Who are we?


As most of you know, I’ve been in Germany, studying hard to improve my Russian language skills, so I haven’t been as diligent about catching up with blogs as I should. But for those of you who aren’t aware, there’s been a bit of Internet/Blog drama going on the past couple of days. Now that I’m caught up and have spoken with the main person involved, I feel confident that I need to write about this.

A few days ago, a blogger and commenter on this blog Erin Pallete wrote a very profound, very honest, very courageous blog entry about who she really is. I will admit I was surprised. Until yesterday, I thought Erin was a fairly hot, very tough, very intelligent woman, based on her comments here and on her writing on her own site. No, I’ve never seen her in person, and have never met her. Our dealings have been Internet-based only, although she and one of my closest frieds, Oleg Volk, are good friends as well. But to me, Erin is still Erin. Nothing has changed, except now I know what she looks like, and she’s not anything I imagined. To me it’s not a big deal.

If you want to read about Erin and her revelation, I would encourage you to do so via the link I provided above.

Done? Good.

Now, here’s what I want to say to Erin and to the rest of the blogosphere:

  1. I support Erin. I support what she did and I support her as a person. I think what she did took a lot of courage. Having made a lot of friends and gained a lot of readers over the years, who have undoubtedly developed their own picture of what Erin is/was, no doubt made the decision to reveal herself a lot more difficult. Good for Erin!
  2. Erin is still Erin. She’s a terrific writer with an incredibly sharp mind. If your opinion of her writing changes based on the fact that she didn’t fit your perception of her, you’re a moron. Period.
  3. If you have been a longtime reader or Internet friend, and are all of a sudden feeling “betrayed,” get over it! Erin is not your wife. She’s not your girlfriend. Most of you don’t even know her in person. Ergo, feeling betrayed, because she doesn’t fit the Internet persona you created for her in your own mind, is stupid.
  4. If you insist on feeling betrayed, fine. It’s a free country. Go sulk in a corner. Stop reading her blog. If you have a blog of your own, vent your sullenness there. But if you insist on using the Interwebs to castigate Erin, to ridicule or insult her and to express your feelings of general ooginess publicly, because ZOMG! ERIN PALLETTE IS NOT WHAT YOU IMAGINED, I promise you I will trash you just as publicly. And I guarantee you I can make up invective better than you can.
  5. I will continue my blog policy of never banning bloggers or deleting comments, even if they’re rude and offensive to me and/or my friends (unless you’re a spammer, an outright racist or post threats of any kind), so you never need to worry about getting banned.

Now, I need to write a few words about my own views. You all already know my views on gays, gay marriage, etc. I treat everyone alike. I believe in equality. I love my gay friends as much as I love my straight friends, and I refuse to pass judgment on whom they love. Period.

My views on transgender, transvestite, trans (insert description here) are much the same. People are people. I will treat them with respect if they reciprocate. I don’t care if you’re a 6’5″ football player who likes to wear women’s lingerie at night. It doesn’t bother me, and it’s your own business. I don’t care if you’re a former Navy SEAL who has decided to live his life as a woman after retirement from military service. You have earned the gratitude of a nation and my eternal respect. I don’t give a flying rat’s ass with whom you sleep or how you live your life. If you are a woman, then you are a woman. Your talents, abilities, skills and knowledge don’t change because of your gender. If you say you are a woman, I will refer to you as “she.” Period. It’s a matter of respect.

That said… Bradley Manning.

To be honest, I’m just not sure how honest he is about this whole wanting to live his life as “Chelsea” thing. We always knew he was gay. So what? What’s the big deal? But he REALLY started to whip out the “Transgender Card” when he realized he was in danger of serious consequences in court. All of a sudden, “Chelsea” was an excuse to violate his oath, betray his country, and do incalculable damage to our diplomatic relations worldwide, not to mention endanger innocent people. So yeah… I’m going to kick that assmaggot as often and as hard as I can. Not because I think being transgender (if he really is) caused him to do these things, but because he’s now using it as an excuse for the inexcusable.

And a final word…

This has been an interesting experiment in Interwebs. How well do we really know our Internet friends? Can you consider them friends, if you’ve never met, had a drink or shook their hand? How much do you all really know about me? Is my photo real? (It is.) Is Rob’s? The great Claire Wolfe hit the nail on the head with the following:

…Erin’s story is also a great testimony to one of the best (and least mentioned) things about the Internet — the ability to relate to others by their heart and soul, not by their age, color, location, sex, gender, or other non-essentials. Pretty damn good testimony for “gun nuts,” too. Gun nuts. You know — those ignorant, racist, homophobic, redneck intolerant good ole boys.


You all have been reading my blog for a while now. You know who I am. You understand my views. You may or may not agree with them, but you read them. I’m grateful for each and every one of you, even those with whom I ardently disagree. But will I match my public persona? I leave that for each and every one of you to decide. Ultimately, if you ever meet me in person, you will either love me or hate me. That’s your business. Mine is to remind you that I’m me, and I will not ever conform to anyone’s ideal of me.

Deal with it.

Dragon Leatherworks – Now a Store


I’m sure you all remember when I got my pretty new holster for Watson, my M1911, and the beautiful new belt to go with it, all lovingly crafted by Dennis at Dragon Leatherworks.

Well, guess what!

Dragon Leatherworks is now a store – a brick and mortar type store. According to Dennis, the store will feature not just the incredibly cool holsters Dennis has become known for, but also belts, ladies’ CCW purses and pocketknives, cleaning supplies, targets, and general shooting paraphernalia as well as actual firearms. It’s going to be pretty fantastic, and Dennis is shooting for (no pun intended) a mid-July opening date.

