Random – Very Random

Blog Post




It’s a snow day here at the White Wolf Mine, perched atop Arizona’s Mogollon Rim. What (you might ask) is the difference between a snow day and a regular day? Not much. Except my tasks include shoveling snow. Yes, I have a snow blower and might break that out and put it to work as well. And because of the nature of the day, the blogging topics will reflect the random mood.


Pick your Pike


Boarding Pike replica, USS Constitution, early 20th century

Once deemed the “rarest type of naval boarding pike” this example of a boarding Pike, is the so-called “quarter pike”.

These pikes first appeared on a 1797 dated document of ordnance allowance which described “100 boarding or quarter pikes” for the USS Constitution. There has been much dispute over the authenticity of these quarter pikes, but it is now known that these polearms were fabricated in the 20th century and their appearance was based on 18th-century records. Although the USS Constitution was outfitted with 100 boarding pikes including these so-called quarter pikes, none are known to have survived. These quarter pikes were made famous in the 1920s when the USS Constitution was being restored.

SALEM, Mass. (Aug. 6, 2011) Sailors assigned to USS Constitution perform 17th-century boarding pike drills during the Salem Maritime Festival. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Shannon Heavin/Released)

A traditional boarding pike has a hook associated with the spearpoint. I can see how it might be useful to pull an enemy sailor or marine off balance in a fight on a pitching deck.

Was the US Navy just being cheap when they issued spears instead of traditional boarding pikes?




“Behind closed doors, and through pressure on private platforms, the U.S. government has used its power to try to shape online discourse. According to meeting minutes and other records appended to a lawsuit filed by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, a Republican who is also running for Senate, discussions have ranged from the scale and scope of government intervention in online discourse to the mechanics of streamlining takedown requests for false or intentionally misleading information.

“Platforms have got to get comfortable with gov’t. It’s really interesting how hesitant they remain,” Microsoft executive Matt Masterson, a former DHS official, texted Jen Easterly, a DHS director, in February.”


Bullet Points

* The White House was forced into an embarrassing Twitter climbdown on Wednesday, deleting a tweet that claimed President Joe Biden was responsible for seniors getting the biggest increase in Social Security checks in a decade.

As fact-checkers were quick to point out, the increase is based on the rate of inflation and is required by law.

* A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.  –  On a men’s room wall in the Arizona highlands.

* There is a post exchange from back on Halloween that I thought that I’d bring forward here on the subject the utility of war hammers in the modern world that sprang from the Pelosi business:


There was a time some 1%ers (not the Goldman-Sachs 1%) carried ball peen hammers because they were not considered to be a weapon and stowed nicely in a waistband. (note: everything is a weapon, depending on how you hold it).

I heard from someone in the know that if you wack someone in the skull with a framing hammer do not use the hammer face as it tends to get hung up in the circular hole it makes when punching through the scull. The taper of the claws makes extraction easier.

One of the many things you learn before reaching 29.

LL, In reply to waepnedmann.

That is why there is a claw point on many war hammers from antiquity to the present. The design hasn’t changed. Sometimes there is a tomahawk, sometimes a hammer, or more of a pry tool to open armor, but the spike is tried and true. I look at mine sitting next to me on my desk. It won’t go through a shock plate/trauma plate, but it will punch right through kevlar like it doesn’t exist. Then again so will the striking face of the tomahawk blade. I’ve always been a fan of the war hammer as a modern weapon not just for the application you described, but for prying things open (key to the city). I have a Kydex case for mine and it’s “jump certified”. If you’re riding in. or on a vehicle, you can just throw a wrecking bar or a Halligan bar, or a Fu-Bar in the rig. If you jump out of an airplane, you need to keep it on your body (usually, unless you’re jumping a speed bag) and that’s where the war hammer really comes into its own in our modern era.

There are many designs out there and modern designs are almost always just variations of proven, utilitarian designs.  <-The link is Cold Steel peddling their wares. This one is the same sort of thing, but a slightly different take.


Cutting for Sign in 2022


USAF ICBM Crew Patch


32 thoughts on “Random – Very Random

  1. The roofing hatchet from the header, a person should probably remove the gauge button before utilizing it as a war hammer. The waffle headed head will make a guy leak down his leg if you hit your thumb nail instead of the roofing nail!

    1. Estwing makes a very good roofing/shingle hatchet. Nice full steel body with rubber handle. I liked mine until it got lost (no, really lost, not like ‘gun in a canoe’ lost) during the big move. Need to get another, or two.

  2. Straight claws are also designed for self-arrest when sliding down the roof, keep them sharp.

    Our Sheriff came by to check in, was all proud of his tactical tomahawk. A roofing hatchet would suffice in a pinch, but so would a fireplace poker. Anything is a weapon. Heck, Jason Bourne used a magazine, then when finished with his opponent stuffed it into a toaster and blew up the house…double-duty.

    If the political/American landscape goes further off the rails next Wednesday, I’m picturing our side of the fence doing a Huka WITH Pikes…while a Huka has an intimidating effect, adding the pike would make it more ‘pointed’. Then again, so would going Indiana Jones on the cretins [THAT scene].

