your enemy who speaks ill of your king; and thirdly you must hate a Frenchman as you hate the devil.

Now I can do no more. We must trust to the Great Disposer of all events and the justice of our cause. I thank God for this opportunity of doing my duty.

My character and good name are in my own keeping. Life with disgrace is dreadful. A glorious death is to be envied.

It is warm work; and this day may be the last to any of us at a moment. But mark you! I would not be elsewhere for thousands. - at the Battle of Copenhagen.

In honour I gained them, and in honour I will die with them.

Lord Horatio Nelson

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Makes Me Want To Cry Them A River...........

O.K. since I am already stirred up, I might as well cut loose ALL my wolves........

I was mulling life's many mysteries and about half listening to the news when I heard a "talking head" talk about the current salary was for the school teachers that are currently on strike in Chicago.

It got me to thinking, I retired after working 30 years for the state of North Carolina. I have had one knee replaced and am working on getting up the guts to have my other one replaced, as well as have had major surgery on my right shoulder all due to injuries that I received in the line of duty. I lost count of the times when I had to be checked out or sewn up after a rough night at work. I am not whining, just stating the facts.

My wife, was medically retired at 23 years, after receiving a injury at work, which  is STILL giving her problems many year afterwards.

The average pay for a teacher in Chicago is reported to be around $70,000. If you total up all the pay and benefits that my wife and I BOTH receive in a year, we don't even come close to that number.

So I just can't work up a great deal of sympathy for those folks. 

To The Shores Of Tripoli...........

A observation from history's greatest bore..........

Back in the early 1800's the northern part of Africa was the playground for the Barbary pirates, organized groups who attacked and captured "Christian" ships and their crews. The crew members were literally enslaved by the Muslims until they could be ransomed by their governments. In many cases, these acts were sponsored and supported by the governments then in power in the area. Most of the time, the major governments of Europe and the United States figuring it was easier, just paid tribute to the Muslims to protect their shipping. However, when the tribute was late, or perhaps not enough, the various Muslim governments had a very interesting method of expressing their dissatisfaction. They would go to the American Consulate, and chop down the flag pole. This was acknowledged to be a declaration of war by all the parties involved.

This state of affairs was compounded by the fact that a former ally France, which was at war with England at the time, started capturing American ships which were trading with Britain and it's colonies. America started negotiations with the French government and was told that the attacks would stop if America, gave 50,000  pounds sterling, a $12 million loan from the United States, a $250,000 personal bribe to French foreign minister Charles Maurice de Talleyrand, and a formal apology for comments made by President John Adams. These demands were refused and when the American public became aware of this incident known as the X, Y and Z affair there was a great cry for action. This led to what was called the Quasi-War with France which took place at sea from 1798 to 1800.

At a American dinner party held about this time,  Robert Goodloe Harper, a Congressman from South Carolina, gave history the memorable phrase, in a toast: "Millions for defense, sir, but not one cent for tribute!"

Now here we have a small new country, basically fighting two wars, with a undermanned Navy and Army still standing up to it's foes. By standing up, they made the French back down and by blockading the Barbary Pirates and even landing troops to overthrow various governments that supported the pirates, the attacks on American shipping stopped.

Now we have had a consulate attacked in the old stomping ground of the Barbary Pirates and had a Ambassador as well as other American citizens murdered.  Perhaps it WAS a act of individuals and not state sponsored, but I find it somewhat curious that these protesters had plenty of automatic weapons and R.P.G.s but that's just me. I firmly feel that we should reply to this in the strongest manner. It's a well known fact that the only way that we can prevent this kind of behavior is to cause these evil people to fear us. If they act in such a manner we will retaliate in a overwhelming manner. After all, we once went to war over a cut down flag pole,  isn't it pitiful that we will not take strong action over spilled American blood?


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

On This Date In History............

Every one knows (or should know) what happened 11 years ago, but back in 1683, the Muslim army of the Ottoman Turks was defeated and the siege of Vienna was lifted on this date.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are merely in a different stage of a long term war.............

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Ya'll Take Care, Hear???

Just hoping all you guys around the Gulf Coast are both high and dry this morning with Issac coming through. We get thumped every once in a while here in North Carolina by hurricanes so I sorta know what you are going through.  I did want to let you know that you folks are in both our thoughts and prayers.

Louisiana 1927

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Still Out Here................

I will be the very first person to admit that I can't multitask for spit. Way too much A.D.D./A.D.H.D. still to overcome. The call of day to day living as well as the siren call of the workshop has taken away the time to blog, plus there has been nothing worth blogging about. I have been leading a boring life and I find myself preaching to the choir if I comment on world events. So, not much blogging on my part. However, I have got some stuff finished up and sent out, and am about to finish a bunch more so I will have some photos up before too long.

More later............

Monday, August 6, 2012

History Repeating Again? Heaven Forbid.........

 Anyone who knows me has more than likely heard me say something like this before. I could never put it into words as well as Sean Linnane does at his blog Stormbringer. I ruthlessly stole this post from him. I hope that you will read it and take a few moments to think about it. 



I was born in one country, raised in another.

My father was born in another country.

I was not his only child.

He fathered several children with numerous women.

I became very close to my mother, as my father showed no interest in me.

My mother died at an early age from cancer.

Although my father deserted me and my mother raised me, I later wrote a book idolizing my father, not my mother.

Later in life, questions arose over my real name.

My birth records were sketchy.

No one was able to produce a legitimate, reliable birth certificate.

I grew up practicing one faith but converted to Christianity, as it was widely accepted in my new country, but I practiced non-traditional beliefs and didn't follow Christianity, except in the public eye under scrutiny.

I worked and lived among lower-class people as a young adult, disguising myself as someone who really cared about them.

That was before I decided it was time to get serious about my life and embarked on a new career.

I wrote a book about my struggles growing up.

It was clear to those who read my memoirs, that I had difficulties accepting that my father abandoned me as a child.

I became active in local politics in my 30s. Then, with help behind the scenes, I literally burst onto the scene as a candidate for national office in my 40s.

They said I had a golden tongue and could talk anyone into anything.

I had a virtually non-existent resume, little work history and no experience in leading a single organization.

Yet I was a powerful speaker, and citizens were drawn to me as though I were a magnet and they were small roofing tacks.

I drew incredibly large crowds during my public appearances.

This bolstered my ego.

At first, my political campaign focused on my country's foreign policy . . .

I was very critical of my country in the last war and seized every opportunity to bash my country.

But what launched my rise to national prominence were my views on the country's economy.

I pretended to have a really good plan on how we could do better, and every poor person would be fed and housed for free.

I knew which group was responsible for getting us into this mess.

It was the free market, banks and corporations. I decided to start making citizens hate them; and, if they became envious of others who did well, the plan was clinched tight.

I called mine "A People's Campaign.”

That sounded good to all people.

