I don't mean to offend. It's probably going to happen anyway.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Ray Carter

Yesterday the world lost a Good Man, and I lost a friend. Ray Carter, known in the gun blogosphere as Gay Cynic, had been fighting liver cancer for two years. That fight is over.

I had the opportunity last night to sit with friends and remember Ray. There was a lot of laughter and many sad smiles. Ray always seemed to have a way of bringing one of two reactions, laughter and good humored exasperation. He was, despite his cynical handle, nigh impossibly motivated and optimistic. He had so many plots for the betterment of the world, his friends, and good causes (many of which involving the now somewhat infamous 501c3s he was so fond of.)

When I went to my first NRAAM in Houston, I was humbled and amazed at the welcome I received from the community. I met many people I'd been reading for years, and many that I'd talked to on IRC for almost as long. There was only one person there though who went beyond welcoming my appearance to actively seeking me out. That was Ray.

Ray became a close friend. He has helped me through several sticky wickets of life, and led me to consider things I had never imagined. He prompted me to reach out to the Blogorado crowd, and was in a rather real sense my sponsor into the Tribe. My life has been enriched greatly by his kindness, his thoughtful nature, and his sly sense of humor.

It's difficult to remember Ray in any other way than wearing one of his rather ridiculous Hawaiian shirts, with his trademark *trying desperately not to cackle* grin. The red, white, and blue S&W 25 holster, complete with rhinestones and rabbit fur, is rather fitting as well.

We didn't always see eye to eye, but then friends never do, and I think we were both the better for that.

I will miss him, alongside the many whose lives he made a little brighter.

Goodbye my friend. Fair winds and a clear course to you, until we meet again.

Remember.





...remember our Veterans today, and especially those that did not make it back to become Veterans. What Freedom we still enjoy in America is because they thought it worth fighting for.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Seemingly Silent Scribbler


But I assure y'all there is a reason for that. He's been a bit busy...

Getting ready to get hitched! To a lovely young lady whom I am pleased and proud to have as a daughter in law. Congratulations to a fine son and one of the best men I have ever known (and between you and me, THAT is saying something), and best wishes to a cute couple. May you know eternal joy, love, and happiness.

-ScribblersDad

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Projects

I have a tendency to always want to make things. Recently, I've made a number of things, very many of which would likely be interesting to this audience. None of them have been written about. So, here's the first of a series of posts on recent projects.

This is the most recent project. My CZ clone, a Canik55 S120*, is a pretty nice gun, but came with unpleasant plastic grips that felt a bit off in the hand. I decided to do something about it.

More Prettified! I only grabbed the one sided picture. The other side looks similar, albeit with a slightly different grain orientation. Serial number blacked for hopefully obvious reasons.

The wood is Bubinga, also known as African rosewood. It's hard, takes to a varnish ridiculously well, and works reasonably well. The weird contour at the back where it doesn't quite reach the edge is actually the way the original grips were. Weird, but ah well.

Incidentally, 1911 grips are EASY. Nice, straight sides, a flat back, and a simple curvature. This critter is secured by a single screw and a lip that fits into the frame. Right pain in the rear to get everything aligned properly, particularly since, being on a college campus, I couldn't have the gun to hand for fitting. As such, the fit isn't quite what I'd like.

I'm already contemplating a mk 2 out of a lamination of purple heart and ash. For now though, the ugly plastic is no more! Well, once I get a few more coats of lacquer on at least.


ETA This is what the original grips looked like for those who are interested and don't want to google it yourselves. You're welcome!


*I really like this gun. More accurate than I am, comfortable to shoot (all steel 9mm, who knew!?) and the only malf so far was absolutely ammo related. Story for another time. Maybe 250 rounds through it so far.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Without Comment

If democratic peoples substituted the absolute power of a majority in place of all the diverse powers that hindered or retarded beyond measure the ascent of individual reason, the evil would have done nothing but change its character. -Alexis de Tocqueville

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Aristocratic Schmutz

So, I've been in a political theory class this semester. Absolutely fascinating, I recommend it.

