Monday, April 23, 2018

In which I don't buy a Viking shield

Backing an RPG* project on Kickstarter** one option was $100 for a full color copy of the book, the cooler option was an actual hand made Viking shield. Turns out the author (reputable and with a track record of delivering) does Norse combat re-creation and makes shields.  I had thought that a full size, properly constructed shield with the d'Areci/d'Arcy/DArcy crest***, from whom my paternal grandmother is descended, might have been fun.

Hand-carved oak handle, clinched attachment, and rivets

Then I came to my senses.  Why would I need a Viking shield, even a really nice one?  Why wouldn't I pay off my truck and trailer faster and then retire or save the extra money?  As cool as this would be, I resisted (#Iresisted) the temptation to spend money on stuff and am $400 closer to doing something more with my time off.

I will, however, promote the Kickstarter.  This guy has some cool ideas for D&D 5th Edition rule variants related to combat.  You should go chip in your own $50/$100 if that's your thing.   Just don't tell me if you got a shield.  I don't need the pressure. 

*Role Playing Game

**a place where people can raise funding for projects.  NOT a place to invest in a company since that ISN'T what you are doing when you put money into a Kickstart campaign

*** I know, a Norman crest on a Viking shield.  That's not the point though.

Edit: I didn't mention here that I did actually jump in at the $100 level cause I really want the book.  Got a nice comment from the author below.  So go get it.  He's hit a couple targets and so is expanding the content to take advantage of the extra funding.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

And we'll see how it feels, Goin' mobile, Keep me movin'

It's official.  I fixed five motorcycles over the past two weekends from my new mobile motorcycle shop.  If I were going to have a name it would be House of Steel Motorcycle and the website would be but since I'm unofficial and part time I guess I won't.  Please don't fact check me on the "it's made of aluminum, dude" issue.  I know.  House of Aluminum just doesn't have the same ring.

Anyway, thought I'd share since I'm pretty excited about the whole project.  Still have some details to work out.  I need a tall, small drawer cabinet to go next to the toolbox to hold various mall parts.  Found one at the Container Store but it is out of stock til sometime in May.  I also think I'm going to add an electric winch to haul motorcycles up the ramp and onto the lift.  So far I've used the engine to run them onto the lift by feathering the clutch while I walk along side but it makes me nervous that my hand might slip and I'm not sure that strategy will work for a bike with especially tall handlebars.  An electric winch with a dead man switch wireless remote so that if I do start to overbalance or lose control, letting go of the remote stops the pulling.

A friend suggested a canopy on the side of the trailer.  Would allow me to do front end work under cover as right now I have to do that outside.  There just isn't room in the trailer to put a bike on a jack and I don't think I want the expense of a lift with a removable frontpiece.  A canopy would come in handy when I convert it to a camper anyway.

The whole thing, by the way, looks like this when I'm chugging down the road.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Senators appointed by the states? Still a good idea

First prize for complete lack of understanding of history goes to Eric Sherman, writing over at  He states, and I quote,
The U.S. Constitution originally provided for state appointment of senators because, for all the fine words, few in power actually trusted the public.
Actually the U.S. Constitution originally provided for the state appointment of senators because they were supposed to represent the states, not the people.  Otherwise you just wouldn't need two houses.  One house would be sufficient to do the business of the people.

He then blathers on making other supposed arguments against state appointment of Senators, couching everything in the typical left wing rhetoric, claiming that it is an effort to "overturn democracy", throwing modifiers like "radically conservative" in front of names, etc.

For the record, I would argue that states rights pretty much went away once the states weren't represented in the government.  There is no one in Washington, D.C. who is fighting to protect the rights of states against encroaching federal power on a regular basis.  And don't tell me about California and their sanctuary state efforts.  Immigration is a federal matter, specifically outlined in the Constitution.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

So much for barbecue

Apparently there is a move afoot to call the new National Hockey League team in Seattle the Totems.

Seattle Totems.  Has a nice ring.  I don't really care, I'm a Canucks fan, to the extent that I follow professional sports anymore, having grown up in Vancouver (back when it was a nice place to grow up) and living closer to Vancouver than I do to Seattle.

