Month: February 2024

Expecting “Normalcy” Will Kill You.


I do a lot of city driving in my job and it has taught me that awareness is not a priority with pedestrians. The number of idiots that will cross the street without looking at possible incoming danger is just amazing. And I am not talking about crossing in middle of street but in the corners over the designated pedestrian crossing during an indicated break.

So, what’s the problem? People assume just because they have a sign like above, all incoming traffic will stop, and they will be safe to cross the street without need to ascertain there is no danger incoming. They don’t look at the cars and in way too many cases, they don’t even bother to unglue their faces from the phone. They expect drivers to allow them to pass unhurt.

They place their safety in the hands of others. Even though they have heard or read about pedestrians being hit by careless drivers, they continue to be careless.

Do you want to be if this expectation only happens while crossing the street? No, more than likely they will keep expecting that nothing bad ever happens to them in all aspects of life, that other people will behave nicely and legally all the time.

And that is why they become victims.




At the Fort

TL;DR – I spent the weekend at an 18th century fort, and learned a bit about what I don’t know.

Hands warming over a fire.
Fire is what keeps you warm.

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to present at one of our local 18th century forts. I had a blast, and I got wonderful feedback from the people who came to visit. I was there to do a cooking demonstration, as well as to give people a bit of an idea about what it was like to live in a fort during the French and Indian War. I was set up in the “big house,” or rather the commander’s quarters, along with my partner. We arrived early on Friday afternoon, knowing we’d need to get a good fire going before the sun went down. I wouldn’t say I went into it ignorant, but I really had no idea what I was in for. I had prepared myself mentally for being cold, as the fort is not only without electricity, heat, or running water, it’s also drafty and has a standard 18th century chimney with the flue that yanks all the hot air out. Intellectually, I knew what it was going to be like, and I was more than aware that the night was going to be down to 11F. Intellect does not prepare you for reality, let me just say.

Hagar and partner, in kit
Hagar and her partner, in F&I War kit.

What did I bring with me? Well, I didn’t skimp when it came to modern underpinnings. I had on modern, good quality waffle weave long underwear, and merino wool socks. I had felt slippers that I wore while inside the house, and my modern hiking boots when outside (I don’t yet have appropriate period-accurate footwear for winter use). For at night, I enjoyed snuggling into my military sleep system. I use a British style military folding cot (like this one) which I cover with sheepskins. Over those, I lay a doubled woolen blanket, then my sleep system, and then a nice, thick woolen US Army blanket, regulation green. The temperature inside the house hovered around freezing overnight, possibly a bit below, but not enough to freeze our water jugs through. Outside, it was well below the freezing point, something I was keenly aware of when I had to take the long, brisk walk to the outhouse. I had a cloak to toss over myself, though by mid-day Saturday, I had acclimated to the temperature and didn’t need it.

I was wearing several layers of period correct kit during the day. Over my modern long underwear, I had on a wool chemise with long sleeves, a long sleeve linen dress, a very large kerchief that covered most of my upper body (it’s the black and white check thing you can see at my neck in the picture), and then my bedgown (the red “blouse” I have on). I also had on a thick woolen petticoat and a warm cotton one over top, and then my red checked apron. I enjoyed wearing my fingerless gloves to keep my hands from getting overly cold (though I did a poor job of that). On my head, I wore either my cap (see picture), or a woolen hat, depending on whether I was inside or out. We very carefully closed the kitchen off and stayed there the entire weekend. We set up our cots at night, and stashed them away in a staff-only area during the day. It’s easier to heat a single room. That house would have been impossible to keep warm. As it was, with the fire blazing all day (a totally “white man’s fire” as my partner says), we managed to keep the kitchen in the 40s. Livable, but chilly. Luckily, the fort provides the firewood for us. We went through about a half cord of wood, I’m guessing, just in the three days we were there. We didn’t skimp. Unlike our 18th century ancestors, we do not have brown fat to keep us warm on cold winter nights. My partner has almost no fat at all, and I just have the regular kind. LOL!

