Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Hammerus Interruptus

Where's Jim Adler When Ya Need Him??

Well, damn...

The eBayer selling my new warhammer decided he was out of stock, and cancelled the sale.  As a result, no zombie whacker, and to add insult to injury, when you backwash money via an eBay sales refund up into the PayPal/Bank chain, it causes all sorts of mischief.  My bank card is now getting declined or "call for authorization" messages.  Paypal informs me that it "may take several days for complete release of funds"

WTF??  The only funds they had was the $50 I transferred in.  Somehow they get to bollix up my personal bank account??

Oh, well.  Back to the shopping.

Found this bit of ancient iron on eBay:

It's an old miner's pick someone has reforged so it's got a hammerhead.  Alas, I fell asleep and missed the auction cutoff, and some bidsniper pounced on it.

No worries, I found this one for a cheaper price!  Same kind of pickhead, but this one's some sort of trophy or award.  It's been chrome-plated!  Shiny!!!

So, instead of a grubby old pick handle, I'll get a suitable length of walnut and polish it up before mounting the head.  Almost makes me wish my name was Maxwell...

Sooner or later, I'll get my warhammer!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Bring Enough Gun!

OK, This May Be Overkill...

Just in time for the weekend, here's an oddity from Ze Churmans.

Back in the day, the Krauts had aspirations of colonizing Africa. While this rifle predates their era of steaming around big African lakes in light cruisers and bothering Charlie Allnut, some Hun shlepped this UberboomenKanone through the brush in an effort to shoot Der GrauenLongenBuglerSchnoot for its ivory.

The rifle is dated 1844, with Munich engraved as the likely place of origin.

It's a verdamnt monster.  Can't say for certain how much it weighs, but I'd be surprised if it was any less than 25 lbs.  The dollar bill gives you some idea of the bulk of this thing.

Interesting lock on the beastie.  First, you yank out the locking key, conveniently lashed to the gun so you don't lose it. You throw the lever down & forward, and it cranks the entire breechblock upwards. It's kind of like the Hall Carbine on a massive scale.

Once the breechblock is raised, you stuff in a sheisseload of black powder (10 drams?) and what looks to be a Brunswick Rifle-style of belted ball.  Then, throw the lever to lower the action, stick the locking key in place, put on a percussion cap and hire a couple of gunbearers to tote the thing until you see Jumbo.

Caliber looks to be at least .75, and probably the driving bands exceed an inch in diameter.  That's a lot of lead!

If you want this big bullet-flinger, bring some cash.  It's a mere $10,750 at Collector's Firearms!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Hammer Update

I'd Hammer In The Morning!  I'd Hammer In The Evening!

OK, here's where we are on the war hammer quest:

There were a couple of great suggestions in the comments about the type of hammer to select.  I had no idea there was such an oddball selection of hammers available, but it appears there's at least as many varieties as there are screwdriver tips.  Maybe more...

Og of Neanderpundit suggested a spike maul or a backing out hammer.  The first is for bashing railroad spikes into sleepers, the second for driving pins or rivets out of snug holes.

The spike maul looks a bit heavy for extended zombie-smacking, and the backing-out hammer's handle looks a bit short, but I LOVE the long extended striking surface.  Another good candidate for re-handling with a longer helve.

Similar to the spike maul on a smaller scale is the electrician's hammer.  It's got the extended head for reaching deep into junction boxes to drive nails.  Haven't found one with a handle longer than 16 inches, though...

Another suggestion was for a Rex Tool.  This would be more in the wrecking bar family, like the Stanley FUBAR or the fireman's Halligan Tool.  Mostly, they're too heavy and hard to use one-handed.  They do make Halligan tools in titanium, but you best have a thick wad of cash handy.

Another suggestion was for an ice axe.  They look nasty, but they're a bit lightweight, and I wonder about their long-term durability.

Halfway between a wrecking bar and a battleaxe is a gizmo called a Fireman's Tool.  The same company also makes something called a Trucker's Friend, and they do look pretty lethal.  Unfortunately, they're out of stock on both, and there's no word on if and when they're resuming production.

