Monday, December 17, 2012

E'erbody Be Calling Me!

Since the tragedy that happened last week in Connecticut last week, I have had people calling in droves to get their hands on varied items before any bans are proposed.   I’m just trying to curb their enthusiasm. Calm the fuck down people. That is all.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Wall of Warmth and Security

My garage was terribly cold and hard to get the motivation to work in. Since I sold the Versys and the dirt bike, I have more room  to work and I decided to build a wall.  Garry (handsome man in the Cereal Killer shirt) helped me frame it in, hang the drywall and plywood and install the door. I did the insulation myself after he left on day one, but that was quick and easy. Day two lasted all of 2 hours as hanging drywall is pretty straight forward.


The garage now stays about 59 degrees all the time and outside temps are usually below freezing. I have a small heater in there that kicks on when it dips below 64, but only when I am out there. The option of a warm room is great in assisting with curing and other “room temp” activities.  Pretty soon here I will be building two more benches, some shelves and running some more circuits for machinery.


A customer came in last night and saw the wall and was impressed that I had built it since he had been in two weeks prior. I am going at this as hard as I can without it becoming a burden, so someday I will tear this thing down and work out of a separate space; all in good time.



Saiga 12 build V2.0

I have done several Saiga builds over the last couple years and this time I am going as fast as I can in an effort to see what the quickest possible turnaround time would be.  The first pic was at the 23 minute point if I am remembering clearly and the second was at about 30 even.  The grip screw hole was cut, some parts were slapped in and the hammer was ground down to allow full range of motion and I re-colored the receiver; to this point it was about 1:30 of solid pit crew work.

Last night I fitted the Mako folding stock which took all of 10 minutes, but I will have to be creative with where to shave what in order for it to lock in the folded position without making it look obscene when open. Clearance issues will make or break any machine as well as draw undue attention to it.

So….  Tl;dr    Most people don’t care about guns like I do, but this is fun.  The completed shotty should come in at about the 3 hour mark and be fun and cool.  My buddy will be pleased at the progress and hopefully enjoy it for years to come.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Saving Some MON-AAAYYY!!

Last year I tried to refinance my castle and got kicked in the proverbial nads due to my credit score. I had even worked a night shift at a new job site to pick up some overtime and was woken up with a denial phone call. Sweet!


So, I tried to re-fi again this year and have not been holding my breath. This morning, I was woken up by a call from the bank saying that it was all approved! This is great news.  The interest rate is going down by almost 3% and I am changing insurance companies; turns out I’ve been paying nearly double for insurance for the last four years.


Below are a few examples of what I can now afford each month due to my savings!

·         91 pounds of grass-fed organic ground beef at Bill the Butcher

·         279 cans of C20 coconut water. (Train by day, Joe Rogan podcast by night… all day)

·         Four new tires for my car

·         Fancy smart phone without contract

·         110 Pumpkin spice lattes

·         Full service on the Subaru’s front and rear differentials.

·         29 boxes of ammo for my .45


Getting the picture now?


Actually, this just means I’ll stress less and not actually GET more. It is something that, on the surface, seems like extra cash, but I’ll be doing my best to put this “breathing room” to use.


Holler back



Friday, November 9, 2012

Zombie blog... I'm back!!

So… it’s been super long since I have added anything here…  updates since last post are the following

·         My friend Ken died October 13th, peacefully in his home.

·         Managed to not shoot a deer all season

·         Business is picking up and I have been learning more and more all the time

·         Quit school (not as tragic as some might think) and I feel great!

·         Been making lots of changes to the shop

·         Sold the Versys and the Honda; I am motorcycle free.


Aside  from these bullet points,  I have just been doing the norm. Eating a semi-strict Primal or Paleo diet has kept the pounds off, kept me in less pain and my family annoyed.


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

What Day is it Now?

Sheesh… First of all, I sound like a wino for even starting a blog post about this, but since I even HAVE a blog that pretty much throws my decency out the window.  Today is day 15 of my 30 days without alcohol and it’s been fine. I mean, there have been a few times that I would have enjoyed a beer, but it probably would have been more than one or perhaps a 22oz one.


I have a “Hop in the Dark” by Deschutes, waiting for me when I complete this test of my will and sanity. I suppose this small period of time will help me lose the last few pounds that I am packing around, but if not I don’t really know. Maybe I sleep better, but that’s still undecided.


Last night would have been a nice night for a cigar… yeah….  Sitting on the deck taunting the chickens and enjoying the sun set.  

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Personality test

Eysenck's Test Results
Extraversion (72%) high which suggests you are overly talkative, outgoing, sociable and interacting at the expense too often of developing your own individual interests and internally based identity.
Neuroticism (36%) moderately low which suggests you are relaxed, calm, secure, and optimistic.
Psychoticism (40%) moderately low which suggests you are, at times, overly kind natured, trusting, and helpful at the expense of your own individual development (martyr complex).
Take Eysenck Personality Test (similar to EPQ-R)
personality tests by

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Versys Gypsy Bikes

The last long trip for me on the Versys was one to Kalispell, Montana. What an amazing place that is!! Once you get past the locals telling you that your helmet will kill you and apply enough chemicals to deter the bugs that surely will, it's a fun place. It was like camping everywhere we went. I even got to use the Versys for what it was intended for; it is an adventure bike after all.

