Monday, June 23, 2014

Why I hate shopping for guns

I don’t mean to tar all you gun salesmen with the same brush, but why I can I not walk into a gun shop/gun show without someone trying to sell me a pink gun? About the only time it hasn’t happened was while in the company of about a dozen other gun bloggers. My local store even tried to sell me a pink rifle that was sized down for women. Let that sink in for a moment. He tried to sell an undersized rifle to someone who stands six feet tall and has a 74” wing span. The last gun show I went to, I purposely dressed in brown tweed so as to not trip either the “cute” or the “camouflage” stereotype and I still got flagged down with promises of Mattel colors.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was last Friday. I was in Large Sporting Goods store where I was assisted by a very helpful employee in confirming the black power supplies I needed didn’t exist in his store. I told him I was just going to look at the pistols under glass on my way out, but that I wasn’t in the market for anything any time soon and thanked him for his help. As I worked my way down the counter, I ran into his associate who was chatting up a couple. He asked what I was looking for, and I told him what caliber, but that I wasn’t in the market yet. His response?

“I got a hot pink one in the back!”

I spun on my heel and started to exit, but stopped after two steps and turned back.

“Really?” I said. “The first thing that comes out of your mouth is the color? Not the manufacturer, or the model, but the COLOR? SERIOUSLY?”

The female half of the couple standing there assured me that it was real “purdy”. She’d seen it!

I sighed and resumed my exit.

I don’t have a pink hammer, or a pink trim saw, pink kitchen knives, a pink mixer, a pink lawnmower or a pink car. Other than one pair of scissors, I can not think of a single tool I own that is pink. When I walk into a wine store, the salesweasels don’t assume I drink white zinfandel, or show me where the wine coolers. My used car guy doesn’t try to sell me a minivan. Why do guns stores think I want a pink gun?






Sunday, June 22, 2014

Firelock update

Clothing (that fits!) done? Check.

Supplies inventoried, procured, and cartridge production begun? Check.

Stuck musket ball removed from musket barrel? Check.

Inside of a musket lock

Organizers of the umbrella organization contacted the participants a couple of days ago to let us know that the state of Maryland had updated its black power regulations in 2011 … and they weren’t compatible with the rules of the umbrella organization. (Yes. They figured this out a week before the event.) They thought they had a work-around, but concluded yesterday that there was no way a compromise could be reached, mostly because one group says aluminum foil cartridges are mandatory for live rounds, and the other group forbids aluminum foil cartridges for live rounds.

So, of course, I put 10 shots on paper at 10 yards today that looked like this:

10 rounds on paper. See the one in the middle? Second from the left? Two rounds in that hole.
Yes, I realize this in only 10 yards and not 25, but pffft.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Movie night

Sweet Daughter and I were watching Moulan tonight, and SD was having a very difficult time wrapping her head around a different time and culture that didn't value intelligent women.

"Why does somebody else choose her husband? Why is she wearing that white make-up? Why weren't women allowed to be in the army? Why are they going to execute her when she's such a good soldier? Why don't they use common sense?"

Righteously indignant didn't even begin to cover it.

And unfortunately, I had to tell her that common sense was still in awfully short supply, even today.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Linen outfit jacket and petticoat

Photos courtesy of Sweet Daughter.
Here's the blue linen outfit fashioned from the maternity outfit. Here's it's worn without stays (shocking, I know). Plans are to wear this to the Firelock Match if I get there (long story). The first time I participated, I wore stays, and I ended up feeling like I had whiplash. My guess is that my torso remained pretty much immobile as a result, and my neck took up all the recoil.

I'm hoping I can get the back to fit a bit better -- maybe with stays.
I'll be able to wear this with stays, too, and can upgrade it with a nicer apron and neck handkerchief. Looks like a good outfit for Williamsburg in the dog days of summer. Now I just need a straw hat to go with it.
The important part is that I can move my arms well enough to shoot.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

My next opus

I think the next big sewing project for me is going to be this.

The Ladies Shooting Poney by John Collet

Monday, June 16, 2014


This weekend consisted of lots of random stuff, but I got a surprisingly amount accomplished.

On Friday night I started altering and 18th century jacket and petticoat that had started out life as a maternity outfit, based on this at Colonial Williamsburg, but in navy linen. The idea was that a stomacher could fill in the expanding front, and it would lace shut again after pregnancy.

Image courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg, found here.
I was overly optimistic 9 years ago when I started this. I underestimated how much things widen, and I don’t just mean the waistline. So Friday night saw me letting out the vertical seams and telling myself that the sleeves were now just fashionably snug. On Saturday, I got the petticoat hemmed and the front panel shortened (now that there wasn’t a pregnant belly to cover) and on Sunday I put the hook and eye closures in. Pictures will follow once I get the sleeve ruffles made and attached.

Saturday also saw a whole lot of yard work going on. Clearly, I need a case in remedial weed whacking as I’m not very good at it. I’m blaming the fact that I’m too tall to hold the base parallel to the ground. That’s my story, anyway.

On Sunday, I got up and ran to the local hardware store (well, "ran" after breakfast and coffee) where I purchased 2” x 4”s so I could build some shelves for my sewing room. Holy crap, when did dimensional lumber get so darned expensive? Granted, these are excellent quality with unusually few knots, but pricier than I was expecting. Even with having to trim every single piece, it was still a quick build which left me time for laundry. All the winter bedding got washed and just needs a clean tote so I can put it all away on the new shelves.

As a dear friend would say "Good enough for who it's for."