One that looks all kinds of fun is a rare bird called a slating hammer.  Used for shaping and installing slate roofing tiles, it's just about perfect except for the short handle and the nail puller on the side.

I think I have a winner, though!  From a company called Dead On, it's a framing hammer with the longest handle I've yet seen.  At 24 ounces, it's just about perfect for plowing through a herd of the undead with minimal muscle strain!

I give you, the Dead On Undead Re-Deadifier!!

Found one for $40 + S&H on eBay.  Should be here by Monday!!!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

I Ain't Dead Yet...

Just The Area Between My Ears.

After a couple of cancellations, I finally managed to get in to see my regular physician and the cardiologist for a 10,000 mile checkup.

This one had the full workup, sucking out some blood and peeing in a cup. One of these days he's gonna be probulating my bunghole as a routine thing, but I'm still a few years away from that, for which I give thanks.

Aside from some minor issues mostly caused by being over 40, over-lazy and overweight, I seem to be in fairly good health.

Check 'em:
BP 135/90
Total Cholesterol - 135
HDL - 41
LDL - 75
Triglycerides - 95
Fasting Glucose - 97
A1C - 6.1

If I can manage to keep the sugars and carbs down, I'll see the glucose count and A1C drop, and get me closer to "ain't got the diabeetus" as opposed to "sorta got the diabeetus". Gotta get the A1C down to under 5.7...

Thursday, January 17, 2013

AKs For @ssholes

With Extra Webley Blingtastic Fun!!

OK, I can see some south-of-the-border narcotraficante getting coked to the gills and wanting some flash on his AK.

Where did these come from, though??

I suspect another Fast & Furious type of operation, with pre-blinged weaponry!

Also, someone has desecrated a Webley...

All can be purchased at Collector's Firearms!  Hurry before they're gone!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Hammer Time!

Beat On The Dead With A Spiky Head, Oh Yeah!!

For some time now, I've been interested in acquiring a war hammer.

Can't say why, for certain.  I've got all manner of firearms and sharp pointy things with which to inflict mayhem, but some deep urge is telling me that my arsenal just isn't complete without something that will cause at least 3d6 of blunt force damage.

Maybe it's my subconscious alerting me to the impending zombie apocalypse.  I sure hope not.  Still, a nice spiked mallet has all sorts of advantages over swords and axes when it comes to destroying cranial domes.

There's less chance it'll ricochet or skid off the skull, and usually it won't chew into the bone and get stuck, or even worse, chip and shatter.  As strong as steel is, it does weird things when it hits that moist/hard matrix that is fresh bone.  I've turned a thick Bowie blade into a serrated edge chopping through deer bone.  (Hint:  Use a hacksaw!!)

The problem, though, is that the replicas out there usually suck, or they're designed to defeat plate armor, not the undead.

So, what are we looking for?

First, a long sturdy handle.  Given my druthers, I'd prefer at least 30" of handle, though I would go with 24" if I had to.  I want some space between my knuckles and zombie teeth.

Second, the head needs to be heavy enough to do some business, but not so heavy it'll wear you out after a few swings.  An 8 lb sledge will bust up just about anything, but go out and whirl one around for a few minutes.  You'll be gasping for air sooner than you guessed...

The handle needs to be at least an inch in diameter.  Any thinner than that and you'll stress the join between head and handle.  I've used and abused too many tomahawks to try a tapered hammer-style handle.  It needs to be shaped more like an axe or pick handle to have the required strength.

The spiked back end is useful, but not 100% necessary.  Again, it's dead skulls you're cracking, not great helms.  Some warhammers have strips of metal called langets bolted to the handle to protect it, but unless you're parrying edged weapons, they're of little practical use.

I may end up having to custom-craft a Whammer.  Nothing out on the market really suits.  Here's what I've found so far:

Cold Steel Warhammer - Tiny head held on with an Allen screw.  Requires assembly.  Has steel langets to protect shaft, but shaft is sub-par and too thin.