I was the surprise candidate because I emerged from outside the traditional path of politics and was able to gain widespread popular support.

I knew that if I merely offered the people 'hope', together we could change our country and the world.

So, I started to make my speeches sound like they were on behalf of the downtrodden, poor, ignorant to include "persecuted minorities."

My true views were not widely known, and I kept them unknown until after I became my nation's leader.

I had to carefully guard reality, as anybody could have easily found out what I really believed if they had simply read my writings and examined those people I associated with. I'm glad they didn't.

Then I became the most powerful man in the world.

And then the world learned the truth.

Who am I?


If you were thinking of SOMEONE ELSE: be afraid! Be very Afraid! Those who don't learn from the past are destined to repeat it.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

On This Day In History..........

In 1898......On this day American Forces captured Kettle Hill, San Juan Hts. in Cuba. Participating in the assault was the 1st. U.S. Volunteer Cavalry better known as the Rough Riders led by Leonard Wood and Theodore Roosevelt. One of the casualties of this fight was Captain William Owen "Buckey" O'Neill of A Troop. The facts of his death was recorded by Theodore Roosevelt in his book "The Rough Riders"

"The most serious loss that I and the regiment could have suffered
befell just before we charged. Buckey O'Neill was strolling up and
down in front of his men, smoking his cigarette, for he was
inveterately addicted to the habit. He had a theory that an officer
ought never to take cover-a theory which was wrong, though in a
volunteer organization the officers should certainly expose
themselves very fully, simply for the effect on the men; our
regimental toast on the transport running "the officers; may the war
last until each is killed, wounded or promoted." As O'Neill moved to
and fro, his men begged him to lie down, and one of his sergeants
said "Captain, a bullet is sure to hit you." O'Neill took his
cigarette out of his mouth and blowing out a cloud of smoke laughed
and said "Sergeant, the Spanish bullet isn't made that will kill me."
A little later, he discussed for a moment with one of the regular
officers the direction from which the Spanish fire was coming. As he
turned on his heel a bullet stuck him in the mouth and came out the
back of his head; so that even before he fell his wild and gallant
soul had gone out into the darkness"  

"Who would not die for a new star in the flag"
On the tombstone of "Buckey" O' Neill at Arlington

"We may have great men.......but we'll never have better!"
Down by the Glenside

In 1916.... On this day, at 7:30 A.M. local time, the British Army went "Over the Top" in a direct assault on German trenches in the area of the Somme river in France. Before the end of the day, the British Army had suffered 19,000 K.I.A. and as many as 40,000 wounded. It was the greatest loss in the entire history of the British Army. By the time the battle was declared over 4 1/2 months later, the British had suffered 600,000 casualties. The story of a sergeant in the 3rd Tyneside Irish (26th Northumberland Fusiliers) describes best what the soldiers went through:

 "I could see, away to my left and right, long lines of men. Then I heard the "patter, patter" of machine guns in the distance. By the time I'd gone another ten yards there seemed to be only a few men left around me; by the time I had gone twenty yards, I seemed to be on my own. Then I was hit myself"

To this day, the battlefield of the Somme still gives up her secrets willingly. Every spring, Large piles of rusty objects appear on the sides of roads. The Somme area is noted for the large amounts of unexploded shells that are discovered each year. French farmers each year when plowing their fields uncover these still deadly leftovers and place them in piles on the side of the closest road to their fields. The French Army then collects them for disposal. Every now and then, a French Army bomb disposal officer is killed by these almost 100 year old, lethal artifacts.

In memory of the 36th (Ulster Division), B.E.F. 


Monday, June 25, 2012

On This Day In History..........

In 1876....... Lt. Col. George A. Custer and 5 companies of the U.S. 7th Cavalry were killed in action, in an engagement with Sioux and Cheyenne warriors, near the Little Bighorn river in the Montana Territory. A total of around 210 men.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

On This Day In History................

IN 1916 The British Army began it's pre-assault  artillery bombardment on German trenches and defensive lines near the Somme river in France. The British had lined up 15,000 guns along the 20 mile front and they would fire uninterrupted for 7 days.

Monday, June 18, 2012

On The Road Again.................

Before I get all twisted up and start running around and forget it, I wanted to take the liberty of inviting anyone who happens to be within striking distance of Historic Ft. Frederick in Big Pool, MD this coming weekend (June 23rd - 24th) to please stop by and visit with Ms. Nancy, Sweet Daughter, Shorter Half and of course, your humble correspondent at the Brigade of the American Revolution's Grand Encampment. We will be set up as the Detached Hospital and be discussing with the public, the art and mystery of colonial period medicine, health care and of course surgery. Other folks will be explaining other aspects of life in the 18th century to include warfare and FIREARMS........... All kidding aside, if you have ever had a interest in anything regarding the revolutionary war, this is the event you need to attend. And we would LOVE to see ya'll.

On This Day In History.............

In 1815............

After what was called The Hundred Days, ( The period of time from the escape of Napoleon Bonaparte from the island of Elba to the reorganization  of the French Army and the march to Belgium )The Allied Army, A thrown together army of Prussians, Belgians, Dutch, and British commanded by Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington  met the French Army under Napoleon  at Waterloo, Belgium.

The battle of Waterloo, consistently listed as one of the most important battles in world history, was a relatively short battle, starting at around 10:00 in the morning, (some records state 11:30) and lasted until Wellington and Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher commander of the Prussian Troops. met that night. at around 10:00. The late start was due to the muddy condition of the battlefield. It had rained all the night before adding to the misery of the soldiers in the field. The mud slowed down the movement of the soldiers as well as the artillery. It also interfered with the ability of the armies to use their cannons effectively. The cannons of the time fired solid shot, which they would try to "skip" off the ground to smash through the tightly packed ranks of the soldiers. On muddy fields, the solid shot buries it's self and does not bounce.

The battlefield was also relatively small, only two miles long by 2/3 of a mile wide. It was however highly concentrated, the Allied Forces had 68,000 men, the Prussians 50,000 facing, 72,000 French. When the battle was done, the Allies had lost 17,000 men, (3,500 killed, 10,200 wounded, 3,300 missing) The Prussians 7,000 men, (1,200 killed, 4,400 wounded and 1,400 missing) The French had lost over half of their forces 48,000 men (broken down to 25,000 killed and wounded, 8,000 captured and 15,000 missing) One of the things I find difficult in the study of history is wrapping my head around these kinds of numbers. Stalin was said to have said "One death is a tragedy, one million deaths is a statistic." It's hard to mentally visualize the numbers engaged as well as the casualties involved. So what I try to do is focus on the story of the individual.

I will not bore you with the major facts of the battle since many other writers have done a much, much better job of it than I could. John Keegan in "Faces of Battle" gives a great quick overview as well as David Howarth in his book "Waterloo: Day of Battle". I will share however some interesting, at least to me stories of the men and incidents of the battle.