In one of my readings in Democracy in America by Tocqueville, I came across this line in a discussion of democracy

"The great privilege of the Americans is to be able to have repairable mistakes."

I found myself agreeing in principle, but realizing that we aren't really repairing mistakes anymore. We're doing it again only harder, or doing the exact opposite, ignoring the bit where the best course of action is sometimes, perhaps even often, doing nothing instead. Just a thought, particularly in regards to the election we just had. We had a remarkable turnover, but that really doesn't repair any of the mistakes that have gone by. The important stuff for that is still to come.

The other thing that occurs to me reading this (Vol 1 Pt 2 chap 6 for those following along at home) is that Tocqueville's criticisms of Aristocracy and Democracy BOTH come together to make modern law really, really bad. On the one hand, we have a handful of career politicians who are functionally aristocracy. They are very good at directing law to suit themselves and their agendas, which, incidentally, are generally not so good. Yet, since we are still in a democratic system, there is lots of law built to appeal to the many disparate interests of congress. This all but inevitably leads to bad law.

In short. Aristocracy leads to effective law to a bad end. Democracy generally leads to crappy law to a good end. Aristocracy manipulating democracy leads to bad law to a bad end.

I may post more little thoughts like this as they come up. Or not. We'll see.

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Pledge of Allegiance

I got into a discussion over Facebook that has stayed civil (for now) over the Pledge of Allegiance. Since, to steal a line from Tam, I hate using good material at an away game, I'll share my thoughts here.

 I personally feel that the 'under God' clause at this point ought to be removed, even if for no other reason than the fractious nature of the debate. For those who object to that clause, I have no problem with them forgoing that phrase. While this country is founded on a great many religious principles, adherence is expected to the principles, not to the religion.

The real problem here is that the American people doesn't exist anymore. We have a great many people who live in the USA, but truly don't hold any allegiance to it. Do I think they should be afforded the privileges of citizenship? Absolutely not. There's a reason that the Pledge is part of the naturalization procedure.

 Let's actually break it down a little. It's a remarkable oath.

 "I pledge allegiance" This is important. A pledge is an act of putting your honor on the line. Allegiance is not obedience. Allegiance is an alignment of will. You stake your honor on aligning yourself with what's to come.

"To the flag of the United States of America" Also important. This does not say "to the government of the USA". Governments are made of people, and are therefore fallible. The flag is a symbol, as expanded in the next part.

"And to the republic for which it stands" Not just a governmental system, but THIS republic, and the philosophies and ideals expressed in the Declaration of Independence and US Constitution. There's a lot wrapped up in that little statement.

"One nation" Here's where it falls apart today. According to Wikipedia, "A nation is a large group of people who share a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent, or history." We don't have that today. The immigrant nature of the American people means that ethnicity, descent and history can't be sources of our nation. Instead it is the American culture and the english language (YES I will take flak for this but it's the language of the land de facto if not de jure) that can give unity. Both have been rejected.

Allegiance to the one nation means a sense of unity with the other people of America. It means casting aside other identities and calling yourself an American, and knowing what that means.

"Under God" I would not expect someone who didn't believe in God to stake their honor on God. This phrase was added much later than everything else and really should be stricken. It is divisive, which is interesting considering...

"Indivisible" This again is One Nation. I won't reiterate.

"With Liberty and Justice for All" Foundational principles to the United States. Note, not liberty and justice for Citizens, or "the right folk", All. Again, an unpopular thing today, whether or not people want to admit it.

This oath is not about obedience to a group of people. It is about allegiance to principles. I think the misunderstanding of what this oath IS has contributed a lot to its lack of popularity. It's almost subversive in its nature, since no obedience is owed the government, merely the principles. Indeed, it is an obligation on your honor to act to keep the government in line with these principles.