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Posts published in January 2005

Thousands of steel rings create…

Every wonder how the cool looking chainmaille (chain mail) shirts, coifs and other various protective garments were made? I was doing a little clean up of one of my file servers and I stumbled across some old files I’d stashed away that may be of some interest to others. During a long and cold Wisconsin winter I took up the task of studying and mastering the creation of chainmaille, many of the different weaves that were used around the world during the Dark Ages. I now have a mid thigh length chainmaille shirt, made from 10’s of thousands of 14 gauge galvanized steel rings. This little project took me months to complete and weighs in at over 60 pounds. How did the knights and such bear such tremendous weight is beyond me. But it was fun, and I was even able to support my little hobby while I was add it, even made a few hundred bucks selling the excess rings in eBay.

So I reposted the web pages on something I called Dakar’s Armory

Some examples; Euro 4 in 1Euro 8 in 1Oriental 6 in 1

Again, take a look at Dakar’s Armory for more weave styles and instructions.

Somewhere I have drawn up instructions on how to create the rings and may post them as well. Or maybe get back into the business of selling them again.

Almost 5 Springer Spaniels

Almost ended up with 5 dogs last night….which if I had mentioned today we have 6 would make more sense. Yes, I said we have 6 (for those a bit slower that’s more fingers than you are ‘sposed to have on your right hand), English Springer Spaniels. If you were to ask me why, I don’t know that I could honestly answer that as I’ve yet to figure it out myself. Sort of started with a joke, Angel would mention she wanted another baby and I told her to buy a dog…. now things have gotten just plain nuts.

Back to my original thoughts… we live in the middle of a huge field 100 acres give or take, and the dogs seem to have as big a taste for deer and other critters as I do. Sso they often leave the ‘play yard’ I built, what a waste of a lot of back breaking work and $$$ putting up a 300′ of chainlink fence, they just dig their way under and off they go (gonna fix that this spring with a couple cement trucks and finish off the kenels). But our oldest Tugger Brambles goes missing for 4, 5, 6, 7, and after 8 hours we really begin to panic. It’s like no degrees outside and still close to a foot of snow everywhere. Off I go cruising around the fields edges, no pup anywhere to be seen. Head back to the house figuring my driving around out there would have stirred him up and he’d be in the house while I was outside freezing my tail off looking for him. Still no signs.

Around 11pm I got really bright, leashed up the next oldest, Hunter Briars, grabbed a mag light and a pistol (I could hear a pack of mangy coyotes in the woods to the south). Get Hunter fired up and tell him we have to find Tugger, a few seconds later the light bulb comes on and we’re off trudging through the woods, sticker bushes, briars, sticktights, you name it and we grow it. You should see where the dogs’ naming convention comes in here. Let’s just say if it was sharp and pointy I got stabbed in the face with it several times…. Ended up half a mile or better from the house and Hunter goes cold, plops his butt in the snow, looks up as if to tell me he’s lost the trail. Really smart critters these Springers, I’d never gotten around to actually training them. But I know we were on his trail judging from all the tracks in the snow leading from one pile of what was a critter of some sort to the next. About this time my flashlight is pretty dim and I’m frozen solid and gave it up, figuring he’ll either come home or he won’t and will try it again in the morning when I can actually see.

Around 1am guess who shows up at the back door…. Tugger is home!!!! But surprise, I expected to find an 80% frozen solid dog or worse, nope instead he’s really toasty warm, like laying by the fireplace warm and dry. This makes no sense at all, 11 hours in the snow does not equal a warm dog. Best we’ve come up with is someone must have tried to dognap him or something, and after meeting his very vicious and unfriendly side gave it up brought him home. Tug’s a real tough nut to break, friendly as hell, until something is wrong, then look out, you’ve got 60 pounds of pure pissed off that will eat you, period. He’s got one weakness, if he knows you even a little and you open a car/truck door it means it’s time to go for a ride, and to Tugger’s that means ice cream or something good.

Everyone for 10 miles around or better knows of our dogs, generally by name, that and they probably think we are total basket-cases too. Someone had to have waited until very late and driven him close to the house and turned him loose, there is just no other explanation, his skin and fur were at least 15 degrees warmer than the air in the house, and we like it warm! I can’t imagine who would pull such a stupid stunt, they had to have known him and us, and that means they know that this cowboy doesn’t screw around, dogs or no dogs any unexpected visitor to the house or out in the fields gets greeted by the barrell of a gun right quick, your flirting with disaster around here if you are up to no good.

I’m done ranting now, and going to go wrestle with my pups for a spell… oh yeah here’s a pic of my Bug.
Tugger Brambles (aka Bug)

BTW anyone looking for Springer pups should start forming a line now, we’ve got a litter due in about 6 weeks.

BBTW if you are the lousy som’bitch that tried to swipe my dog, be a man and step up, so I can knock the dummy dust out of your coconut, it must need a good cleaning. Maybe I’ll turn the pack lose on you as well.

Now I’m really gonna go play with the dogs.

