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.