One of the more important officers in Wellington's staff had roots deep in America. William De Lancey, the British Quartermaster-General was American born, of a Loyalist family. After the American Revolution, The De Lancey family ended up being driven out of America where they start over again. De Lancey died of wounds he received in battle.

The French Heavy Cavalry, called "Cuirassiers" after the heavy armored breast plate and back they wore were prominent in the battle. It was said after the battle, that the British infantry cooked their rations in the brest-plates of the dead Frenchmen. This picture of a Waterloo brest-plate in a museum, probably escaped that fate.

 Waterloo has to be one of the most written about battles in history. there are countless journals, diaries, and letters written by every one involved in the fight from common soldiers to the highest ranking general, but my favorite recollection was from a lowly "ranker" who when asked about the great battle, reportedly said: " I'll be hanged if I know anything about the matter," was all he could find to say, "for I was all day trodden into the mud and ridden over by every scoundrel who had a horse"
Some of the wounded laid on the battlefield for up to 5 days without medical attention. Not because of ill will on behalf of the armies, but simply because the medical resources of both sides were overwhelmed with the numbers of wounded men they had to deal with. The wounded also had to deal with looters that would steal over the battlefield, looting and sometime even killing the wounded when they resisted. The injured soldiers continued showing their bravery by undergoing some of the most horrific surgeries without anesthesia. After a French soldier had his leg taken off by a surgeon, he grabbed it, tossed it in the air and shouted "Vive l' Empereur" A British officer, not to be out done, had a leg amputated,then jumped off the surgical table, refusing all aid and hopped to a cart that was waiting to take him to Brussels. And a wooden leg was a life long badge of courage.
Even the dead were used.  At this time dentures were either made from carved ivory or from the teeth of the dead. Shortly after the battle, there were large numbers of people who were searching the battlefield to extract teeth from corpses. There were literally barrels of teeth that were shipped to England to be turned into dentures and "Waterloo Teeth" were something of a conversation piece for many years.
 In 1970 the movie Waterloo was done with a proverbial "cast of thousand:" It wasn't half bad, so to close I 
 have attached a clip of the movie from You Tube. If you like, watch it and remember the fallen........

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day..............

Just wanted to tip my hat to all those gents who happen to hold the second toughest job in the world. (Mom's have the toughest, hands down) The sainted and long suffering Ms. W and myself were never lucky enough to have kids, so I spend my time spoiling other folks young un's. So you dads out there, congratulations and enjoy the blessing that you have today.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Breaking News.............

In Oregon, a man attempted to rescue a mouse from a stray cat.According to health authorities, he was bitten by either the cat or the mouse and ended up with the plague. You know, the Black Death, that took out most of the population of Europe in the middle ages?

Just goes to show that no good deed goes unpunished.............

Welcome To The Land Of The Big PX.........

Since the Lightbringer has decided to be fair and welcoming by Imperial decree, (Not to mention getting at least a FEW future votes) I thought HE might need a theme song......................

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Good Information To Know.............

IF you ever want to get through a Trader Joe's in record time, all you have to do is wear a Vlad the Impaler T-Shirt and a ball cap that has Infidel written on it in both English and Arabic. I kid you not, my fellow shoppers parted like the Red Sea when ever I pushed my cart in their direction. Heck, I couldn't get close enough to them to even get the slightest whiff of Patchouli.

Monday, June 11, 2012

O.K. I Know I've Shared This Before.............

While sitting here ozoned out in front of the tube yesterday, it once again struck me like a lightning bolt. Have you ever noticed the remarkable resemblance between  Nancy Pelosi and Cruella De Vil of 101 Dalmatians fame? It's almost as if they were separated at birth.....

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Another Blast From The Past.........

Inspector Alexander "Clubber" Williams
N.Y.P.D. 1866-1895

 "There is more law in the end of a policeman's nightstick then in a decision of the Supreme Court"

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Lawyer from South Dakota.......

Yesterday was the anniversary of the battle of Midway, the turning point for the war in the Pacific in WWII. I wanted to reprint this but couldn't due to being on the road returning from Nancy R.'s Kid Shoot and open carry weekend. (At which I had a ball, post to follow) Read and remember.........

It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.

General George S. Patton

The lawyer from South Dakota

On memorial day, veterans graves across the country are honored with wreaths and flags. But some veterans have no graves to honor, and can only be remembered.

Lieutenant Commander John C. Waldron, U.S.N.

He & his men changed the course of World War II in the Pacific, and didn't live to know it.

He was a lawyer, born in Fort Pierre, South Dakota. His father was descended from English settlers, his mother was a Sioux Indian.

He was married, with 2 daughters.

He was admitted to the state bar in South Dakota, but rather then going into practice decided to join the U.S. Navy. He was chosen to be a pilot, in the new field of naval aviation.

He trained to fly torpedo planes (no longer in use). Their goal was to fly close enough to an enemy ship to drop a torpedo into the water, then get away as fast as possible. This was a difficult job. It required the planes to fly in a low, straight line as they approached the enemy, making them easy targets for enemy fighters and anti-aircraft.

Waldron was a good pilot. He was chosen to teach at Annapolis, and later Pensacola. He flew planes off 1 battleship and 3 carriers.

He and his wife held parties for other pilots at their Norfolk home. He was very proud of his little girls. Some pilots remembered being taken to his daughters' darkened bedroom and asked "Did you guys ever see such pretty little girls?"

With war looming in the Summer of 1941, Waldron and his men were assigned to the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Hornet, in the Pacific theater.

He was determined. He once told his pilots that "if we run out of gas, we'll piss in the tanks." He wasn't looking for glory, or to become a martyr, or a hero. He was just doing his job.

On the morning of June 4, the Hornet was somewhere off Midway island, placed there to defend against the massive Japanese force sent to capture the Pacific base.

Waldron likely had few illusions about his chances. Although his men were well-trained, their "Devastator" torpedo bombers were already obsolete. The new "Avenger" planes were much better, but only beginning to roll out of the factories. And with the enemy coming, they had to make do with what they had. Before the battle he called his men together and said "If there is only one plane left to make a final run in, I want that man to go in and get a hit."

The Japanese "Zero" fighter was a lethal weapon. Though poorly protected, it was quicker and more maneuverable than it's American counterparts. And it was flown by some of the best pilots in the world.

On the morning of June 4, 1942, Waldron led Torpedo Squadron 8 off the Hornet. He had orders to search for the Japanese in a specific area, but had a hunch (he called it his "Sioux intuition") that the heading he'd been told to follow was wrong. He disobeyed orders, and it turned out his intuition was correct.

Waldron led his 15 planes straight to the enemy fleet. Forced to fly straight & low to aim their torpedoes, they were sitting ducks as the Zeroes swooped down and destroyed them one by one. Out of 30 men, there was only one survivor, Lt. George Gay. He saw Waldron stand up in his plane as it burst into flames, just before his own plane was shot out from under him. They didn't get a single hit.