Framing hammers  - The largest of the construction hammers, the framing hammer has a long handle (16 inches) and a straight claw as opposed to the curved claw on a regular hammer.  If the handle were just a bit longer, it would be a contender!

Ball Peen hammer - On the plus side, you can get them in different sizes in 2 ounce gradients, from tiny little jeweler's hammers to brawny blacksmithing mallets.  Handle length is still a problem, and head diameter only allows for standard hammer handles.

Sledgehammers - Way too heavy.  Even the 2 lb sledge gets wearisome after a short while.

Repro warhammers - Usually cheap construction and crappy handles. 

Deadblow Hammers - Despite the perfect name, they're way too heavy, and the bright orange color is distracting.  We used to call these "clown hammers" at a past job.

Engineer hammers - Usually too heavy.

Rock hammers - Heads are just about perfect, but handles way too short!

And so, the search goes on.  Please let me know if you see anything that fits the bill!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Slow Weekend

A Whole Lotta Nothin' Goin' On...

In other words, an almost perfect weekend!

Two days off, where I had a stack of errands, tasks and a couple of doctor's visits planned.  Of course, both doctors cancelled, so that threw things into upheaval.

Still, got a few things done and filled the remaining time with pro-grade napping and getting some reading done.

So, one more day of long weekend tomorrow, then a full 5 day week.  Fortunately, there's a three day weekend after that.

It'll be a long stretch to the next holiday...  Not due another scheduled vacation day until Memorial Day...

Friday, January 11, 2013

Rainy Night Hit & Run

On the Whole, I'd Rather Be in Philadelphia...

Well, I didn't mean to let a day go by before writing about this, but in truth, I've been napping on & off most of the day Thursday, and generally feeling just out of steam.

I suppose it could be  touch of the flu, but more likely it's the result of adrenaline overload from Wednesday night's (mis)adventure.

I got off work at 6pm, and had a few errands before heading home.  Had to gas the truck, go to CVS to pick up a scrip, hit a Redbox for some flicks, and pick up dinner.

I've spent a bit of time wondering about how things might have been different if I'd picked a different order for the errands.  If I'd picked the gas station on Clay Road instead of the one on Westview.  If I'd just used the Redbox at the CVS after picking up the scrip, instead of deciding to drive to the one at the Walgreen's because there was a crowd waiting to use it.  If I'd wanted a chicken sammich from Whataburger instead of the chicken sammich from Sonic. 

At any rate, just after 7 pm, I'm heading north on Blalock Rd. heading for Kempwood Dr, in the left lane.  It's dark, damp, and it had been raining all day.  There's  white pickup about three car lengths in front of me, a brown van in the right lane just ahead of me, and a little red Vespa-type scooter tooling along beside me.

As we got within 200 yards of the intersection, the brown van pulled into the left lane ahead of me, and the scooter kept running in the right lane.

Here's where things got weird...

The white truck either slowed suddenly, or went to make a left turn into the shopping center.  The driver of the van didn't like that turn of events, and went to swerve back into the right lane and go around the truck.  Unfortunately, the scooter driver was occupying that piece of real estate.

There was an audible *CRUNCH*, and the scooter driver bounced off the van, ran into the curb, then faceplanted onto the pavement and slid to a stop.

As I'm watching this, I had horrible visions of this poor scooter driver sliding under my truck, but I managed to get slowed down and got the truck stopped in the right lane, where hopefully any oncoming traffic wouldn't finish the job the brown van started.

As I'm scrambling for my cell phone and taking the truck out of gear, I see the white truck turn into the shopping center, but lose track of the brown van.  I'm hoping one or both will turn around and come back, but that didn't happen.

The scooter driver was out cold, wasn't bleeding that I could tell, and was breathing steadily. At first I thought it was a young blonde kid, but it turned out to be a grey-haired older woman.

