Friday, September 23, 2011

The Glades

I've watched several episodes of The Glades recently. The more I watch this show, the more I like it. It's more than just cute leads in retreads of the same old cop show plots. It's funny, and thoughtful, and every now and then, touching.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Changes and Time

My shift is ending at the base I guard. It seems the ten-year anniversary of the 9-11 attack will pass without any incidents here, so close to D.C. and a brief walk away from the Pentagon. The world has never really been a safe place, but that message was driven home ten years ago: you are vulnerable. You can be killed not only as a U.S. service member deployed overseas, but as a man, woman, or even child with the temerity to live in these United States.

We are now fighting a war we can neither win nor withdraw from. We are inspected in minute detail when boarding flights, with laughable and pointless restrictions on how much shampoo or toothpaste we are permitted. We may be fondled by security personnel, or strip-searched electronically. Our conversations may be recorded without a judge first granting a warrant, and our government holds many prisoners without granting them the customary rights and protections of prisoners of war or charging them with a crime. While we may withdraw in the not-so-distant future from Afghanistan, leaving it to inevitably return to utter chaos, there seems to be no way to "break contact" with terrorists.

We have fought,and some of us have died fighting in this conflict to protect our families and our way of life, but it seems the longer we fight, the the more we lose. I don't have a solution. So, just after this decade anniversary, we find ourselves looking back on immense quantities of money spent on the conflict.

Our economic policies have finally caught up with us as our population ages, leaving us far too few workers to support the pyramid scheme of Social Security. We are the world power, but our options will rapidly shrink as the amount we owe to foreign governments increases, with no real way to pay it. Our way of life mostly remains, but for how long?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Summer Ends

The heat has finally broken, and Fall seems to be here with cooler temps and rain. Due to changes to my battle assembly ("drill") schedule, I had requested this last weekend off from WSI, but found I was free after all. I had covered a shift for a WSI coworker Thursday night, so after some recovery sleep Friday, I headed back to Pennsylvania.

Sam and I were able to have some hanging-out time as the rest of the family was off with in-laws. Sam and I have been working together on some knives this year. There have been several knife steels I've used extensively over the last 12 years or so, and I've used knives in a few particular applications enough to know some things that work really well.

CDv2 with GunKote and pale jade G10

Sam will be producing a line of large knives that I designed. These knives will be suitable for camp use or make very powerful fighters along the bolo or kukuri "heavy hitter" model. The blades will be about 9" long, and handles will be of micarta. A kydex sheath will be included. I've seen Sam's work. Sam's day job is historical reconstruction, so he usually is rebuilding something while painstakingly matching it to much older construction. I have seen the first two knives of this series, and they are terrific. The 5160 steel used is an excellent big knife/hard use steel because the bit of chrome content adds toughness and some rust resistance, while still being easy to resharpen and keeping an edge.

Initially, the Camp Defenders will be available for $150 shipped, with natural micarta handles, satin finish, and a belt loop attachment on the sheath. $175 gives you a choice of natural or green micarta or light jade G10 handle scales, high-polish or (black or brown) GunKoted blade, and a TekLock or MOLLE attachment on the sheath. These are excellent prices for handmade knives of this size, and I don't know how long Sam will be able to offer them for this. If you want one of the first Camp Defenders at these prices, you can reserve one for $75, with delivery expected within two months after deposit. Send me an email for mailing or PayPal address.

CDv1 with natural canvas micarta and high-polish finish.

v2 is a little heavier and wider-bellied (at bottom):

While at Sam's, I also shot an IDPA match. I'll cover that in more detail in another post.