Riding on the rocky, gravelly roads leading up to our hangout was a trip. A 400+ pound dirt bike (although clearly not a dirt bike) is a bit more fun than it should be. Anyhow, the chances are good that the next trip report of mine will be in a car. Once business picks up some more, I will be getting another bike, but not now.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Learning From the Master

Last week, an old gunsmith who did work on my beloved 1911 pistol offered to teach me the way he does things. Now he might just be the most humble man I have spoken with in a while saying things like “This is just the way I do it, but you should keep an open mind because there is probably something better out there”. Larry is 71 years old, with 45 years of gunsmith work to draw from.


Monday morning I went over to his shop and he taught me how to prepare rifles and pistols for bluing. This is the nice shiny black finish you will see on some new guns and most old ones. The process is very involved and I think the 160 dollars he charges for it is very fair. There is at least an hour worth of setup, some waiting for the chemicals to work and then another hour or so of tear down and clean up.


Yesterday, Larry showed me how he does a trigger job on the 80 series 1911 pistols; these are stupid lawyer guns and Great Grandpa Browning would not be happy to know that some companies have bastardized his perfect creation. Well, after that gun was done, we moved on to something that is a pit fall for many new gunsmiths. The process of glass bedding a rifle stock is something that helps accuracy and also allows for adding strength and minimal weight.


As we prepared the stock, mixed the epoxy and taped off surfaces, we spoke about what it meant to be happy. The most enthralling part of the learning came from that of the time where we waited between steps. Not wanting to make small talk, we spoke about very poignant and remarkable things of Larry’s life. He has been married for 49 or 50 years this coming Friday.  


There are more things to write about with this, but it has been such a dramatically wonderful experience for me to learn from someone that knows this trade better than anyone I’ve ever met. I saw the stock that he bedded and subsequently ruined when he was 19 years old; I am happy to see and hear about these stories in hopes that I can avoid these things. I will certainly make errors, but that is only human.


I spent a shit ton of money on supplies today, but I should make it all back with these three jobs that I’m doing tomorrow. Anyway, it has been awesome and will only get better.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Free Mauser: Off to a Bad Start

Yesterday I took the Argentine Mauser receiver out of the WD-40 bath and knocked off the major crud with a few taps of a rubber mallet. After this initial removal, I went out and sprayed the part down with some heavy duty oven cleaner. This sounds super ghetto, but the person who told me to do it has been a gunsmith for 45 years and never has a lack of work. The first couple pics of the part on the white rack are with the foaming, caustic spray on there.

After rinsing off the oven cleaner, I dried the part as well as I could and went to work with the sand blast cabinet. Now, my compressor is small and cannot really stand up the rigors of sandblasting for any sort of extended period. Now, I know the part is nowhere near completely clean as I was only trying to free up the action. The bolt release is still stuck shut, so I might have to end up drilling out the screw and knocking the part off.

I am not going to invest any money into the part until I can confirm that the mating surfaces inside the barrel threads and where the locking lugs of the bolt (the thing you crank down to lock the round in the chamber) are fitting well. At a minimum, this will be good practice for me in metal preparation and surface restoration. The stamp is beyond saving as can be seen, but I am sure I can make a good use of the parts somehow.

Good times.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Initial Haul: Box One of Many

So, Tom has been mentioned on here before and he is a good friend of mine, but this time he could not make it to get the lathe. What I did get, though, is very interesting. I paid half the money and brought home a ton of tools of all types, reloading dies, cutting tools, files, gun parts and even an old rusty Mauser action. I would like to see how I can get that thing to work here in the not too distant future. That will be an interesting project to say the least because it is rusted shut now and is in an ammo can soaking in WD-40 as I type.

The couple boxes I got were the tip of the iceberg from this purchase. I got very lucky with this lathe deal and the lady who I bought it from is glad that it's going to a good home. I guess the pictures are just a bunch of parts to most people, but do a search for machining bits and you will quickly see why this is a great deal.

Lost and Found Goggy

Yesterday while sorting through my new lathe and gun parts box, this big dog walked up to my oldest son. I was a bit startled at first, but it was not aggressive and was panting heavily. I called to him, but he gave no indication that he heard me. Even when I clapped loudly and whistled, the thirsty thing didn't move. I walked over, knelt down and let him sniff me. I then petted him and took a look at his tags. Luckily, Dakota had tags on and I called his family.

We gave him water and a few minutes later, his human neighbors came to get him. I was surprised at how strong, yet docile this thing was. I mean, it was not huge, but I drastically underestimated Dakota's strength. I have not had the best luck with dogs at this house, so this is a good experience.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Lathe... Here Goes Nothing

It’s been a while since I’ve posted (I’m a busy dude), but this is a good one. I asked the old gunsmith who did work for me years ago to keep an ear out for any machinery or tools that are selling locally. Well, old Larry came through in a big way and I got hooked up with a customer of his.


The lathe is made back in the 50s or possibly before; it needs some TLC, but I am hopeful. The lady who has it is very nice and made me a fair deal. I have to borrow money to get it, but it will only take me a little bit to pay it back. Anyway, I will post pics when I get it home and set up. It is a Logan 922 and it is HEAVY!!