The 15 pilots of Torpedo Squadron 8, photographed in May, 1942. Waldron is standing, 3rd from left. Lt. George Gay, (circled, 1st row) is the only man in the picture who survived.
In a few minutes all the planes of Torpedo Squadron 8 had vanished beneath the Pacific, leaving only Lieutenant Gay hiding from the Zeros under his flotation device. It was a disaster for the Americans.

But unbeknownst to all but Lt. Gay, they changed the course of the Pacific war.

The deadly Zeroes were now at sea level, on the prowl for more torpedo planes. But the next American wave, this time of dive bombers, was high above. They might have been easy targets, too. But as they came down the Zeroes were no longer in a position to defend their fleet, and couldn't gain altitude in time to stop the bombers. Between 10:20 and 10:25 a.m that morning the Japanese lost 3 of their 4 aircraft carriers to the bombers. The last carrier followed them a few hours later.

The loss of the four carriers, with their planes, pilots, and crews, was a blow the Japanese navy never recovered from. The war went on for 3 more years, but the tide was turned by the sacrifice of a group of men, led by a 41-year old lawyer from South Dakota.

The fallen from Torpedo Squadron 8. Their only grave marker is the blue Pacific water.

Lt. Commander John C. Waldron
Lt. Raymond A. Moore
Lt. James C. Owens, Jr.
Lt.(jg) George M. Campbell
Lt.(jg) John P. Gray
Lt.(jg) Jeff D. Woodson
Ens.William W. Abercrombie
Ens. William W. Creamer
Ens. Harold J. Ellison
Ens. William R. Evans
Ens. Henry R. Kenyun
Ens. Ulvert M. Moore
Ens. Grant W. Teats
Robert B. Miles, Aviation Pilot 1c
Horace F. Dobbs, Chief Radioman
Amelio Maffei, Radioman 1
Tom H. Pettry, Radioman 1
Otway D. Creasy, Jr. Radioman 2
Ross H. Bibb, Jr., Radioman 2
Darwin L. Clark, Radioman 2
Ronald J. Fisher, Radioman 2
Hollis Martin, Radioman 2
Bernerd P. Phelps Radioman 2
Aswell L. Picou, Seaman 2
Francis S. Polston, Seaman 2
Max A. Calkins, Radioman 3
George A. Field, Radioman 3
Robert K. Huntington Radioman 3
William F. Sawhill, Radioman 3

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Well it seems that D.C. comics has either "evolved" or decided to jump on the "Me Too" boat. They have decided that one of their characters is going to come out of the closet and announce to the world that they are gay. Don't know who or when, but while reading the original article on this over on Breitbart, I saw this comment and thought it too good not to share..........

"I can see it now, Wonder Woman will become a lesbian... they will also make her look like Chaz Bono and rename her to ...
Wonder if that's a Woman?"

I'm telling you, I just couldn't make this stuff up....... 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday Funny................

If you are not aware of it, The Light Bringer appeared on a day time talk show call The View earlier this week. Most of the women that are on the program are liberals X 20 so it was a real love in with questions like, "What's your favorite snack?" It was the Light Bringer doing what he does best, campaigning and shilling for votes.  Your tax dollars at work.

I did laugh however when I read what a comedian said to Barbara Walters, host of The View. The comedian congratulated Ms. Walters for having the Light Bringer on the show, "or as Fox News  would have reported it: "Muslim Terrorist Invades Lesbian Orgy!"

Isn't it amazing how the funniest jokes are based on kernels of truth?


Thursday, May 10, 2012


My favorite quote regarding the Light Bringer's "evolving" view on gay marriage,

"Yes, and to quote the words Obama used the most when discussing this issue, "Um, er, uh, uh, uh, um, er, uh" He makes Bush sound like Olivier."

Made ME laugh..............

Sunday, May 6, 2012

History Serves As A Valuable Instructor Again................

I firmly believe that we can pick up very valuable lessons from history. From both past actions as well as the wisdom  of people who went before us. As my Granny once told me, "If they were all fools, we wouldn't be here would we?" This is a fine example of that wisdom, written by a personal hero of mine, Sir Winston Churchill. Mr. Churchill in his early days served as a officer in the British Army and took part in some of the small colonial wars that were fought in Africa in the glory days of the British Empire. Churchill also served as a newspaper correspondent as well as a author. His second book, The River War: An Historical Account of the Reconquest of the Soudan was written in 1899 and contains this observation on the religion of Islam. I believe I have blogged this before, but it is WELL worth repeating,

How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property - either as a child, a wife, or a concubine - must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the faith: all know how to die but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.

Isn't it amazing how something written in 1899 rings so true in 2012? But again, it is a foolish person who doesn't learn from the past.  

Friday, May 4, 2012

Perhaps A New Campaign Theme Song ?

I've been keeping up with the Senate race in my friend's Jay G. home state of Massachusetts. It is between Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren. Granted, I don't have a dog in this fight, but still I do try to help out the ladies as much as I can. So with all the talk of Ms. Warren's heritage and high cheek-bones, I thought this might be an appropriate campaign theme song.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6E98ZRaU1s

Just sayin'..................

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Another Guilty Pleasure............

When ever I have some down time, and need to kick back I will be the first to admit I flop in front of the "One Eyed Monster" I am not one of those folks that have to almost shout at the top of their lungs "I only watch EDUCATIONAL programs" I watch what strikes my fancy at the moment. I watch American Guns and Sons of Guns, (Although I gotta admit I do curse at the tube when the drama llama rears it's ugly head or they come up with something firearms related that is totally out to lunch. I mean I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer but some of the comments and statements these so called firearms experts come up with make me feel like a rocket scientist in comparison.) or just about anything else.

There is one program that I have discovered that isn't too bad at all. It's on the National Geographic channel and is called The Decrypters. It's a fascinating program that deals with a great deal of forensic pathology and archeology. The most recent episode I saw was called Gold Rush Murder and it dealt with a skeleton that was discovered in California that dated back to the 1840's that showed signs of a violent death. If you like history or detective stories I think you will like this program. Check it out and see for yourself.

Good Stuff Comes In Small Packages.............

A while back, I picked up a muzzle loading 12 bore double-barrel percussion shotgun. I don't have the time for hunting so I figured that I could use it for any of my many living history persona's. Of course, as with any firearm, I had to put my own personal touches on it. The first thing was to cut the 28" barrels down to something a little more manageable. Muzzleloaders and other types of weapons made before 1898 are not subject to most firearms laws, so I cut the barrels down to a handy 14".

Then I stripped the stock and refinished it with a light walnut stain. While I had it down, I got this overwhelming urge to respond to my inner crow and mounted a silver star in the cheek piece. Shinny is GOOD.