According to Dennis,

Dragon Leatherworks will be one of only two gun shops in Oak Ridge, and the only one within 3/4 mile of the only (so I’m told) 1000 meter sniper range still operating east of the Mississippi, at the Oak Ridge Sportsmans Association. The big names in this area are Coal Creek Armory, Frontier Firearms, and the Big Box Stores.

So if you’re out there in Tennessee, stop by and see Dennis. His products are top notch, and he’s a damn nice guy to boot!

They got the sign up recently, and this is going to be a wonderful place!

dragon 1dragon 2

Dennis will still make all the custom-made stuff in his shop offsite, but this little store will sell the wares to the public!

I can’t wait to visit!!!

Weekend plans

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Well, for some, it’s Contrived, Hallmark-driven, Cheesy Holiday weekend also known as Valentine’s Day.  For Rob and me, it’s CPAC/RLC weekend (and push hot fluids into Rob to make the cold viruses in his body leave post haste weekend).  That means, we’re running around all weekend, meeting fellow bloggers, politicians (the most intolerable part of the weekend, although, I do like Gary Johnson).

Last night we went out with an old friend of mine.  Steve Gordon and I met in 2004 when he was working with the late Aaron Russo on his campaign to become the Libertarian Party presidential nominee.  I enjoyed Aaron’s company.  The first time I met him, it was at a Gun Rights Policy Conference.  I was carrying. It was in Virginia, I have a concealed carry permit, and I figured it was appropriate.  Someone had introduced me to Aaron, and he grabbed me in a bear hug that nearly crushed my… uh… lungs as a “hello.”  I laughed, and said something to the effect of “You know I’m packing, right?”  I remember Aaron busted out laughing and said something about loving a girl with a gun!

I subsequently endorsed Aaron as the LP candidate for president, but the nomination wound up going to Michael Badnarik.  Steve worked with him too as Communications Director.

I hadn’t seen Steve since then. Between my deployments and his job and last year’s Snowpocalypse, we’d kept in touch on Facebook and emails, but never got together until last night.  And what a reunion THAT was!!!

I hadn’t actually gone to any CPAC events, but was gratified to see that many of the social conservative assholes chose not to attend this year’s conference, because *ZOMG!* there are going to be GHEYS there!!!!  Oh NOES!!1!!!1!!1.  I was also gratified to hear Steve say that CPAC should really be called LPAC this year, because a lot of the Republican folks present were more libertarian in nature.

I also got to meet some aspiring writers, college students who respect the principles of fiscal responsibility for the government and personal responsibility for the individual.  I met Robert Stacy McCain of The Other McCain – not the one whom I repeatedly want to hit with the blunt object for is obsequious moderacy, but the writer.

I met new folks and made new friends, and I had a blast!  I haven’t laughed so hard in years, and I wound up with a sore throat from all the laughing.

Today we’re off to the RLC convention.  I plan on meeting up with some friends, attending some events, and generally having a wonderful time!  Photos to follow!

Why Rachel is Awesome


I rarely devote entire posts to my friends, but in this case, I must make an exception.  My buddy Rachel knows me well enough to know that:

a) I like quirky
b) I hate Sarah Palin’s voice
c) I love the chicken man, but am somewhat apathetic about chicken
d) I will sing that song at the top of my voice until my vocal chords bleed

All of the above may seem like random ruminations of a raving loon, but I promise you there’s a point to this.  And the point is this:

Rachel knows that (as I pointed out on her blog today), I’d rather listen to the dulcet sound of Fran Drescher being gangbanged by Kermit the Frog, Justin Bieber and Jar Jar Binks than another platitude about limited government out of Palin’s maw. She also knows that while I’m pretty much lukewarm when it comes to chicken, I find the song to be an endless source of entertainment.  Rachel and I also agree that Sarah Palin’s voice and accent are the auditory equivalent of nails on a chalkboard.  So when she made this video for me, she ensured that Palin sounded like a 7-11 clerk mated with a BBC newscaster!


I’m back!


Well, the exam is done. I don’t know how I did. I don’t want to really think about it until I get my scores. I don’t even want to postulate. After a month of nothing but studying, I don’t want to think about this exam. I want to relax, sleep and get back into blogging.

On Friday night, I pretty much gave up on the whole studying thing.  It was probably smart. Superman and I drove to work together, and after we were finished, we drove to my house. Robodog was fed and walked, and I made the most amazing spaghetti on the planet!!! I usually use commercial sauce as a base, but I add extras. This time, I added slices of garlic, brown sugar, worcestershire sauce, basil and dried tomato ground up fine, and Mrs. Dash spice mix to the meat before adding just a touch of sauce to make the meat “saucy.” Superman loved it!  He had two gigantic, heaping servings, and even tried to duplicate the recipe the next morning for… uh… breakfast.

After dinner, we drove to his house and fed Lagniappe, who squeaked with delight when he saw us pull up. Then, Superman took me to see Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. The book was complex, both from a storyline and from a psychological aspect, and while the movie left a lot out, they did a pretty good job capturing the essence of the book. I was not disappointed. We wound up catching the 9 pm show, and we had drinks prior to the movie. It was nice! I needed a night out, and Superman didn’t disappoint.

I learned several things these past few weeks as I studied. 

  • Yes, there is such a thing as overstudying. My brain felt a little swollen and full.  I knew I knew this stuff, but for some reason, the last few days before the exam, I couldn’t put a coherent sentence together.
  • Taking breaks during studying is a good thing.
  • Having friends give you the occasional shot in the arm and a dose of reality a la “You know this stuff. Stop stressing about it. You’re making yourself crazy.” is a positive thing. (Thanks to Ed, in particular, who really knows how to hit me over the head with a dose of directness like no one else)

In any case, I’m done, and I don’t want to think about it until I either get my scores, or my diploma.

Now… on to bigger and better things.

Let the blogging resume!

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