I could not get my damned phone to work.  I kept bringing up the contacts list or the voicemail app instead of the dialer.  I finally took a breath, concentrated and managed to get 911 dialed.

As I'm on the phone with 911, a couple of people came up to the scene.  One was a driver coming from the opposite direction, another was a customer at a taco truck up on the right.

Both offered to go turn on my hazards, but I remember apologizing (for some reason) that they didn't work.  I do recall asking one of them to switch off the scooter's ignition in case the gas tank let loose.

911 seemed to take forever, but I heard sirens within 5 minutes.  That was a long, long 5 minutes, though.  I kept hoping the scooter driver would just keep breathing.  She hadn't vomited, and some young woman in the growing crowd kneeled down next to the driver's head to listen for breathing.

The young man that stopped offered to park behind me since he had working flashers, and by the time he got parked, the cops had arrived and started blocking off the road.  The ambulance was there a minute later, and I was questioned by the paramedics.  They were concerned the driver had been run over.

The EMTs got a backboard out, got her rolled over and transferred to the gurney.  They left her helmet on, but she was talking and said she wasn't in any great pain.

About that time the cops asked me to pull into the taco truck parking lot, and dismissed the other bystanders.
As I'm sitting waiting to give a statement, the young man who stopped to assist came over and thanked me for stopping and said what I did was commendable.  I appreciate that he said that, but honestly, what else are you going to do?  Only a gutless shitbag like the driver of the van would keep driving and leave someone helpless on the pavement.

The cops took my statement and got my contact info, and cut me loose.  As I'm leaving , the ambo pulled into the parking lot and stopped.  I'm not sure why they weren't already on the way to the hospital, but eventually I found out.

About 45 minutes later, I'm at the house just about to tuck into my nice hot chicken sammich when my cell rings.
It's the po-leece, and they want me to come back to the accident scene.

Ho-lee shit!  What's that about?  I agree, say I'll be there in 20 minutes, and head out the door.

As I arrive, it's just like I left it an hour ago, with the addition of a couple dozen lookie-loos, a few more cops and a Channel 13 news truck.  I get directed to a parking lot and eventually a couple of cops come over and speak with me.

Turns out the scooter driver was really badly hurt, might not live, and a charge against the van driver of leaving the scene and failure to stop and render aid might turn into felony manslaughter, so the cops were needing as much info as they could get.

So, through the story again, into the cop's digital recorder.  I had the receipt from CVS with the time & date, so we could put a general time on the event.  They also got statements from the people at the taco truck and a couple of other bystanders.

Eventually I was cut loose again, this time for good.  I haven't seen anything in the local news about it, but I've got the lead investigator's name, and I'll see if I can't contact him and learn what happened.

So, there it is.  My Wednesday night (mis)adventure.

How's your week going??

Monday, January 07, 2013

How To F#&% Up A 1911A1

Put Down The Engraver And Walk Away!!!

Man, this goes so far beyond WECSOG or Bubba gunsmithing, it's not funny...

With Bubba, at least there's a purpose for the horrible gunsmithery.  This is nothing but bad taste.  Might as well be gold plated with tiger stripes.  Yeesh.

Anyway, remember Ferrari Man?  The dude that showed up at the gun range not only in a Ferrari, but completely decked out head to foot in Ferrari gear?

Looks like he's selling his custom 1911 pistol at Collector's Firearms:
Colt Government .45 ACP caliber pistol. One of a kind "Ferrari" Colt 1911. Customized by the Gun Smoke shop in Colorado that is featured on the show American Guns. Very neat gun that has a slim down frame, textured front and back strap as well as textured small parts. Trijicon tactical night sights have been added. The slide has been engraved with the Ferrari name and logo. Custom grips with the Ferrari name and logo equip this piece. Truly a one of a kind "Ferrari" gun!
All this awesomeness can be yours for only $6950!!

Friday, January 04, 2013

Odds & Ends

Readin', Watchin', And Incarceratin'...