Maybe a bit gaudy, but I just couldn't help myself. Then I slapped a sling on her to make it easier to tote. I took her with me this past week-end to the commemoration of the battle of Plymouth, NC. I was part of the Union Naval contingent and used the shotgun as a member of a landing party. There is historical documentation for the use of shotguns on ships, even though they were never government  issued weapons, but privately owned by mostly ship's officers. I found out that my little shotgun would have given a sailor a better edge than almost any other weapon for boarding or repelling boarders. Not to mention it stands out in a crowd.

Remember boys and girls, he who dies with the most toys, WINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (grin)

The Saga Of Jumping Billy..............

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a collector of almost anything and everything. Someone once told me that my taste are somewhat mercurial. I get hot and heavy into various things, then cool off only to branch off into other areas with the same enthusiasm. But having said that, I have one heck of a good time going from interest to interest, then sharing with my friends.

Back when I started doing Revolutionary War reenactments, one of the things that fired me up were the reproduction artillery pieces that I saw in the field. Sometimes I even served on several gun crews that were short of members. Nothing is as much fun or gets as much attention as a field piece, either a 3 pounder or even a 6 pounder going "bang" at the proper time.

Now for a short history lesson. Artillery in the time of the Revolutionary War, was a bit different than what we have today. Most field artillery was used like we today would use a heavy machine gun, as close infantry support weapon. Most of the cannons used in this time period were smaller so that they could stay up with the quickly advancing troops. Swivel guns, 3 and 6 pounders were the norm. (so named after the weight of shot fired) Any larger, and the combined weight of the gun tube and carriage would make it impossible to move it any great distance or with any speed in the field. Larger guns were used on ship or in fortresses or fixed defensive positions. They were also used in assaults or sieges on fixed defenses such as Yorktown.

I had always wanted a big gun, but it was sorta like it was on the bottom of my wish and want list. There were other items I could afford easier or wanted much worse. Then, a few years back, that changed. A good friend of mine told me he was looking for a shotgun to give his son to keep around the house as a self defense gun. I had a couple of old police riot guns that I was willing to let go, so I asked him what he had to trade. He suggested a few odds and ends which didn't throw any sparks but then he said "I've got a swivel gun" I developed "lock on" and told my buddy, "let's talk. " After a haggling session that would have made two Armenian rug merchants proud, we came to an agreement of gentlemen and my friend ended up with a police marked Remington 870 and a reasonably priced Tex-Mex dinner, and I ended up with a Swivel gun w/ carriage, as well as a Sergent's Halberd. The halberd was tossed in to "sweeten" the deal, plus I am the only kid on my block that has one. I am a fool for sharp pointed things and this is the ultimate in that field.   *grin* The only minor problem is that with it's 8 foot length, that I can't move it around in the house very easily nor lean it up into the corner or store it very easy.  

The swivel has a 11/4 " bore and the tube is about three feet long. It came on a weird sort of carriage, but my buddy told me that it was a French design and historically accurate. (famous last words) I accepted it at face value, and planned on taking it to my next Royal Navy reenactment. That happened about three weeks later. We went to an event hosted by a Scottish Highland unit doing a Highland Games/Jacobite Rising event. We were invited to provide the highlanders with something to shoot at. We of course, went to uphold the dignity of his majesties lawful government as well as to show the royal standard. Pretty soon, we (The Navy contingent) were calling the event "The Great Jacobite Turkey Shoot."

On the first day of the event, we took our post on the battlefield. I set up my new swivel gun, bursting with pride and trying to think of a proper name for this fearsome weapon. Many names ran through my head, Retribution, Sudden Death, Thunderer, and so on. This lasted until the swivel's first shot. At that point, I discovered that as cool as the gun looked, with it's elevating carriage. It just didn't work. We fired the gun and because of it carriage it flipped over on it's back. This was with a simple blank charge, no projectile. I looked at my brand new gun, picked it up and set it back up. We reloaded it, and touched her off again. Once more, the gun did a back flip and landed upside down. But this time, people were watching and one of my shipmates yelled out, "Damn, did you see that thing jump?" So, at that point, two things were decided. First, I didn't think it would be too wise to fire it any more until it was a little bit more stable. And second, this weapon would be forever more known as Jumping Billy.

I took Jumping Billy home and set it in  my workshop until I could do some figuring on the carriage. A few months later, I thought it might be fun (and of course educational) to fire a live shot out of her. I took her down to the creek loaded a modest powder charge and about one pound of buckshot down the bore. Mindful of how the gun acted with a blank charge, I weighed the wheels down with sandbags and cinder blocks. I then touched her off. There was a big boom, a lot of smoke, the sound of branches, twigs, and other odds and ends crashing in the woods where the buckshot went. Also Jumping Billy lived up to it's name, it was as if I hadn't put any extra weight on the gun. When it fired, it ended up doing doing a triple somersault with a half twist backwards, ending up on it's back. The Bulgarian judge gave it a hard 9.7. So once again back to my shop it went.

Some time later, my messmate, Mr. Grimes told me that he was doing some cannon work and would be willing to work up a new stand for the swivel. I told him I would be willing to swap some leather work for it. We came to a agreement of gentlemen and Mr. Grimes took custody of the gun tube this past week-end and hopefully I will have a shooting swivel gun to play with soon.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Semi-Old Warhorse Casts It's Spell On Me............

Back in the dawn of recorded history when I was a young pup, I spent most of my time running around, keeping the world safe for women, children and little animals by enforcing laws and and keeping order. I even had a off-duty gun that I was particularly proud of. It was "gasp" a 9mm. I had put a great deal of thought into it's selection. It was a Smith & Wesson model 39. The same weapon that the Indiana State Police carried. Eight shots in the magazine, one up the spout, that beautiful Smith blue job on the slide, the hard black on the aluminum frame, the slight reddish tint on the highly varnished grip panels, man it was gorgeous. It was easy to carry, it fit my Bianchi X-15 shoulder holster, it shot any type of bullet without a bobble, it was everything a person could want. I am talking stone cold sexy.

Only one problem, I couldn't hit a barn with it even if I was standing inside the barn. No matter what I did, no matter what ammunition I used, no matter how I shot, I just couldn't hit a bull in the tit with a tin cup with that pistol. I eventually traded that weapon off because as someone once said, "Only accurate weapons are interesting" Seeing the need to keep a 9mm in my stable, I picked up a Chinese Tokarev with a 9mm conversion barrel. However I could not shoot it any better than the Smith & Wesson. Again, it was traded off.

So that's where the collection stood (well other than a beat up Broomhandle Mauser which is worthy of a post all it's own) until a few weeks ago. I was struck by a itch to do some trading and was talking to a buddy of mine and we came up with a trade for a Browning High Power in 9mm. Now it wasn't a "true" Browning High Power. It was a Argentinian pistol made on F.N. Machinery but it was well put together and it seemed to be solid. My friend told me that he was having some failure to extract issues with the weapon. Now they had Browning H.P.s in my day (Frank Serpico carried one) but they were what you might call, your higher priced spread. Brownings traditionally were the most expensive weapons out there, even beating Colts. They just didn't fit into the average cop's budget. I figured that I would never be able to afford one but here was my chance to come damned close. We made the trade and I took the old girl home.