This is the very first step to my next phase of my gunsmithing dream. With this, I will be able to re-chamber barrels, add threading, fluting and a variety of other things that involve spinning metal. I still have to learn all the ins and outs so I will be taking a class whenever I can. So yeah.  Awesome.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Every Single Year....

Each year, we do this really cool thing in America we call "celebrating Memorial Day" and do so in various ways. Now I'm not going to haul off and bitch about people water-skiing when they should be remembering dead soldiers; I don't care what you do. If you want to remember someone, great... there are 364 other days a year for that too.....

Every year on Memorial Day, I find myself watching war documentaries, scanning through the Faces of the Fallen and old pictures. Do I miss the Army or being gone in a foreign land? Hell no.  Do I get a wash of emotions when I see young men firing rifles into buildings and hear the zipping of rounds?   Sure.  The AK-47 and the RPK are two things you will never forget the sound of; they are so unique a sound due to their construction and design.

I often wonder if I've got any of the old gunslinger left in me, but it doesn't matter now. Still, it's just an errant thought that goes as quickly as it came.  My answer to myself is always yes.

Not more than a few hours ago, I was pondering something really deep and meaningful to write and I dismissed it in lieu of this. I used to get emails, phone calls and text messages (I did get a few today) thanking me for my service, but I have to tell them "This isn't meant for me. I'm not dead".  I can say, however, with resounding sadness that no person I know who has died in combat has done so for anything other than the men to their left and right at that time.

This has turned out disastrously... well.. here are links to the couple vids of interest I saw today.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Panic, Fear and Frustration

*Re-posted today... formatting fixed...   
Yesterday morning I woke up feeling like I hadn't slept at all. My entire body hurt and I was exhausted. I realized that I had been tossing and turning all night due to a fucked up dream.  

    I found myself among an Army unit very similar to my old one, but with nobody I recognized. I was clearly a replacement and was sent to the front lines of the conflict. I had no gear, no clothes beyond what I wore and my rifle had been lost somewhere in shipping. I was frantic as the enemy assaults hit like waves and I continued to duck into bunkers and craters. 

   I continued to charge into fighting positions, flip over my dead comrades and check their weapons. Each time, the weapon was either broken, missing or otherwise unsuitable. The grim mess of congealed blood and organ tissue was mixing with the mud and ash of the area all over my clothes. I didn't have the sense to strip the dead of their armor, as it hadn't done them any good. 

  I never saw the enemy, but I heard and felt the tremors caused by their bombardments and their small arms fire. Everywhere in the din of battle I could hear the screams of the dying and the commands of the Sergeants leading our men over the bulkheads. It was so strange of me to not be in the fight. 

  I met with one soldier who was clearly not in the fight; I tried to get him to give me his rifle. He denied my request, which is smart for him. This entire time, I never lined anyone up in my sights, I never held an operating weapon and I never saw anyone I knew. It was pretty nuts.


Anyway, yeah... there it is... I woke up feeling like 217 pounds of smashed ass...   I slept much better last night. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

First Bit of Profit

With this little teeny bit of profit from my business, I am now only upside down about 235 bucks in licensing costs and a grand in tools. Could be way worse. Today, I set up my first 1911 trigger job and I am stoked. I am really thankful that people in the community believe in me enough to give me the chance. Well, this is a short post because it's not that important of a subject. We shall see what happens over the next few months. Hopefully it will be filled with blog posts about how I have work coming at me left and right and I have tons of spare cash. *fingers crossed*

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

To the Iraqi People..

Many things have come to light for me in the last several years that were not so apparent as a young man. I love my country and what it is supposed to stand for. I, and many others like me, was lied to, trained and used as a tool to oppress others. Many of these things were not my fault, but I was there to witness. So, like the man I want to be:

To the people of Iraq,
     I’m sorry for helping do to you, what I would never let happen to me or my loved ones. I am sorry for having hate in my heart; bringing my horrible skills to bear upon your brave men is a saddening thing for me in retrospect. I feel guilt for terrifying the people who I was supposedly protecting. I’m sorry for having had the drive to be better at tracking people in my scope, when I should have been opposing the occupation. I’m sorry that I was skilled and able to deal death at extreme ranges; what was once impressive is now repulsive.
     Although I will never deserve or receive your forgiveness, know that I am sorry for helping give my people a bad name. We often helped, but more often hurt people. I have joked about the death of others, but cried over those we suffered; no humans should have lost lives on either side. I am sorry for allowing spite, revenge or rage to fill me up and flow over. I’m sorry for being another invader into your sovereign land and removing your civil liberties at gunpoint. I’m sorry for using superior technology and deception to take away your family members. I’m sorry that we removed innocent men from their homes, without cause, in the name of security.
     I’m sorry I took away your guns. I’m sorry that your land has been ravaged by war and that men like me and my brothers were your enemy. If we had been born on the same block, we would probably been friends. I’m sorry that my friends glorified me for my successes in battle and boasted about their own. I’m sorry also that the common condition in wartime troops is to dehumanize their opponents to make them easier to mistreat; I am just as guilty of this. I’m sorry for being a part of something our Forefathers fought against.
     I’m sorry that I, at one time, thought that the ability to take a life was power. I’m sorry that my country is plagued by young men and women who suffer with guilt over things they did. I’m sorry that we had to kill to ensure the safety of others. I’m sorry that war is ironic at times. I’m sorry that the man in Tal Afar who guarded the bank, who treated us with such kindness, is not able to live in peace. I’m sorry that the Christian family in Mosul, who showed us love, has to live in hiding from sectarian violence.
     To the children, I am sorry that you had to witness young American men as monsters. I’m sorry that your childhood was filled with explosions, gunfire and large, armored men kicking in doors. I’m sorry that your soccer fields became a danger zone. I’m sorry that your kindness and wonder was not able to be spent in peace time. There was an old man and a young boy in the car that was hijacked by another man and all three had their hands up. I shot the hijacker when he pulled out a pistol; I am sorry that boy and old man had to fear for their lives.
     I’m sorry that it took nearly a decade to leave your land. I am sorry that thousands of peaceful people per year were killed by ordinance, stray bullets or carelessness. We accidentally killed a woman and went to pay reparations to her family; I’m sorry to that husband and those children that his wife and their mother died. I’m sorry that there were so many dinner tables with families waiting for their loved ones to come home, who never did.
     I’m sorry that it was “us versus them” and that you paid that price by proximity. I can say that I never targeted an unarmed person with lethal force, but some of my peers may have. I’m sorry that communications get confused, descriptions are vague, maps are not marked clearly and that our judgment is not always sound. I’m sorry that I thought my squad leader was a coward for leading us away from the fighting when he could.

       All these things and more are ones I and tens of thousands of military vets get to live with. We all have the chance to make good lives and we have an obligation to work hard accordingly. I saw the error of my ways and now try to teach my friends that respecting others is the only way we will ever evolve as a species. My son asked me “what’s a war?” and it broke my heart. I am glad though, that he has no clue about the horror so many children experience daily.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Wrong number... awesome!!!

So I had a friend, who grew up with me, was in my wedding and we even both joined the military after high school. He was a Marine Infantryman and I, an Army Infantryman. After two tours in Iraq, he got out and joined the masses of weak, mostly-helpless folks that make up our society. I did one tour in Iraq, doing the same stuff as him and got our a few months after he did. At my 24th birthday party, he showed up and brought me 200 rounds of .45 ammo; that was a great gift.

Well, at said party, I got drunk as I tend to do at gatherings and began to rant about all the junk I do. The war was a hot topic for me at that time, since I had only been out of the Army for about 5 months at that point. I stressed the fact that is was unjust and that the men we fought in the streets were the same type of people as us. I made the point that we would do the same things to repel invaders in America. We love our country and they love theirs; it is pretty simple.

Well, my buddy didn’t much like my views (probably in part because I lose all sense of tact or kindness when taking vodka shots) and we didn’t speak again. I kept in touch with his dad, but never got details on my friend. We had been close since I was 12.

Well, last night on the way home, I was using my headset on my awesome new phone and thought I’d call his dad to let him know about my business. He has always been a hunter and firearms enthusiast so it is right up his alley. I heard an unfamiliar voice answer and ask me to hold on. Then my friend’s voice came on the line and I was momentarily speechless.

It was suddenly all okay. Four years had gone by and we hadn’t spoken; now he was totally different and speaking just like I had years prior. He apologized, but I told him not to; we all have to take whatever time is needed to heal. It’s just really awesome to, once again, have one of my best friends back. I should see him in the next month or so when he is back in town so that will be great.

It took me arriving home, with him still on the line to realize that I had mistakenly dialed him instead of his dad. Another factor is: I had been transferring contacts all day to the new phone and actually considered not transferring his. I am glad I did.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Home Stretch

While I am certainly not super close to being debt-free, I am very close to paying off the bike. If not the whole thing, then most of it. The APR jumps to 29% next month and I have known the whole time it was coming. Luckily, my better half is being cool whilst I work 6 days a week to make it happen and dodge the big black shaft of interest. 

My impulsive nature is also difficult to justify, if not impossible, and yet I am still overcome from time to time. A prime example is right now; I have a cart full of parts to finish off one project which I know damn well can wait. The reason I didn't just check out is because it is primarily my impulsiveness that got me to the point of needing to work this much (which I am glad to be able to, don't get me wrong) in order to save my own ass.

I would be a fool to fall prey to the allure of the Amazon monster at this point. In a couple months, the ATF will hopefully grant me my Federal Firearms License (FFL) so I can finally begin to get customers and make some money. Anyway, it has been great so far. The bike more than pays for itself when I ride it. I get to make it home faster due to carpool lane and also save 5 bucks a day in gas alone. It's damn cold though.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Lucky Dogs

By now, nearly everyone I know has heard this story in varying levels of detail. I basically about wasted two dogs who were running amok in my neighborhood. You know if you’ve read anything here that I am a peaceful guy nowadays and want to keep it that way. Here is the video and the first bit is my neighbor lady after her scary ordeal with having been chased inside.

The animals were taken from the owners as this was their third strike. During the incident, you can see me dip out of the way (dog teeth will ruin my pretty pistol) and I wanted to give them every chance I could. I never got the adrenaline response associated with being chased by monsters like this. I knew that I had ten little friends on my side who could outrun them. Skip to 2:00 to see my stupid ass....

