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

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

Two millennia ago, a man was hung on a cross for the audacity of going against established doctrine. His message was one of peace and love, and for all that you may not believe in the divinity of the man, the events recognized today have changed the world in very fundamental ways. I am inclined to believe it is changed for the better.

For those of my readers who are Christians, take today to remember your savior and be with your family and friends. His crucifixion marked the beginning of the end for his earthly ministry, and the beginning of a wonderful change in human history.

For those of my readers who are not Christians, have a nice day. I don't mean that as dismissive. I truly wish everyone a wonderful day, regardless of your beliefs. Today is a good day for all mankind.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Red Squares

AKA, the post in which I irritate everybody and possibly receive a few death threats. What can I say, it's been boring lately.

Anyone on Facebook recently has no doubt seen the rash of red squares with two pink lines cropping up as profile pictures. The rhetoric over the entire Gay Rights/Gay Marriage issue has flared up hugely on both sides, and I'm sitting crossly in the middle getting sick of my feed of interesting factoids, tumblr reposts, and spotify notifications being flooded with poorly thought out, vitriolic, simplistic, and sarcastic posts on the subject.

I feel like I'm in prime snark form today.

Getting down to the serious issue, I've posted once before about my stance on gay marriage. I feel like some of it bears returning to. For those who for whatever reason don't want to click through to my old link, I have a short set of basic questions. First off, what exactly is the 'right to marriage' so often talked about? What exactly is different between legal marriage and contractual stipulations of the various aspects of? How do you intend to to elicit societal change through law? And lastly, What business is it of the Fed what anyone's marital status is?

This last question I feel deserves a greater degree of investigation.

I have a number of friends who are of the LGBTLMNOPZetc. persuasion, both in the flesh and on the WWW. I think they are all good people, else they wouldn't be my friends. I am all for the government keeping its nose out of the private details of their lives. If they want to live together and love each other and call each other Frankie, I really do not care. If these people are of the same gender, I don't happen to agree with it for personal and religious reasons, but I am absolutely not going to try and stop them. Here's the thing. All of this applies to heterosexual couples as well.

Where do we as a society and those in government get off on trying to tell other people what they should do?

I am a Mormon planning on going on a mission. Clearly, I don't think everyone in the world is always doing the right things, or are on the right track with their lives. I want some people to change. I want it for their benefit though, and I will never force any of my beliefs on anyone else. Different people believe different things. I don't have to agree to respect that.

The problem I run into, personally, with the gay marriage issue is that it just doesn't make sense. It's a contradiction of terms, like saying bluish orange, or broiling cold. Marriage in my book and in the traditional sense is a union between a man and a woman, covenanted with God. It seems like everyone who  is not married in a religious sense is just pantomiming. Civil Union, Domestic Partnership, these are more accurate labels for a great many 'marriages' across the country than marriage. You can call your best friend your brother or sister all you want, and the emotional bond may be just as strong, but you will never be biologically and technically accurate.

In the end, I know that this comes down to an issue of semantics. It's a case of "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it does." If the governmental institution of marriage, which admittedly has its usefulness in convenience of such things as power of attorney and visiting rights, wants to exist, I personally would change its name to something more accurately reflecting the nature of the arrangement and extend that arrangement to any pair of adults who wish it.

This seems to me to be a bridge that covers the gaps in what most people are talking about. It preserves the sanctity of marriage by recognizing that it doesn't really happen in many typical US marriages. It provides equal protection under the law to all couples. The people who think all gays are spawns of satan, and the people that try to convert everyone on earth to being gay free lovers, are both left out of this consideration, but both are fairly small minorities and both are unrealistic to accommodate.

The broadest points I can make are these. The .gov really doesn't have any business in this issue on either the straight or otherwise position. If a system has to be for stuff (I do see legitimacy to some government awareness of relationships) I think it needs to be extremely limited to emergency power of attorney and other similar things. Taxes should have nothing to do with marriage. Employment benefits should be a contractual matter between employer and employee.

You don't get to call your relationship something it isn't. If you want acceptance for your relationship, don't try to get it by pretending it's marriage. Words have meaning.

This brings me tangentially to the other thing I wanted to talk to on this issue. The red squares. Turning this into an "Us V Them" situation and heckling those who disagree as haters and bigots. Caring more about being seen doing something than actually doing anything. Simplifying a complex issue into "I want it and you're a meanie and a bigot for not wanting to give it to me".

Just... stop. I keep this blog for my political rantings and ravings because I know no one has to look at it who doesn't want to. Facebook is not your soapbox. Feel free to get one, just don't force it on anyone. (Yes, I am guilty of this at times. I try to avoid it)

In a way, that's the fundamental issue. I just ended a long and grueling conversation with a gay marriage activist, and the end result was that he wanted to force everyone to accept it by fiat. I have a problem with that. Just let it go. Drop the empty gestures and shrill cries. Learn to accept that not everyone is going to agree with you. Tolerate intolerance. And just give it a rest. The SC will decide what it will entirely independently of how many red boxes turn up on Facebook.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


I may not actually be able to bring my bow to the next blogshoot, for reasons I hope are obvious from this picture.

Lessons learned:
1. Be more careful in tillering.
2. Use several layers of backing.
3. Be more careful in tillering.
3. Popping noises are very bad.
5. Be more careful in tillering.

With any luck, the next attempt will go somewhat better. Time to get started.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Shotgun wants

The last time I shot clays was at Scout camp when I was about 12. At that age, the gun may very well have weighed more than I did. Add to that the relative punishment of a 20 gauge (I had only shot a .22 at that point) and a very short flight for the clay, and I was a. unable to hit anything and b. highly uncomfortable and discouraged.

I am now rather bigger and stronger, and I'm interested in learning to shoot clays. I know I can handle them at this point, having fired several in recent months, and am now trying to decide which to get. Do you readers have any recommendations? My requirements are wood furniture (call me a purist, oh well.) swappable chokes/barrels, and a budget befitting a college student. 12 or 20 is acceptable. Primary purpose will be sporting clays, but it should be able to handle slugs at need. Let me know in comments or email if you have any ideas (or if you're looking to sell perchance.)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Bow progress

This is the bow at 30 lbs at 15" from low brace. I'm shooting for 40lb at 27" from full, so I have a ways to go, bit this thoroughly pleases me.
Red oak with silk backing, hand made b50 Dacron Flemish two ply string.

Cognitive Dissonance

Aim Surplus is sold out of Mosin Nagants. Say WHAT!?

I know that people are buying up everything and anything these days, but seriously? I will never complain about people buying guns, but it just entertains me that this current mania is extending to the Mosin.

In other news, I am attempting to track down the least painfully expensive parts for my Enfield. While I can get the pieces I strictly need relatively cheaply, they're expensive enough and apparently rare enough that I am disinclined to spend $20 on a piece of antique walnut and chop it in half to match the sporterized forearm. As such, I'm also looking to get a new, full length forearm, which in turn means a new set of front end hardware. I'd basically end up replacing everything north of the receiver except the sights. Granted, Springfield Sporters means I can do that for right in the neighborhood of 100$, but that's a fair sight more expensive than I was expecting this repair to be.

Guys, (and gals), when did guns become so expensive?

Yes, I am being facetious here.

In other, other news, I will hopefully have an offering at the next blogshoot, May 26. The bow is coming along nicely, as are the arrows. Unfortunately, my dad will be unable to make it down with the boomy arsenal.