The first chance I had, I ran a box of Winchester WB through the weapon. As my buddy said, there were a few failure to extracts, so I sat down with my punch set and took out the extractor to look it over. The operating spring for the extractor was very compressed and a big wad of cosmoline also came out of the slot. I cleaned the slot and spring and gently used the blade of a screwdriver to open up the loops of the spring. I then reassembled the weapon and bless Moses, that pistol shot like a house afire. (For my non-southern readers, that means GOOD) Even better, I found that I hit just about everything that I set the sights on. Man I was impressed!!!!!! I have ordered a new spring that I will put in and test before trusting it to carry, but once that is done, I wouldn't have any concern about packing it.  This is a 9mm that I am going to keep for a very long time and you can take that to the bank (Unless I get the overwhelming urge to do some swapping again. )  

Defender's Day and 10 years after 9/11.......

Since I have been so focused on making things down in my shop, I have been shamelessly ignoring this blog but then I found this post I lost for a while.  I figured that I might as well post it, if for no other reason to fill up space. I wrote it way back in September. 

I spent the weekend of September 10/11 at Fort McHenry in Baltimore MD. We are quickly approaching the 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812 and I have sorta "drifted" into portraying a common seaman of that period. I had a great time talking to the public, showing off the weapons of the age of fighting sail, sewing on a period hammock and doing my knot work, as well as visiting with my fellow "living historians".

Since Sunday was the 10th anniversary of 9-11, I couldn't help but think of the reaction of myself and everyone I knew on that date, and compared it in my mind with what others had experienced and felt at other times of crisis in the history of our country. An event which no doubt had the same effect on people 195 years ago was the British attack on Baltimore. To properly put yourself in that time and place remember that England was the primary world power in the early 1800's. She had forced Napoleon to abdicate the French throne and had forced him into exile. Britain had also fought a war with America since 1812 that had not gone well for the Americans. The coast of America had been blockaded by the Royal Navy and for all intents and practical purposes the Chesapeake Bay was a English pond with the Royal Navy landing parties and raiding at will all along the coast. On August 20th 1814 a large British force was landed at Benedict MD, it's target, Washington. The Americans attacked the advancing British at Bladensburg on August 24th. The battle was a unmitigated disaster. The majority of the American forces broke and retreated from the British with such enthusiasm, that one observer stated "They ran like sheep chased by dogs" This battle was nicknamed by the British "The Bladensburg Races" The British then marched into Washington unopposed. The burned the White House, The Capitol and several other public buildings. The also burned the Washington Navy Yard. Then having nothing else much to accomplish, they marched back out and went back on their ships.

So now, this same Royal Navy has just appeared in Baltimore Harbor. The population had time to build defenses and seemed to have built up a bit of a fighting spirit. The British had landed troops and there had been a battle at North Point, which had been a British victory, but had cost the British forces a very bloody nose. (The British commander Major General Robert Ross was K.I.A. By American marksmen) The trenches and fortifications the Americans had built around Baltimore had given the British Army a bit of a pause. It was decided to give the Royal Navy the chance to take the city. The main point of defense for the harbor was Ft. McHenry commanded by Major George Armistead. Major Armistead was a well trained professional, who had fighting spirit enough for two men. Sometime before the appearance of the British he had ordered a new flag for the garrison. He stated that he wanted an American flag so large, that there would be no difficulty for the British to see it any time of day or night. The flag he ordered was 42 feet long by 30 feet high. It had 15 stars as well as 15 stripes and was made of wool bunting. It cost the government $405.90. Remember this was in 1814 dollars. Major Armistead while he had the will to fight and defend the city, there was a secret that only he knew. The fort's bomb proofs in which he stored the garrison's gun powder were not as bombproof as they should have been.

On September 13th, 1814 the British Bomb Vessel Volcano weighted anchor at 05:00 and started to ease in the direction of the American fort. In consort with the Volcano was the bomb vessel Meteor as well as the Rocket ship Erebus and the schooner Cockchafer The largest cannons that the fort mounted were the 24lbs. which had an effective range of 1,800 yards and the larger 36 lbs. which had a range of 2,800 yards. The British Bomb Vessels with their 10 in. and 13 in. Mortars could fire a 200 lb. explosive shell up to 4,200 yards. The rate of fire for these weapons was 45 to 50 rounds per hour so the British could stand safely out of range of the American guns and given enough time and luck could pound the American defenses to dust. These huge weapons did however a weak point. A fuse was lit in the projectile when the weapon was fired. The gunners attempted to cut the fuse length so as to time it to set off the shell's explosive charge just before it impacted into the target, spraying metal fragments around. This method was VERY unreliable and a good number of the shells exploded anywhere from mid air to minutes after landing. (One shell fell into the fort's magazine and sat there with it's fuse burning until a defender dumped a bucket of water on it, putting it out and preventing an explosion.) Soon the first 4 ships were joined by 3 other bomb vessels, the Terror, Devastation and Aetna With this much firepower, it was thought that Ft. McHenry would fall fairly soon after the attack commenced.

At 06:30 the Volcano fired a few ranging shot to discover that she was still out of range so she advanced further, less that two miles from the fort. At 07:00 the Meteor commenced firing, then the other bombships joined in. Along with the bombships, was a fairly new development, the rocket ship Eribus. The Congreve Rocket was a new addition to the armament of the British forces. It consisted of a large iron tube with a wooden stick attached to the side. Different warheads were attached depending on the target, the warheads were explosive, incendiary and anti-personnel. Unlike the bombships which had to be braced, reenforced and modified to stand the enormous recoil of the mortar's firing, a ship to launch rockets only needed at most a few holes cut in the upper decks to allow the rockets to protrude. The rocket could be launched with fairly large warheads, 24, 32, 36 and 42 pounders were used.

The rocket however did have several things that prevented it's whole hearted acceptance. The Congreve was very much like a modern bottle rocket that has been fed a LOT of steroids. It was insanely inaccurate, we are talking minute-of-town accuracy. It had a nasty habit when being used by ground forces to come back on the troops that were firing it. It's fusing was very similar to that of the mortar shell, so there was no telling when the explosive charge would go off. They were also dangerous to any ships that launched them. The rocket when fired, emitted a shower of hot gas and sparks, not something that a wooden ship, loaded with canvas sails, hemp rope, tar and other combustibles would do well with. But since the rocket was approved, it was used.

Major Armisted and the garrison of the fort hunkered down for a long day. They attempted to boost the range of their guns to reach the British ships by elevation and boosting the powder charge, but all that accomplished was to dismount three of his big guns due to excessive recoil. (The guns were not permanently damaged and were remounted.) Knowing that he was wasting his shots, he ordered his gun crews to stand down, take cover where ever they could find it and only fire their guns once in a while to let the town know that the fort was still holding out.