Friday, March 16, 2012

Hill Holder Fail

This little spring here is the return spring (or what was left of it) for my wife's Subaru. There is a mechanism in some manual Subies that keeps the front left and right rear brakes locked when the clutch is in and the car is stopped. This is so awesome in Seattle on the horrendous hills and whatnot. It is not so cool when it fails.


I had no way of getting just the spring from the dealer, so I went into third world engineer mode. I grabbed the rear brake return spring of my 1988 Honda dirt bike mentioned on here a few months ago and with the help of some Boeing surplus aircraft steel wire I secured the spring in place. After the spring went in, I added two zip ties for flair and attitude.


I shan't fail to mention that it was pissing epic rain the whole time I was doing this. That made things a lot more fun because I was soaked. Anyway, I'll go the Tacoma Screw and see if they can, once again, save the day with my projects. Fun times, but at least I got it to work and didn't have to lose functionality of the awesome feature.


Friday, March 9, 2012

Now He's An Expert?

*Stupid dream alert*

Yesterday I was reorganizing my safe to make room for all the new junk I’m acquiring and ran into a relatively-new (to me) WW2 era Japanese Arisaka rifle I got from a friend. So here is the short story…

Somehow in the dream I was still working on arranging all the rifles, pistols and shotguns with David. Who the fuck knows why he was there, but he was. Anyway, he pointed out the Arisaka and said, “Oh look at how the (insert Japanese word) is on the bolt. See that? That is a symbol of (insert some dynastic term) emperor”. Even in my dream, it was weird a hell.. then I realized he was a history buff and not a closet weapons expert. I am no expert, but I like guns a little bit. I would have no clue what the rifle was in the sporterized state it is in.

This is very similar to something I came across the other day; just because you are well-informed on something, does not mean you support it. I have a deep understanding of war and do not support it.

Monday, February 27, 2012


This post is one I have put off for years, but decided that people need to know about. I can happily say that in all my years on this planet, I have only run into a few people who were like the one in the story to follow. It is a very small percentage… very, very small.

August 2005, Mosul, Iraq: The gravel of the company housing area crunched loudly with each step. I walked down the aisles of small buildings towards the sheet metal “hootch” I was staying in. My 3 roommates were getting weapons torn down and cleaned after the day’s mission and were getting ready to go eat. I had been trying to find my platoon sergeant to get some information about my scope that had been in the shop for many weeks; there was no conceivable reason it should take so long to get it.

I was the designated marksman (SDM) in my squad and was the only one in the company without a scope. I had a bone-stock M4 carbine, where the rest of the SDMs had free-floated barrels, match-grade triggers and specialty gear costing thousands of taxpayer dollars; mine was $383 dollars according to the accountability form. At this time in my life, I was unafraid to tell others what I felt about my abilities and that sometimes landed me in hot water; having a big mouth and the ability to back it up only pisses people off. I was a master at pissing people off.

Well, now that the situation is set, here is the actual part that’s interesting: While taking a lap one row down from my usual digs, I passed the room of a former squad-mate. As I passed, he yelled loudly for me. “Jack, come here man!”. Whirled around at the familiar voice of the Staff Sergeant and ran back to his room. I snapped to parade rest and sounded off with “Yes, Sergeant?” looking straight forward to the rear wall of the small hut. He waved his hand at me saying “Relax brother, come in and shut the door”. I relaxed and did as directed.

I walked into the dim room, lit by only the light let in from the slightly-ajar blinds. The strong man who called me was like a brother to me at many times, but we had been apart for several months since he moved to another platoon. He had taught me so many things about saving lives over the years. He was the only Infantryman who knew more about emergency medical procedures than our medics; we all trusted him implicitly. This conversation took a dark turn immediately, though as the look in his eyes were unfamiliar to me.

“It’s me and you, brother. We have the most confirmed kills in the battalion. It’s a contest now.” he started, gesturing to a pair of bloodied gloves and a large Stryder knife hanging on a wall. He had, only days earlier, been involved in an ambush where he stabbed an enemy with that knife. The gruesome trophy on the wall hung there as a reminder of his devotion to his job. We had been fighting the forces of (insert your preferred term for other humans who resist invaders here) in Mosul for months and he and I were the most prolific of the soldiers making a dent in enemy forces.

I raised my hands up in a manner to show I was not enthusiastic about it and told him “I’m not here for blood, man”. I really only wanted to go home, but that was not on the list of options. He pressed me for my compliance and insisted that we have to compete for the most kills. I was actually fearful at that moment. I was in a room with a man who was a hunter like me, but his resolve was overriding his morality. I am not without sin in that respect, but I was certainly not looking for a contest counted in human lives.

The horror was that his eyes told me there was no exaggeration in his statements and that there was a genuine bloodlust. Only the previous week, he and I were on separate ends of the same ambush where two of the original four enemy were killed in the initial contact and the other two were dispatched by myself and the Staff Sergeant at opposite ends of the city after a chase. The man in front of me was killed where he stood out of necessity to protect my life and those of my peers. The man he gunned down had his body violated as an entire magazine was fired into the corpse as to make the point stronger or to make him even more dead (?). It begs the question: Is it more wrong to kill someone and then continue to shoot the body out of anger or rage than it is to kill them and do nothing?