However, there has been the predictable outrage over "cultural appropriation" of the word totem.  Never mind that it comes from an Ojibwa word and has been in use in the English language for about 250 years, so no connection whatsoever with the local tribes.  Never mind that for about 250 years it has been used to mean something that is an emblem or revered symbol (like a professional sports team, for example?).

Never mind that language constantly adopts words from other cultures.  English itself is an amazing mix of Latin, Greek, Scandinavian, Saxon, German, Dutch, Norman, French, Spanish, and yes, Ojibwa.  Assuming that the local tribes actually use the word totem, could they have appropriated it from the Ojibwa also, or did they adopt it from English speaking Americans?

Never mind that there are few to no speakers of any language that haven't adopted words, including American indians.

What upsets me the most is that I can no longer barbecue during the summer.  That's because the word barbecue apparently comes from the Tarawak language native to the Taino indians, Caribbean islanders at the time of the Spanish settlement (or conquering, whichever you prefer).  I wouldn't want to be insensitive.  From now on I will just smoke my food in a smoker and hope that smoker doesn't come from some culture that will get upset about my word choice.

Friday, March 2, 2018

By the way

Words have meaning.   At least they usually do.  Amidst the furor over "assault weapons" I present to you two rifles.  One is an assault rifle (by the popular definition) and one isn't.  Can you tell the difference?

If you said the second was the "assault rifle" you chose correctly.  The difference?  The first has the flash suppressor removed.  Full disclosure, technically they are both "assault rifles" because the threads are still on the barrel, allowing me to put the flash suppressor back on, but if I were to take a file to the threads, the rifle would, apparently, no longer be evil.

That's it.  They are both magazine fed, semi-automatic rifles.  They both fire the same .30 caliber round.  The thirty caliber rifle round has been around since the eighteen hundreds, the semi-automatic rifle likewise, the magazine fed rifle has been around and readily available since the 1920s.  The AR-15, a popular version of magazine fed, semi-automatic rifle has been around since the early 1970s.  So why the furor?

Well, for one they became popular.  It stands to reason that if a rifle is the most popular rifle, that rifle will also be used on occasion for evil acts.  Two, they look scary.  Seriously.  Look at that bottom picture and compare it to the top.  The top probably reminds you of hunting with your dad and your uncles in the winter; hot chocolate and cold wind nipping at your nose.  The bottom terrifies you.  Just kidding, of course.  They are the same rifle.

Those opposed to the ownership of guns are engaged in a decade long battle to ban guns.  Start with guns that the people will accept as banned "military style assault rifle" and then move on from there.  Inexpensive handguns (Saturday night special) because they are dangerous, expensive handguns (because who needs a Desert Eagle for home defense), "high capacity" meaning the number of rounds the gun came with from the factory.  Each restriction makes it more reasonable for the next to be passed.  "After all, we don't allow people to have ... so why would we allow them to have ...".  Don't be fooled, the ultimate goal of many of these groups is a ban on civilian ownership.

Meanwhile Antifa physically attacks conservatives who venture out to express their political opinions.  The left commits violence against us while attempting to disarm us.  What could possibly go wrong?

Saturday, February 24, 2018


Yep.  Three Sheriff's Deputies, including the school's "Resource Officer" hid behind cars in the parking lot while the shooter killed 17 people. 

They get paid to put themselves in harm's way to protect the public, last I had heard.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Bob Ferguson, WA AG or Progressive Activist at taxpayer expense

The correct answer is both.

Here's his latest email:
At least six Motel 6 locations in Washington state methodically handed over thousands of guests’ personal information to ICE agents without requiring a warrant, leading to the detention of individuals in Washington state. I intend to find out who at Motel 6 knew about these practices, and I intend to hold Motel 6 accountable.
 Lawsuit?  Last I checked Motel 6 was a private business and has no legal obligation to keep your information private when you check in.  If they want to give your information to the federal government they are legally free to do so.  Illegal aliens should feel free to not stay at Motel 6 when they travel.  I have an idea.  Maybe they should stay at hotels in their own country or get a visa to travel here. Then there wouldn't be an issue.

Just another waste of the taxpayer dollar, along with the multitude of lawsuits, mostly frivolous, that Ferguson has filed against the Trump Administration.

The sooner we can get this jackass out of office the better.