Read More

The Little Things Make A Difference

I first purchased my web tumbler more than 20 years ago, as a ball mill.

It has made more than a few pounds of black powder.

Today, it is used mostly for cleaning brass. I’ve been looking and looking for better ways of cleaning my brass.

There are two different times when I’m cleaning brass, before it is processed, and after it has been sized and trimmed.

For after trimming, the wet tumble does a good job of removing those sharp edges. I like using it.

Dawn and LemiShine were not doing a good job of removing the Imperial Sizing wax. The fix was to use a cycle of Purple Power.

The current method is 45 minutes with Dawn Dish soap, followed by 45 minutes with LemiShine.

After trimming, it would be Dawn, Purple Power, and then LemiShine. 45,30,45.

This leaves my brass looking “like new”. Amazing. If you exclude the LemiShine, it doesn’t stay pretty as long, nor does it get as pretty.

So what is this “little thing”? It is a freaking sieve. Yes, a sieve.

Is it perfect? No. It just works better than other things I’ve tried.

It fits in a 5 gal bucket. I just empty the tumbler into it, rinse the casings, shake a bit and then rinse again.

Most of the steel pins fall through into the bucket. I spend 3 to 5 minutes, stirring the cases and tumbling them to get most of the pins out of the casings. It isn’t perfect, by far. It is very much “good enough”.

This silly little sieve has taken a “I do not want to do job” and turned it into “no big deal”. It takes less than 10 minutes to move to the next stage.

It has improved work flow to the point where I cleaned 2000 cases in a little more than a day.

If you wet tumble, this might be worth the $10 to you.

I (hope) will visit ConFinement 2024

Why somebody who is not a Sci-Fi(etc.) ultra fan would go to a Con?

Unless works calls me to work that weekend, I shall be dropping by mainly for two reasons. First I want to meet Sarah Hoyt in person and murder her native language with my mad interpretation via Galician.

The other reason is that Mad Mike may take offense if I don’t go after I told him I might and use me in one of his videos as demonstration of what sharp, pointy things can do to a human body.

OK, there will be shooting involved in Range Day.

I’ll be the one wearing a Psi-Corps pin…. no gloves. Maybe.

Winter 2024 – Confinement 5 (

State Preemption of Red Flags Laws.

SB 2763 and HB 2035

 As introduced, preempts the entire field of legislation regarding extreme risk protection orders to the exclusion of all county, city, town, municipality, or metropolitan government law, ordinances, resolutions, enactments, or regulation; declares a federal statute, rule, executive order, or a federal judicial order that has the effect of enforcing an extreme risk protection order to be null and void; creates a Class A misdemeanor offense of attempting to enforce a federally implemented extreme risk protection order.

Another good-ish bill that seems to be moving and not stuck somewhere in somebody’s desk. I say good-ish because it is only good as long as the Legislature remains Pro Gun and we have a status quo.. The next smart step would be to make a Risk-Protection law designed in such harsh way that assures it will not be abused unless those involved in its misapplication see felony charges and heavy fines.

A hit to Gun Free Zones in Tennessee?

SB 2912 and matching HB 2032:

Firearms and Ammunition – As introduced, removes the offense of possessing a weapon in a building that prohibits or restricts weapons; allows a person with an enhanced handgun carry permit to carry a handgun into a business that prohibits or restricts weapons; removes penalties for violations of certain firearms provisions. – Amends TCA Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 13.


I have long ago ceased to be all childish giggly at good gun bills till the governor signs it. But the fact that this particular one is moving, has a companion bill in the House and has picked up sponsors makes me at least a little wishful.

And yes, there will be those on our side that will crap on this bill because it does not eliminate the GFZs altogether and will refuse to support the effort to which the Gun Control Advocates will like to thank in advance.