This whole mess of words I managed to throw together only illustrates that there are a select few people who really want to take humans’ lives and that is sad. We need more people who resist war or learn to resist it so that we as a nation can thrive.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Slave to the Dollar

Over the past three years, I have successfully added a tremendous amount of debt onto my already-full plate. These things were either out of want, need or convenience. I have tried to work less than I used to or at least attempt to do thing I enjoy more; this has been hard to do. Between school, family, work and everything else there is not much time left at the end of each day.


At my age, I can point out several things about my life that are present and not common in other people my age. For starters, most people under 30 do not own their own house; they usually have not been married for 8 years and a few other things. I can point out more, but I don’t want this to be seen as being cocky. I am lucky to be where I am in the first place. There is just as good of a chance that I would have been turned into a mist of goo and bone fragments by a bomb on the side of the road, but I got lucky. No amount of my own doing saved my ass; I do feel that I have an obligation to live well because I can.


Now I could be talking in circles here, and if I am I hope it comes around to make sense. I’m not going back to edit this bitch beyond spell check. Anyway, I have been working hard to not have to work as hard by trimming the fat, so to speak, and making other changes in what we have and do. My wife has been super understanding in this and as much as she likes her soap opera shows, she would rather I don’t have to work the extra time just to make ends meet when money is a little snug.


I opened up the bill for my motorcycle the other day and realized that the promotional period is ending in April so I have to jump through my ass to get five thousand bucks together before they jack the rate up to the moon. My own impulsiveness got me to jump on a loan that I didn’t really need. It sounds silly because I’m a grown-ass man, but I still make those sorts of decisions. Anyway, it’s yet another learning opportunity. I see guys like me all the time. They are all excited to do something and then I sound like the old man who tells them “take my advice and save up for it”. That is advice I would have ignored though.


Anyway, towards the middle of June, I will have more money to save each month because I won’t have three bills that I currently have.


So… dummies… if you want something … just save your fucking money or buy something that will make you happy and you can just pay cash for. I will not make these mistakes again…. One exception could be a car loan because saving 15k in cash takes time.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Kit's Response

You my friend are a dork.  LOL.  A colorful dork that has aspirations of writing like Anthony Bourdain.  As I read your email I had the Mario “death” song running through my head. The one from Super Mario Bros where Mario touches a fireball while he’s not supped up on shrooms as big as his head.  Total fail.  He he. I now know why we can’t have nice things at [Where we work].  Apparently you sir need to work on your mad Matrix slow motion skills and invest in Velcro boots… perhaps even in those power Nike’s from Back to the Future.  I hear there still selling those on eBay.

I would be most grateful if you or Queen DorkLord would be so kind to find a replacement from my small but reliable French Press that for some unknown reason is made in Italy.  Apparently the Italians love their coffee too.

Thank you.

Dude with a Busted French Press crying in the corner.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Letter to Kit: Busted French Press

Now before you get all mad, I think this is a little bit your fault. I mean, who in their right mind is going to trust something fragile and made of wimpy glass to a guy who can barely tie his shoes and a girl who dreams of riding a moose into the woods with an AK and a backpack full of canned SPAM? I mean, this makes a little sense that you would at least expect this to happen. Right?

Okay, so now that we're on the same page… So, when I was quietly soothing my chest pains with more caffeine, I MAY have bumped your little press off the highest shelf near our desk where it most likely fell the distance of about 4.6 feet where my poorly-tied shoe "caught" it before rolling off and onto the floor.

Now I'm not sure if it was the fault of my shoes that were meant for robots, the friction of the air passing by during free fall or the actual impact with the ground, but there is a small crack near the top. If I had been wearing my Vibram Fivefingers shoes, you can rest assured that this email would not be in your inbox.

So, between Jessica (aka: Queen DorkLord) and me, it will be replaced or simply glued at your request. As it sits, it is fully functional, but the crack does add more character than I am qualified to have around me. I just wanted to let you know, so that next time you're here and see the fault line peering you in the eyes, you do not decide to go on a coffee binge and blog about various shades of window tint.

Thanks for reading this and giving me enough time to get far, far, far away before your rage is unleashed.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Nearing the End