All day and the following night, the British shelled the fort. It was estimated that over 2000 shells were fired at the fort with an estimated 700 to 800 rockets. The men in the fort's garrison just sat there and took it, one compared his feelings to that of a pigeon who's leg has been tied to allow someone to shoot at it. Another bird served to boost the morale of the garrison. In the midst of the shelling, a rooster mounted the fort's parapet and began to crow as if in defiance of the British. One of the defenders yelled out that if he and the rooster survived the fight, that he would treat that bird the finest pound cake in Baltimore.

On a few occasions, the British ships thinking that they had silenced Ft. McHenry's guns advanced within the range of the American guns. This was taken advantage of by the Americans at around 3:00 that afternoon. Three of the bomb vessels and the rocketship weighed anchor and eased toward the Fort. Closer and closer they came until they were within a mile and a half of the fort, at that point, the Americans opened up with everything they had. The Devastation took a hit in the port bow which sprung timbers and started a serious leak. She took another that went through her main topsail. The Volcano took five straight hits, none of which caused serious damage. After meeting this rebuff, the British ships withdrew to outside the American's range once again. With that, the British command structure began to think that the effort that they were expending wasn't worth the possible cost. Baltimore was the first vigorous defense that the British had met and it wasn't something that they were used to dealing with. The British also had their eye on another prize much more valuable than Baltimore. The city of New Orleans was the next target of the British. They would need every man and ship to both take that city as well as pack out all the loot that they expected to gather there.

On the morning of September 14th after a diversionary attack which was not followed through on, the British fleet ceased fire on the Fort at 04:00.

In the British fleet were some Americans who had been caught up in the attack while negotiating the release of an American civilian arrested by the British. One of these Americans was Francis Scott Key a lawyer from the area. Key was against the war, on many occasions spoke of how Baltimore deserved what it got, due to it's pro war jingoism. But during that long night he had had a change of mind and heart. He decided that he was an American and he and his fellow Americans prayed that the fort would hold out. The cease fire caught Key by surprise and he didn't know what it meant, He with the help of a spyglass saw Armisted's flag flying all the proceeding day. During the night, the British cannon fire indicated that the fort still held. As dawn broke, Key and the others strained to see if they could see the flag, through the overcast and mist of the morning. Then an easterly breeze came up and Key could see once the mist was blown away Armisted's flag flying over the battered fort. Key was overcome with emotion and being an amateur poet, pulled out a old envelope and started writing down his thoughts. Of course, you know where THAT ended up.

Back to my original thought. I suspect that the British capture of Washington and burning of White House and Capitol had the same effect on the American people that 9/11 had on us. Fear, uncertainty, confusion, finally turning into anger, fury, a sense of digging in and getting the job done, and eventually victory over great odds. It always seems that that's the way the American character is. After taking a good slug in the chin, we pick ourselves up, dust off, wipe away the blood, grin, spit on our palms and proceed to wax the a*s of anyone that monkeys with us. That's why I believe that no matter what happens, America and it's never stoppable spirit will continue, no matter what.

Oh yeah, two other things. First of all, the brave Anti- British rooster DID get his pound cake. Nothing like a man who keeps his word.

Also, Major Armisted who worked himself so hard preparing for the fort's defense that he fell ill after the battle. Due to contiuing poor health brought on by this overwork, he only lived more four years, dieing in 1818. Armisted had four brothers who also served in the war. One of these brothers moved down to North Carolina. This brother, had a son who followed his uncle into military service to build a life long army career. He was a student at West Point who was asked to leave the school after breaking a mess plate over fellow cadet Jubal Early's head. This son, was appointed to the army even after his incident, had a very steady career, regular promotion and was well thought of by his fellow officers and superiors. In 1861, when his home state of Virgina left the Union, he could not and would not serve in a Army that would be fighting against his family and friends and invading his home state. He took command of Virginia troops and again was known for his competency and professionalism. He was made a Brigadier General under George Pickett and led his troops in the Pettigrew-Pickett assault on Cemetery Ridge at Gettysburg PA. on July 3rd 1863. He was badly wounded and died on July 5th in a Federal field hospital. This officer's name was Lewis A. Armisted. So in one of those twist of history that I find so fascinating, the nephew of the defender of the Star Spangled Banner died fighting against that same flag almost 49 years later............

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dick Clark 1929 -2012

It just passed over the wire that Dick Clark of American Bandstand fame, died today. Another cultural icon of my youth is gone.

There is no way that I can imagine Rock & Roll, the true music of America and what it would be without the contribution of Dick Clark who was there at it's birth as well as it's continued growth.

May he rest in peace, for all the joy and pleasure that he brought to people over the years

Monday, April 16, 2012

Light bringer Follies..............

Two quick observations while I am out of my shop.

I find the unraveling "scandal" involving the Secret Service very interesting. IF the allegations are true, the agents were in the wrong and should have the book thrown at them. But, I would bet that something like this would have NEVER occurred with either of the two Bush administrations. (I remember something similar with the Secret Service occurring during the Clinton Administration) If you don't have any respect for your boss, or your boss doesn't have any respect for you, I would suggest that it would be difficult to WANT to do the right thing. I was always taught that you lead by example and the current administration has NOT done this, I am ashamed to say. If I were a Secret Service agent, I must admit it would be very hard for me to take a bullet for the light bringer.

This is a quote that I saw on the Fox Nation web site and also on fellow blogger Drawn Cutlass page. It's from former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton:

"I understand the Obama administration is trying to make the argument that foreign policy is a strength of theirs, using the killing of Osama bin Laden. But the way I would look at it is this: Osama bin Laden was killed while Obama was president–he wasn’t killed because Obama was president."

Sunday, April 1, 2012

It's The Law..............

I've had a few folks ask me about my new photo on the blog. It is a picture of Sheriff C.J. Perry and his posse from St. John's County, Florida sometime around the early 1900's. Sheriff Perry is the wide gentleman with the white shirt broad brimmed hat and carrying what appears to be a Single Action Army Colt. This photo was taken just after they had returned from a successful manhunt for an murder suspect.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Requiescat in pace.................

Recently heard the very sad news that fellow blogger Newbius passed away. Much to my regret I didn't know him well, having only met him at the Charlotte N.R.A. convention and at Jay G's birthday party. I did however, read his blog whenever he wrote on it. I think I picked up a good feel for what kind of man he was by reading his words. Newbius struck me as a man who had a very strong sense of right and wrong, and was not a person who brooked fools easily. But he was also generous and forthright and had a highly developed sense of humor. At Jay G's party, he kept on lifting Jay's new knife every chance he got, which amused me beyond belief watching those two.

