Saturday, June 28, 2008

Terror in the Flare Lights

My flash horror piece (another John Dee story) "Terror in the Flare Lights" is now up at The Tiny Globule. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Getting with the times

Okay, I've gotten hip and done what all the kids today do. Oh, the peer pressure. Yes, I've opened a Facebook account. You can see my profile right here.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Happy belated birthday ... to me

Been too busy to blog much lately, but thought I'd bring up that June 14 was my birthday.

I'm 39 years old. Yippy skippy.


And yes, that is a current picture.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Reasons why I blog so many lists

I have lists of books I've read. Lists of weapons I've had experience with. I even have another blog where I list music I like.

Why do I do all this boring, obnoxious stuff?

Well, I mainly do it for two reasons.

1.) I do it for myself. I compulsively make lists online. It's just me. Call me weird. I suppose psychologically-speaking it makes me feel as if I have some control over my life, but I don't normally think about it that deeply. And yeah, of late I don't have a lot of control over my life. Hopefully that will change sooner or later.

2.) I blog lists so often because it allows me, when busy and stressed, to have an idea for a blog post without having to spend much time thinking about it. Call it laziness, if you will. But I like for my blog to be updated fairly regularly. I don't like going to a blog and finding it hasn't been updated in a month, and I don't want to leave anyone else hanging like that.

3.) Okay, okay, I lied. I said there were just two reasons, but there is a third. I blog all this boring junk for my readers. Yeah, I do. I know some of you don't care for my lists, but some of you do. And maybe some of you will learn a few things about weapons, or discover a new book you'd like to read, or remember a favorite song you haven't heard in a while.

Chow for now.

Sten


This is a fun gun to shoot! Set this 9mm submachine gun on full auto and let 'er rip as those bullets just barrel out going brrrrppppp!!!

I've never owned a Sten, but I have had opportunity to fire two them mutliple times. This fine piece of craftsmanship was first used by the British in World War II, and best known for being carried by British paratroopers. I'm sure a number of these landed at D-Day.

Despite the awesomeness of this weapon, it has a decidedly archaic feel to it. The gun has a nice heft, but it's not too heavy, filling your hands just right. But it's all metal, no plastic or wood, which gives it that archaicness. It's sort of hard to describe. Holding a Sten isn't like holding a firearm. It's almost like holding a simple tool of some sorts, a claw hammer for example, that you suddenly discover fires off 9mm rounds. Sounds goofy, I know, but again, the Sten (at least to me) has a uniqueness about it that sets it apart from any other firearm I've ever blazed away with.

Also, another nice thing is that because this weapon is just 9mm, there is next to no kick. The range isn't great, but that's to be expected from a submachine gun. This thing was built for close-up work. On semi-auto I could hit well out to about 50 yards, and even fairly well out to 75 yards. At full auto, though, I couldn't hit crap beyond 10 yards. Not because of any kick, but because it was just so much fun to spray those bullets all over the place.

The Sten is an excellent combat weapon for short ranges. Its relatively underpowered 9mm bullets make it somewhat weak compared to today's military weaponry, but it would still be a threat in urban combat situations.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

.45 caliber flintlock pistol

This is kind of a fun weapon, but it can also be a bit scary at times. It's a blackpowder flintlock pistol I picked up a long while back at a Renaissance festival.

What's scary about this thing, at least the first few times you shoot it, is the great big BLAM and BOOM that goes along with firing it. Yeah, more modern firearms have a recoil and some BANG, but nothing like this.

See, this is blackpowder. Real blackpowder. Not the modern-day Pyrodex stuff.

Blackpowder is an explosive. And when you fire a flintlock there are two explosions very close to one another.

First, there's the small explosion on the side of the barrel where the flint actually strikes metal and causes sparks, which ignite the small amount of powder in the pan there.

Then there's the larger explosion in the actual barrel of the gun.

And all of this is going on at the end of your hand, or maybe even near to your face if you're trying to aim tightly.

Yeah. This can be jarring. At least until you're used to the weapon.

I've never been able to hit anything with this pistol, but it was still fun to have. It always had a good weight to it, feeling solid enough to be used as a club if need be.

This pistol was made in Japan during the 1950s. It's a pretty good weapon for having fun with or doing some target shooting, but it's nothing you'd want to take into a deadly situation today. This weapon is practically no threat whatsoever against anyone using a modern firearm.

Why would anyone link here?

Every once in a while, while using Sitemeter to look in on who is checking out this blog, I discover other bloggers and/or writers have linked to this blog.

Nope, I'm not going to mention names. Don't want to embarrass anyone or look as if I'm pointing fingers.

Because most of the time these are people I've never met, don't know, haven't even had an online conversation with.

I just find this kind of funny in an unusual way.

Sure, plenty of writers and editors I know (some to a good extent, some to a lesser) have put up a link to here. That I get.

But I don't quite understand why others, folks I don't know, will link here.

Yeah, this is basically a writing blog, but I post all kinds of other junk, too. What's going on in my life. Lists and lists and lists of books I've read. List of weapons I've used. Some music. Mini book reviews.

I guess I find it interesting that anyone would link here, especially someone I don't know. Maybe in all this slush I'm spewing forth there is a little bit others find entertaining and/or believe worthy of their attention.

So ... press on, good writers! Press on!

Friday, June 06, 2008

War hammer

This is a fine weapon, one of my favorites. At only 22 inches in length, it might seem a bit short, but the weight of this weapon along with its great quality makes it a deadly element. Using this war hammer combined with the use of my battle axe in the off hand makes for a strong pairing of weapons, especially for someone skilled and trained at two-weapon fighting.

Truly, this is one of the finest weapons I've had the pleasure to own. Any medievel foot soldier would have been glad to have this in battle.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

No. 16 - Paradise Lost

by John Milton
edited by William Kerrigan, John Rumrich and Stephen M. Fallon

Started: June 4
Finished: July 6

Notes: This icon of Christian literature first published in 1667 is something I've been meaning to read for most of my life, and now is a good time since I can read it as research for my John Dee character's stories. The cover image with this post is of the actual copy of the book I'm reading; it's a galley (an uncorrected proof) of a new version of this classic coming out later this year.

Mini review: This is one of the most beautifully-written works I have ever read, full of poetry that is striking to the senses. The story is basically that of the fall of Satan, and then the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and it is a tale told most sad but with hope. I recommend this book for anyone with interests in poetry, fantasy fiction, literature and religion. But a word of warning, the writing is not always easy to follow; it's a bit of a tough read, though it will help if you have a background in classical history because of all the references to the ancient, pre-Christ world.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Happy birthday, Lily!


It's my baby's birthday! Yep, she's nine years old as of June 3. She got lots of toys and treat treats and her favorite, strawberry ice cream.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Story up in Scottish literary mag

My story "Steven Spielberg and The Magic Box" can be found here at The Ranfurly Review.

I'm rather proud of this one, and of the magazine. Give it a try.