So over the past two years, my buddy Ken and I have had some fun times riding motorcycles, shooting or just sitting around and BSing over coffee. The stories he has about being in the Special Forces in Vietnam are incredible; incredible and sad... just to be clear. Some of the stories he tells me, I can plainly tell that he wishes he couldn't remember those painful images.
He told me about a time where he had to sneak into a village and dispatch the sentry, a teenage boy, with his knife. He talked about holding the boy as he bled to death over about a minute. His detail was amazing, heart-wrenching and sickening in a way. I understand why he had to do that; the boy with the AK-47 was ready to kill the Americans who were in his country and they simply couldn't allow that. Not to get into politics with this is hard, but I will just say it is a sad series of events.
While I try to keep him off the subject of warfare, it is actually hard being that it is one of the things he and I have most in common with. I can see it in his face and eyes when he talks about certain parts of his experience where he goes somewhere else. His eyes glaze over a bit and sometimes get to the brink of tears, but they don't flow out. It is hard to describe, but he goes to another place in time and his actions get more animated while he speaks. This is a man with passion, training and a lot of horror that never left him.
So, a while ago we were supposed to go on a motorcycle ride and he told me that he was having a tough time with the clutch lever so he wanted to move it back. His hands were beginning to curl in like a fist almost; it is the way a soldier will hold his hands at the Position of Attention. He went to the VA to see what was going on; the results came back with sad news.
The doctors at the VA told him he has ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease) and that is what had been causing many of the issues he had been having. For me, it made sense why he would systematically jump from subject to subject and routinely repeat himself several times in one sitting.
Due to the illness, that is progressively getting worse, he had to sell his motorcycle, he sold his guns and can not even open a door knob. Yesterday I went over and installed some new handles on the garage for him so he can at least get into his beloved shop for tools. I am more than happy to help him in these ways; I can only hope my sons or perhaps grand kids, would be there to help me when I am old and dying. Ken's son has not spoken to him in years, so for whatever reason that is it means that the help is not coming from him.
Anyway, I was happy to pick up Ken's Glock 22 (yes, another one) and am trying to sell the old 30-30 Winchester for him. He's a good guy who is a real pain in the ass to deal with at times; being stubborn is a trait not well-suited to one who is incapable.

Guest Post: Jeremiah

Jeremiah: I love bacon. That is all.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Really Morbid

I wake up most days thinking about how someday I’ll die. Is this normal? I don’t feel a sense of fear, per se, but rather a sense of motivation to “make it count”. The next thought is whether this is what everyone thinks of or if it is a phase for me. It hasn’t always been this way though. I guess it is good in a way so I get to choose what is important to me now, and what can wait.


Meh. There have been lots of days I was shocked to have lived through and yet here in my safest place in my life thus far, it sneaks back in. Odd really. I have an awesome life though, so I lump this in with “First World Problems”

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Manual Tranny swap days 1 and 2

There are no pics because this is a sort of Top Secret project. Most people who want a manual Volvo either buy one that way or just live with the auto-tragic one until it dies and then end up buying a new car. On day one, out came the sub-frame, axles, all but three bolts that hold the tranny to the motor and various bits all around. We went to Tacoma Screw to get some bolts and was impressed with how awesome that place is. There is a guy who works there that used to work where I work in the same department, except that I was 2 when he worked there.
We only worked for like 4 hours total and got a lot done on day one. Day two we had the help of my little cousin who is an engineer at Boeing, so I assumed he would have some real help, but it was a learning experience for him too. The tranny came out straight away and then we tore out the auto brake pedal assembly, the shifter (taking special care to not anger the grey, anti-theft wire) and bolted up the new flywheel and clutch assembly.
After getting the new shifter cables run and installing the clutch slave cylinder, we attempted to install the new transmission, but clearance was an issue. I think maybe we will get the car a little higher up and lower the motor a bit more than we did. It was dark and getting late, so that was a good stopping point. All in all, everything was nice and smooth.
Day three should be everything for the swap and we just put it all back. YAY!

Sorry, no pics… go cry….

Thursday, January 5, 2012

¡JB Weld Al Rescatè!

So I have a methanol injection nozzle plumbed into my car's intake tract and it's loose. It has been fine for about 5 years, but I can see there is a little gap between the threads and the plastic. Our other car is in the shop right now getting it's 105,000 mile service done and they are having trouble. The car was used in New York for a few years so there is rust everywhere!! We are now waiting to see how much worse the repair gets. I'm really happy I didn't try to tackle this myself, because it would have been way worse. Fingers crossed on overnight PB Blaster soak and some TLC from the techs. Tomorrow I do the second Volvo manual transmission transplant that I've gone. I'll try to get good pics; it's not interesting unless you want to do it or you just appreciate the effort.
Working on your car can be awesome, but it can be a horrible, hellish nightmare. :)

Here is a pic. The grey is the JB Weld and the metal deal sticking upright is the methanol injection nozzle.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Oh Tom...

Me: Yeah man, this salad is great. You take some arugula or spinach; cover it in pomegranate seeds, goat cheese, walnuts and vinaigrette dressing. So good; David’s fiancé made it for the beer tasting.


Tom: Yeah, you know those huge boxes like the ones they would deliver a washer or dryer in?


Me: Yeah.. why?


Tom: If you took one, and filled it up… I mean ALL the way up to the top with AIDS, it still wouldn’t be as gay as what you just said.


Me: …….

A Dark Past and Bright Future

In his young years, he spent his days roaming the mountains of Southern Afghanistan looking for scraps of food with his family. As each slow step sunk slightly into the coarse sand, the effort seemed nearly fruitless at times, as it would take the better part of a day to go a short distance. Having been born a half decade before the United States ever brought war to the region, Torry learned to avoid the common pitfalls such as unexploded ordinance and landmines.


Nights in the valleys were cold and the days were hot, but he carried everything he needed to survive on his back. Following the traditions of generations of other nomads like him, he found joy in the smallest of things. Crawling on his belly over the jagged rocks to avoid being seen while looking for food, his neck, legs and arms showed scars from years of such activity. He had many siblings as well as extended family all living in the same four square miles.