It seems that one of the saddest things about when someone dies, is that the living that are left behind the majority of the time always have regrets. Mostly about what they didn't say to the departed, what they didn't get around to doing with the departed and so on. I admit, I wish I had gotten to know Newbius better, to drop him a note to say I enjoyed his blog or even ask him about the art and mystery of pizza making. I just hope that I can learn from this and start saying what needs to be said and doing what needs to be done before it's too late. Ms. Nancy of "Excels at Nothing" blog started the Newbius Meme and I would like to join in. Here's my three:

Ms. Nancy of the world famous "Excels at Nothing" blog.

Even if I didn't know and love Ms. Nancy in person, I would still follow her blog (and no doubt still love her) *grin* She has a slightly quirky world view which makes me laugh and is one of the most generous and giving woman I have ever known. With sweet daughter tossed into the mix, it's a winning combination that I cherish and value.

Ms. Brigid of "Home on the Range" Blog.

I like so many other southerners love the English language. Someone who speaks well or better yet, writes well stands pretty high in my estimation. Brigid is pretty damned high up there. She can paint a vivid and colorful portrait of almost anything with just a few well chosen words. She also has had her share of hard times and shares them with her readers, not in a "poor, pitiful me" mode, but rather in the "well, the ice is a little thin there, you might want to watch out where you step" or " I got burned, but I made it through, you can too" mode. I can honestly say that I always feel better about life in general after reading her post, and add to that she has a wicked sense of humor that comes out every now and then. Her blog is well worth a stop by.

Jay G. of "MArooned" blog

I consider Jay G. my blog step-daddy. When I first ventured into this strange world of blogging Jay's blog convinced me that sometimes it is a good thing to do what is right, and let the chips fall where they may. Another thing about Jay is that like Wyatt Earp said about "Doc" Holliday "I like that old rip, he makes me laugh" I never thought I would say that about ANYBODY or ANYTHING from the commonwealth of Massachusetts. *grin*

There of course are many other bloggers I follow and enjoy, and I will get around to letting them know, but these folks are the tops on my list at least for now. So folks, do yourself a favor and let your favorite blogger know that you appreciate what they do. I am sure that Newbius would appreciate it.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Very Good Read......................

I picked up a pretty darn good book a few days ago and am about 1/2 of the way through it. The title just about says it all:

Absinthe & Flamethrowers
projects and ruminations on the art of living dangerously

By: William Gurstelle

Not only do the projects sound very interesting and fun, the book is very thought provoking. It explores the need that some people have to sometimes do dangerous things.

Pick up a copy and give it a try.

Friday, March 9, 2012

What A Beautiful Sight...................

I've been sitting on the front porch admiring that absolutely gorgeous full moon tonight. I'm reminded of the old gypsy woman in the movie from 1941, The Wolfman, and the poem that she recited:

Even a man who is pure at heart and says his prayers by night,
May become a wolf, when the wolfsbane blooms,
And the moon is full and bright............

Catch Up Time..............

I've been doing quite a bit since the beginning of the New Year. Not enough time to make blog entries and do all the other stuff that has been getting my attention too. In January, I went on several road trips as well as a trip to a primitive rendezvous in Florida when I stayed in a canvas tent for 8 days. It was interesting to say the least. I picked up a bunch of raw materials for various projects I have in mind to do and I also picked up a stock and barrel for a flint-lock rifle I have planned out in my head. It will be a very simple, semi-plain weapon, 45 caliber modeled after an original I saw in a book covering North Carolina muzzle loading rifles.

While I have done a bunch of restoration work as well as modifications on Muzzle loaders over the years, this will be the first time I have ever tried to put all the pieces together and make a functioning firearm. It should be interesting and a good ride on my learning curve. I will even try to document my progress with posted pictures (I know Mac, this is useless without photos) but I will have to remember how to do it first. So bear with me.

Of course, I will have various road trips coming up, several orders to fill, and I am going to introduce my best buddy, Ms. Nancy to the art and mystery of horn work, to include engraving and carving. I can't wait to see what she can get accomplished since she has a wonderful eye and I think, a bunch of untapped talent just below the surface.

Now, lets see how it goes.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Getting In The Proper Spirit For St. Patrick's Day.............

So this man walks into a bar in Dublin with a package in his hands. The bartender, notices him while wiping down the bar and ask the man, "What do you have there lad?" The man replies "Three kilos of Semtex" The bartender smiles and says "Praise be to the Lord. For a minute there, I thought you had a Bohran."


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Ta Daaaaaaaa..........

O.K. at long last, I can spill my guts. I finished up two knives and they were delivered to the parties so let me tell you about them.

The first went to my blog step-daddy, Jay G. It seems that he has been bit by the Highlander bug and was kitting himself out with kilt and all the other accouterments. While he was reviewing his list o' stuff, he mentioned to my buddy, Ms. Nancy that he was going to get a Sgian Dubh the traditional "black knife" of the highlands. But the fly in the buttermilk was that he was looking at a PLASTIC copy. Friends, a plastic knife is like a Non-alcoholic beer, what's the point? (pun intended) Some time back I had been involved in a a bit of swapping and had picked up a Sgian Dubh that had been tossed in to sweeten the deal I was working on. Now all I had to do is figure out what I had did with it. After a archeological dig in my study/junk room I located it but also discovered that a container of browning solution had leaked on it, corroding the mounts and turning it several different colors. A trip down to my shop corrected those problems and Jay was very pleased with the results.

The second went to Ms. Breda, the world's most dangerous librarian. Again, I heard from Ms. Nancy that Breda was contemplating doing a wee bit of living history/renfair stuff, so knowing that she has a affection for knives I figured that she might like a middle age period style of knife. I had a blade I thought would work well, I turned out a horn grip and put it together with a poured pewter ferrule and a silver buttplate. It is very similar to knives that have been dated to the late 1300's to the early 1400's. I knocked out a leather belt scabbard and it was good to go. Again, I believe Ms. Breda was pleased with the result.

I enjoy turning out knives and this has given me a chance to get a few of my creations to people I respect and admire. Plus it makes more room for other creations that are currently floating around in the "rat nest" I call my brain. (grin)

Oh yeah, one more thing. If you ever get a knife from me, as a "gift" it will also come with a penny. My people are hill people, with deep roots from the north of Ireland, Ulster to be specific. I am not a overly superstitious person, but I figure, why tempt fate? The penny is because you NEVER gift a person with a knife, or it will cut a friendship. That's why I always ask for the penny back, thus you are "buying" the knife. Sounds silly, but it's the way I roll.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

All's Quiet On The Western Front.................

It's been remarkably quiet around the Casa W.

Been doing a great deal of running up and down the road, between visits with good friends and reenactments I have been away more than I've been around and the writing muses just haven't caught up to me yet. I have several projects I've been working on, but can't release any details until the parties involved are notified. I know it sounds a bit "secret squirrel" but it's a surprise for some people so I will keep my mouth shut. I will spill the beans in a wee bit. (grin)

More later................