Cowgirls and Fishes…

Every now and again I like to check my website stats and see where my traffic is coming from. Thanks to Digital Point watching where spiders are refferred from can be fun to watch as they tend to be very diverse. Some of them may catch my eye and I’ll go look at the site, and others just buzz right by. Today was not really any different with the exception of one referrer, , I was almost afraid to follow it back, but knowing a DP link should not have any crud refferrers out there it should be safe, well curiosity got the better of me to see how they’d found my Aquarium Forums, but I clicked the link from my stats page and breathed a sigh of relief as pictures of horses and such starting appearing in my browser, this had the potential of being really ugly.

Now the real question, the site contained no ads or links off the page that was recorded by my server, leaving my to believe that it had to be one of our regular visitors who has some pretty diverse interests, aquariums and horses, I guess that works. Not going to bother digging through the server logs to figure out who, it’s more fun now to think that if they stumble upon this blog entry then they’ll know they were seen and can worry about being branded a redneck or something. As if the person typing this hasn’t green broken more than a fair share of wild mustangs way back when (back when the only way to get it done was to hire stupid kids with a death wish to do it).

Whomever the “WyomingCowGirl” is, she just earned a link for however long it lives, some nice pics on the site.

Pretty much the high point of my day so far…. at least quittin’ time is rapidly approaching and IT’S FRIDAY!


This was passed along to me, but being a football fan I decided it belonged here just out of spite for the local teams.

A Chicago Bear fan, a Minnesota Viking fan and a Green Bay Packer fan were all in Saudi Arabia, sharing a smuggled crate of booze. All of a sudden Saudi police rushed in and arrested them. The mere possession of alcohol is a severe offense in Saudi Arabia, so for the terrible crime, they were sentenced to death! However, it was a Saudi national holiday the day their trial finished, and the extremely benevolent Sheik decided they could be released after receiving just 20 lashes each of the whip.

As they were preparing for their punishment, the Sheik suddenly said, It’s my first wife’s birthday today, and she has asked me to allow each of you one wish before your whipping.”

The Bears fan was first in line (he drank the least), so he thought about this for a while and then said, “Please tie a pillow to my back.” This was done, but the pillow only lasted 10 lashes before the whip went through. The Bears fan had to be carried away crying like a baby.

The Viking fan was next up (he almost finished an entire fifth by himself), and after watching the scene, said, “All Right! Please fixtwo pillows on my back.” But even two pillows could only take 15 lashes before the whip went through, sending the Viking fan out crying like a little girl.

The Packer fan was the last one up (he had finished off the crate). The Sheik turned to him and said, “You support the greatest team in the world. Your city and fans are the greatest. For this, you may have two wishes! “Thanks, your most Royal highness,” the Packer fan replies. “In recognition of your kindness, my first wish is that you give me not 20, but 100 lashes.”

“Not only are you an honorable man, you are also very brave,” the Sheik says with an admiring look on his face. “If 100 lashes is what you desire, then so be it. And your second wish? What is it to be?”, the Sheik asks.

“Tie the Viking fan to my back.”

Concealed Carry in WI?

A little political viewpoints to toss into the mix, since it’s a subject very near and dear to my heart, one that has left a very sore spot in my life. After the WI State Supreme Court issued instructions to the state legislature to change the current law on the books to permit the carrying of concealed weapons, this was issued shortly after the court basically overturned the conviction of a man carrying a concealed weapon in his own place of business as he was closed and getting the days proceeds sorted and prepared for deposit to his bank, when he allowed to law enforcement officers to enter his closed establishment for coffee or something along those lines, his shop is located in a high crime area of Milwaukee If memory he was slapped quite hard for this, as it was in violation of current law, in his residence this would have been deemed permissible. This a brief overview of the events, ultimately on appeal his was fined $1 and released. Following these events there were several revisions of the proposed law, setting requirements for applicants concerning training on safety and education of the laws, setting boundaries where carrying would be illigeal all sorts of restrictions, actually well written and very acceptable in my view.

Gov. Jim ‘Turncoat’ Doyle vetoed the bill last year after being passed by the state house and senate, shortly thereafter a veto override was pushed up, whipped back through the assembly and due to one house member who flipped at the last possible second killed the override, his politicking days are now numbered, so are many others.

Currently 42 states have laws permitting the carrying of concealed weapons, and surprise since introduction these states have seen dramatic reductions in both violent and nonviolent crimes against people. I can’t fathom why……

Guess now would be a good time to explain why this is so near and dear to me, I’m a 15 year veteran of Federal Law Enforcement, with the last 9 being in Federal Corrections (all military). So what are the odds of me running into some of my prior aquaintences that I’d either locked up or kept locked up during this span…. pretty damn good. My first 5 minutes in the state while fueling up I had the pleasure of a confrontation with two ex-cons who were more than happy to see me, right up until they were looking down the barrel of my .44. Never had the need to fire a shot, as they dropped to their weapons immediately. Good thing I still had my credentials, when the state trooper rolled up to some pissed off redneck holding two knuckle heads on the ground wearing flexicuffs at gun point. For all intents and purposes I was in total violation of the law (my cred’s were no longer valid since I’d terminated my contract. They were taken into state custody for parole violations. Too bad this was not the only time I’ve encountered former residents of my previous profession. So what are my choices, violate the law and carry to ensure the protection of my family and take my chances with the law, or worse abide by the law as written…… I’ll leave my personal choice out of this for now.