They all grew up without running water, electricity or even a roof over their heads, but they were happy. One after another, his siblings left the area they grew up in, never to be heard from again. One day, Torry was out looking for his food near a ridge when he was grabbed by two large men and thrown into the covered back of a truck. It was dark and the smell of excrement stank in the noon sun. The truck rumbled along as Torry struggled to find a way out.


After what seemed like several days, he was taken from the truck and given a piece of fruit and a small amount of water. His captors had treated him rather kindly compared to some others captured in the region. He was loaded into a crate with a few others who he recognized. There they waited to meet their future. None of them knew what was to happen once the crate was opened. What had they done to deserve this? Where were they going?


Fast forward ten years: Today, Torry lives in America where he no longer has to work as hard to find his food. He lives alone, but has a large house and all the amenities. He no longer worries about stepping on a mine or unexploded rocket, but he does get lonely as there are no others like him nearby. Torry, my Afghanistan Tortoise is awesome… so he deserves a badass story. U mad?

Monday, January 2, 2012


I have known Tom for about 15 years and we used to hang out all the time. We would get together with a bunch of our friends and play Warhammer 40k or D&D (STFU and keep reading!) while drinking Coke and eating McD’s cheeseburgers. Remember when they were 39 cents each on Wednesday? Yeah! That was amazing for us then.

Anyway, over the years, we naturally spent less and less time as the group of friends we once were, but a few of us still stay in touch via email or whatever. Tom is the only one, who really has spent much time with me over the last few years. Although I still value the other guys, they are busy living their lives too, so I can wait. Tom stayed local for the most part and my oldest son calls him “Uncle Tom” which is a pretty badass title to be someone’s uncle and not be blood.

Well, we had a beer tasting a few weeks back and I never heard from old bald-ass and I was being pissy about it. The beer tasting came and went and finally I heard from him; he was all doped up on pain meds after having been in a pretty bad truck accident. Black ice into the median basically sums it up.

In a nutshell, Tom was sick of never having broke a bone, so he thought it would be great timing. Hit icy roads in the afternoon, careen into the median of I-90 in a full-size Chevy truck and not have the airbags deploy. His left leg was twisted all over the driver’s footwell and ended up being broken in several places. He then crawled from the truck onto the pavement in the twenty-something degree weather waiting for help to arrive.

Luckily for Tom, help did come and he did get treated. The cost of the hospital stay, treatment and ambulance ride (What a little pussy, he should have walked) are somewhere along the lines of the difference between his yearly wage and mine…. Basically, Tom has to live like poor man Jack for a bit to pay off those pins, plates and screws in his leg. They are pretty gnarly though.

This all happened the second week of December and I was happy to have spent the last couple days hanging out with him. We had dinner the 30th, he came over to celebrate New Year’s Eve and then we went to brew some beer on New Year’s Day. All in all, it was substantially better than the previous few weeks. He has been going mad sleeping at his parents’ house and reading books drinking smuggled in whisky and vitamin water.

I tried to convince him to write a guest post about his hospital experience and the trippy ass dreams he had on all the pain meds. The ghost cat under the bed sheets was an especially interesting part of the story. We will see if he comes through with that or not. Anyway, here is a pic of Tom with the only facial hair I’ve ever seen on him. Give him a red hat and yellow ear muffs and he could be Yukon Cornelius from “Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer”.

Is it you?

If, as you read this post, you think "well, that could be me" then I'm sorry… It is written for one person. They know who they are… That's right. You know I'm writing about you; little lazy bitch … and YES, I am the end-all, be-all in living healthy *sips coffee*


You use complicated handshakes that nobody else understands to greet friends you've seen only days before. You mask your natural scent with what smells like a combination of lemon Pledge and Raid, which makes my sinuses close up after a few minutes. The shoes you wear trying to be cool are ridiculous and nobody thinks you are edgy or cutting-edge for doing so. Knowing about music that is "underground" doesn't make you cool, it makes you have one less thing to talk to people about (which you whine about all the time).


When you slam on my hobbies, house, job or anything else about me, it really highlights your lack of drive or sense of self worth. To me it sounds like a cry for help…. Remember my last response to your weak-shit insults about my job? As I recall, I said something like "Well yes (some of your points are valid, but dick-ish), but now I'm about to go home on my brand new motorcycle to my huge house where my kids and wife are and where we have two turbo cars in the driveway, chickens, beautiful mountain views and a I'm going to have a few drinks of scotch… (it went on for a while)". Remember how bad you felt when I just shoved your face in that proverbial pile of dog poo?


This description makes my wimpy friend Brian sound like a saint. Brian may be a wuss, but at least he's nice and mostly accurate in his insults. I love destroying people in a way that others can watch and I am still justified in doing so. Also, the smoking… lots of people smoke, but seriously, when are you going to quit smoking those stupid fucking things? Do you think anyone in the smoking area wants to hear about what an asshole your boss is or how stressed you are? I don't think you'd know a bad boss or legit stress if they were standing on your neck. Hell, I have not worked under, around or near a manager or supervisor in several years that I would make a special point to complain about. Go work for my old platoon sergeant and his 70 IQ points and then see what you think.


Maybe this post will trigger something in your mind, which will fix the above-mentioned irritants. Maybe you will just ignore it… we shall see.


Does anyone know someone who sounds like this?