My stack of reading material never seems to lessen.  I really ought to look into one of these newfangled e-readers, given that my total weight of printed material in my possession might very well outweigh the frame & roof of the house & garage.

The latest from Larry Correia, Monster Hunter Legion, is the 4th in the Monster Hunter International series. Not as fun as the 1st, and not as dark as the second, it's still a rollicking good read set in Las Vegas. 

I've also got the 2nd book in his Grimnoir series in the pile.  Looking forward to that one!

Finished the 1st in Taylor Anderson's 'Destroyermen' series.  I liked it so much I ordered the rest from Amazon.  It's a mil-skiffy romp set in the south Pacific, featuring a couple of WWI-era destroyers that ooze through a space/time warp into a world physically identical to ours, but where primates weren't the result of millions of years of evolution...

I'm about 1/3 of the way into 'When Diplomacy Fails', the latest Ripple Creek Security novel by Michael Z. Williamson.  Gotta admit, It's a bit tedious up to this point.  I suppose he's trying to show the endless knots that private security companies have to face from the military, governments and NGOs, but I'd just as soon have 400 pages of shit gettin' blowed up.  (See Monster Hunter Legion, above...)

Watched a few movies lately.

Despite the toothsome Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, the latest Batman flick left me cold.  I never really bought into Christian Bale in the role, and the Bane character is a pale shadow of the one in the comics.  Can't recommend.

Savages is like a weird cross between a Tarantino shoot-em-up, and one of the non-funny Cheech & Chong movies from the 80's.  Weed & guns don't mix...

I did enjoy the remake of 'Total Recall'.  It stayed close enough to the original to keep me alert to tweaks in the storyline, yet was overall different enough to seem fresh and original.
The "elevator" is a bit farfetched, but then so was terraforming on Mars.  Enjoyable!

My buddy that was jailed down here in Harris County has been relocated up north.  Still the same charges and bail, just a new venue.  This county posts mugshots, too.  Man, he's put on some years.  I know, jail's kinda hard on you, but still... Damn...

Y'all have a good weekend, y'hear?

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Earworm Alert

January Weirdness

For some reason, I'm hearing my grandmother sing this song in my noggin.  She was also a big fan of "De Camptown Ladies"

Hope it's just happy memories, and not schizophrenia...

"Animal Fair"

I went to the Animal Fair
The birds and the beasts were there
The big baboon by the light of the moon
Was combing his auburn hair

You should have seen the monk
He sat on the elephant's trunk
The elephant sneezed and fell on his knees
And that was the end of the monk
The monk, the monk, the monk,

Said a flea to a fly in a flue
Said the flea "Oh what shall we do?"
Said the fly, "Let us flee!"; said the flea, "Let us fly!"
So they flew through a flaw in the flue

I went to the Animal Fair
The birds and the beasts were there
The big baboon by the light of the moon
Was combing his auburn hair

You should have seen the monk
He sat on the elephant's trunk
The elephant sneezed and fell on his knees
And that was the end of the monk
The monk, the monk, the monk,
The monk, the monk, the monk?

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

New Years Traditions

2013 Is Here, Whether We Want It Or Not.

One tradition I'm glad to have left behind is the cripppling hangover...

Last night was spent up at the Cisco Kid's place with a crowd of folks, fireworks and some good munchies.  For whatever reason, my urge to guzzle booze was not present, and I had a glass of champagne at midnight and let it go at that.

My brain is thanking me today!

So, now it's a lazy day either reading, napping or watching the tube.  I'm waiting for a slice of frozen pecan pie to thaw out to finish up the traditional New Year's Day meal.

Mmmmm...  A big mess of collard greens, black eyed peas and a big chunk of country ham.  Some hot biscuits and fresh iced tea, and I'm one happy camper.  Didja know you can make a mini-sammich out of all the above food ingredients?  OmNomNomNom!!

I understand some folks include cabbage in the New Year's meal.  I'm not opposed to it, but that's never been a vegetable I consume other than in coleslaw or Chinese food.

Any traditional foods in your neck of the woods?