From The Wisconsin Concealed Carry Association web site
Senator Dave Zien will be live on 790 AM WAYY Radio in Eau Claire at 8:30
a.m. tomorrow, January 27 to discuss concealed carry with John Murphy and
Bruce Butler. Be sure to tune and call the talk line at (715) 836-9299 to
voice your support for this legislation!

If you’re not able to hear the show in your area, please go to WAVY’s
website and vote in their online poll on concealed carry. The address for
WAVY’s site is . The poll questions are on the far
right side of the page.

This issue is not yet over by any means, Senator Dave Zien has been spear heading the campaign to get this into law….

If you’d like more info on this take some time and run through the WCCA website listed above, there are great references and links out to the actual bills and public court documents surrounding this issue and events.

As a side note, I personally contacted the WI State District attorney to gather as much info as possible, the accepted interpretation of the current law is that citizen (barring those whom possessing a firearm is prohibited) can strap on a loaded pistol or sling a rifle across his/her back and walk on any street in the state, just not in a vehicle (where it must be unloaded and cased), nor into a ‘public building’ ie.. state buildings such as courthouses, police stations, gov’t offices etc…. and of course schools and such, so long as the weapon is in plain site.

Just for fun I’ve been tempted many a time to grab my huge .44 bag, by huge I mean a 10.5″ barreled hand held cannon that serves as a deer rifle and general fun gun to shoot, and drive into down, shoulder rig her up and go for a stroll though town… just to wait till one of the local wanna be a real cops thinks he’s gonna score a big collar an arrest me… then file a huge lawsuit and sue the living hell out of everyone involved. I’m 99% convinced this would work perfectly, as every peace officer I’ve encountered and had the opportunity to talk with at any length has told me I can’t carry in plain sight… hee hee

One of these days….

phpBB Forums Blog Hack

If you have not seen it yet, there is a new hack for phpBB out in Beta test, the Blog Mod, now up to v0.2.0, it’s working so well I’ve moved into production so all of my forum members can now have a blog of their own, mostly to keep track of their saltwater reef tanks and things along that line, provides them with a great record keeping service, but also adds a bunch pages to the allinurl of the site, search engines are chewing through them like crazy! Very feature rich , the only issue I have with it thus far is that by default it is so customizable that it may be daunting for some users and they may be getting lost in the options, that would explain why most are using the default layout. Oh wait I still fit in that category for WordPress, one of these days I’ll make this a bit more presentable.

I’ve added a couple of new templates to the Mod, so we’ll see as time goes by what everyone thinks. If you’d like to see it in action, here is the listing of publically viewable blogs, and my personal Reef Journal can be viewed as well…

Harnessing the popularity of Blogs in general and tie them to Google tearing through them, this can only give things a boost.

1 of 6 people can actually use a search engine?

Now this is going too far, money and time being pissed away on the dumbest things. The best thing ABC could come up with this morning is that 5 out of 6 people don’t know the difference between search engine results and sponsored results? Who cares, so long as I can find what I am looking for, and I’m able to tweak my sites to gain in the results for the 1 person who has a clue…

ref: this article

Good grief.

Their heads see daylight

Just after midnight CR is back up and flying straight! The hosting company pulled their heads out of their collective asses just far enough to actually READ the content of the emails I sent explaining what the problem was and low and behold… There were 2 records.

At least at this point things are back and rolling.

/steps off the soap box and quits throwing rocks for a while.

Total screw up

New hosting company for Captive Reefing has already managed to screw things up, not bad only took 12 hours to hose the site up. 2 A records for the hostname each point to different IP addresses, only one of them a valid Apache server configured to serve the domain, 50/50 shot of hitting the site every 14400 seconds = SANFU.

DNS is not that hard to figure out if you take a second to actually LOOK at it, silly tech tells me I’m wrong with I forward results retrieved from their DNS server, but apologizes for the confusion? Who’s confused here, I’ve only been earning a living doing this stuff for over 15 years. Odd that nothing like this happens on MY corporate network, maybe that’s why my mortage is still current huh?

If someone doesn’t pull their head out of their ass and quick I’ll be pulling all my sites off and back onto my own servers and go looking for that 91 day satisfaction garuntee, 3 days after signing up for service, if this is typical service, may not even be a new record for them. Maybe I’m just too demanding and am wrong expecting things to actually work, these crappy automated frontends sure look good on paper, but geez I’ll take the good old CLI and pico anyday over them, hell give me vi and I won’t complain, hell I’ve written more than one website with nothing but vi.

Enough venting, really did get a great deal on the hosting, out of 6 sites I’ve moved, only one is hosed, too bad it was the most important to the most number of people.

Back to hammering at the problem at hand.