The strangest part of the weekend? I used the push mower, the riding mower, the string trimmer, a hedge trimmer, various hot and/or pointy kitchen implements, a battery charger, a trim saw, a drill and made countless trips up and down a ladder, and the thing that beat me up the most was that string trimmer.
I see shin guards in my future.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

I feel like such a slacker in my research methods now

"Tim Jenison, a Texas-based inventor, attempts to solve one of the greatest mysteries in the art world: 
How did Dutch master Johannes Vermeer manage to paint so photo-realistically 150 years before the invention of photography? Here's how he conducted his experiment."

Go here to read about it.

Of course, he cheated with a milling machine instead of using a period lathe.

I kid! I kid!

Anyhow, it's interesting to see the experimental archeology process he used.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Two more days

Two more days of school, and Sweet Daughter is at her wits end. Routine and discipline have gone out the window and she’s a mite frustrated. The standardized tests were over with last week. All the snow days we had this winter meant that all the half and full “teacher’s work days” were canceled so that students could make up their time. Teachers are juggling end of year paperwork and rooms full of restless kids. Attention spans are getting shorter and the days seem longer.

The last school assembly was Monday and SD was awarded a reading award medal, and another for making the Distinguished Honor Roll all year. She proudly wore them to school the next day. Today they baked in the sun for “Field Day”. Tomorrow they are to take a game in to play. SD’s taking a book.  

Two more days … and then it’s time to introduce SD to some classic rock.

I was a little older than SD when this came out.

And then on Monday, we get to start summer day camp. Hopefully a change in venue this year will be an improvement.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Looks like I have some reading to do.

In the car, near the end of a two hour drive …
Sweet Daughter: Mom? What’s a “harlot”?
Me: It’s a girl who tries to steal somebody’s boyfriend.
SD: What’s a “bimbo”?
Me: A girl who is usually considered pretty but is either dumb, or pretends to be, so she can get a boyfriend who doesn’t appreciate smart girls.
SD: What’s a “floozy”?
Me: A girl with low standards who will do almost anything to get a boyfriend.
Me:  …….
Me: !!!!
Me: WHAT are you reading, anyway???
(It's *The Land of Stories, The Wishing Spell")

Friday, June 6, 2014

I got nuthin'

Sweet Daughter was running a fever last night, and so she stayed home from school today. I got nuthin', so watch the border closing ceremony betweeen India and Paskistan.

Marvel and the pomp and circumstance. Sit in awe of the drill and ceremony.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The people you meet

Sweet Daughter asked me to chaperone her 3rd grade field trip to a state park today. I was fortunate that in my group of 4 kids, the “special needs” had his own family member show up to keep an eye on him. This person had never chaperoned a field trip before and ended up sitting next to me on the school bus. Turned out to be a former army MP. We started comparing our EDC knives and flashlights. Talked about our carry guns and how nice it was to find somebody else who thought a knife was as necessary as underwear.

She was awesome. She even brought beef jerky.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

I had this dream ...

was riding shotgun with Murphy’s Law who had picked me up at the airport -- somewhere in the southwest, judging by the landscape and climate. Murphy and Belle were in the back seat, hanging on for dear life with resigned looks on their faces that read “Don’t worry … you get used to it.” (You see, I’d been told in real life by somebody who has ridden with him that Murphy is, um, a bit of an impatient driver …)
Anyhow, I was hanging on to the Jesus handle with both hands as Murphy proceeded to dart around and through inconvenient traffic at a rather productive rate of speed until he dropped me off in front of a shopping mall. MSgt B was waiting at the door to intercept me, and we took off through the mall at a power walk. I was dressed in my office clothes consisting of a skirt and heels, and he was in well-used coveralls and boots, and I was simply trying to keep up.
Nothing was said, but MSgt B stopped at every little kiosk and demo in the mall to fill up with complimentary coffee from dozens of little Keurig machines. We circled through the mall until we got back to the door where I entered. MSgt B was fairly vibrating with caffeine at this point. I asked him what was up with all the walking and the coffee. He nodded towards the parking lot and said “To deal with that. Get ready – we’re heading to the truck.”
As we stepped through the doors, I could see a dozen or so guys heading towards us, all with switchblades. I muttered “I got your six” while I readied my purse to use as a melee weapon. At this point I noticed the attackers were all wearing blue or red satin baseball jackets as they sped towards us, running with unusual grace while executing grand jetés every few steps, still waving their blades. I asked “Why the h@!! didn’t Murphy just drop my off at your d@#% truck in the first place?”
At which point my brain couldn’t suspend disbelief any longer and woke me up.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Do It Yourself …

I was diagnosed with spinal stenosis some time ago. My doctor thought it might be bilateral sciatica, but no. It’s just my spine squeezing and causing some numbness in the feet, and other “discomfort” in my back, butt and legs. Stretching helped but, but it was an every day thing, with some days better or worse than others.

Fast forward to last February. I was carrying a load of laundry down the stairs and when I was two stairs from the bottom I, for lack of a better description, fell off the stairs. I don’t know if I tripped, or caught my foot, or just put a foot down wrong, but I landed in a heap with a twisted ankle at the bottom of the stairs. This was one of those where your brain says “GET UP NOW” while the adrenaline was flowing, so I got up. The ankle hurt, and was sore, but I could walk on it. Nothing crunched, or felt like I was getting stabbed, or collapsed. As a matter of fact, the more I walked on it, the better if felt. Ibuprophen, elevation, and a beer also helped.
The next day I wrapped it and spent the day at a gun show. Other than swelling, and a little bruising, it was just sore, and each day it was measurably better.

Why do I bring this up? Ever since falling off the stairs, my back has been pretty much fine. Still a little stiffness at the base of my spine, and I still have some numbness in my feet, but this is the best my back has felt since I started paying attention to it. I don’t sit with one foot tucked under my butt anymore and long car trips don’t make my butt go numb.
I certainly don’t advocate DIY chiropractic, and I realize how very lucky I was, but I’d go through that to fix my back again in a heartbeat.