    1. All indications are that there will be a political reallignment after the mid-terms. The vote counting is signaling a week or so…with plenty of time for democrats to find votes. It’s disturbing that this is going on after what happened last time – but it met with success and not just FJB, but a number of down-ticket races went to the donkeys after engaging in massive fraud in SOME AREAS. My sense is that there will be a lot of scrutiny in Arizona since the SECSTATE (Hobbs) is running for governor and losing. And it’s Hobbs’ people who count the votes.

      1. Vote counting shenanigans will not be tolerated in those prior affected precincts…how could the Dems (ALWAYS the cheaters) try it again? They are stupid…but THAT stupid?

        I stood on my deck while the sun rose and did my Election Haka (no iPad word fix this time)…refreshing. Later will be working on making the Pike (got a rake handle around here somewhere). Tomorrow’s Haka will be even more epic. Thankfully – for them – my neighbors are a half mile off…the Speedo might be off-putting and they may come running with the noise thinking one of the horses was getting attacked by a lion.

          1. Tomorrow’s will be in the snow. And no pics, never…it’s why acreage and no close neighbors is a criteria when selecting rural properties.

  3. You have a better class of bathroom graffiti in AZ than they have in Lebanon, NH. Last week I was coming back from Vermont and stopped at the Sierra Trading Post. In the men’s room was scrawled the sole graffito “[phone #] m4m in 603 pipe cleaning for free”. 603 is the area code for all of NH. Sigh.

    Capt Marian Alston, USCG, CO of USCGC Eagle, could have used some sailors proficient with pikes or spears. Years ago I got to go aboard Eagle when she was visiting Boston and was in fact tied up next to the USS Constitution. That was handy when I subsequently read SM Stirling’s “Nantucket” novels.

    1. Wow, there seems to be a lot of friendly people in NH. Free, you say? I wonder if Paul Pelosi is aware of the services offered in the Atlantic Northeast? I think that the San Francisco crowd offers pay-to-play.

  4. Oh, I so much want a Warhammer! What a fine addition to behind the truck seat with the aluminum bat and mitt with baseball… While a nurse in Portland many moons ago was a spate of melanin enhanced persons of a social club that thought claw hammers made a fine after snack friendly jousting. The wounds were horrendous, more so then common knives and bats/chains.

    1. Hammer and aluminum bat, eh?

      On Halloween I absent mindedly drove through Salem, Mass in the late afternoon — I had given a friend who lives on the North Shore a ride home from work because she had a lot of stuff to bring home and I didn’t want her struggling with her suitcase, briefcase, and a vase of dried roses (of all things) on the train and bus. Anyway, I forgot that Salem (of Witch Trial fame) is Halloween central. Downtown traffic was at a near standstill because of the hundreds of costumed people in the streets. Two melanin-enhanced youts (18-20 range) were on their ratty bikes weaving through the stopped cars. One turned to look at a girl and nearly rode into my hood, veering off at the last moment and nearly falling. I must have rolled my eyes or something because Yout got his balance, then made a half circuit around my car, giving me the stink eye as he did so. Of course I glared back. Yout puffed himself up and made another pass. I decided to switch tactics and smiled at him. Obviously confused, Yout lost the sneer and furrowed his forehead in dim thought. I turned up the smile to maniacal and gave a little QE2-style wave with my left hand while keeping my right out of sight. Suddenly Yout’s gaze was drawn to something across the street as he broke eye contact and quickly rode off, disappearing from my sight. I don’t understand it. What a lousy world when a friendly smile and a cheery wave get such a negative response. It made me sad.

      1. It’s amazing how chicken inner city Utes are, when you look them in the eye.


        1. Maybe he’d seen the YouTube video and knew that the aluminum baseball bat and two claw hammers would be useless.

  5. As I sit here, I have a Estwing drywall hammer and rock pick next to me on the bookshelf, and a very small tomahawk, too.


  6. The Nuclear Missile Combat Crew patch fills me with hope. It seems strangely optimistic that the people who will unleash the end of the world have a sense of humor about it.

    1. Tom Lehrer – “So long mom, I’m off to drop the bomb, so don’t wait up for me. But while you hunker, down in your bunker, you can see me, on the TV, etc.”

  7. The pistol with the drum mag looks like something John Wick would use.

    Started snowing here about 1600. Have an inch on the snow table, but it’s melting as soon as it hits the street. Started as itty-bitty, teeny-tiny snowballs, like bit of styrafoam, and then went to big, fluffy flakes. Expecting 3~7″ overnight, so my snowblower is tanked up and ready to go.

    Why does the head of the boarding pike have a ring through it? Is that how it lashes on to the pole? Is it to tie a line to for use as a grappling hook? All of the above?

    War hammers are cool. I was always impressed with their utility. Ball peen and cross peen hammers are useful, at-hand, substitutes, as well as a Geologist’s Hammer.

    Got a few crew patches from programs I worked on. NONE of them are politically correct.

  8. Some how I seem to remember reading that ball peen hammers are useful for kneecapping and it’s quieter than a pistol! I did meet a guy whose wife kneecapped him with a 44 when she caught him cheating. Despite modern surgery he never walked right again.

    1. As one who experiences knee pain (no, I have not had the bionic replacement – not a cyborg yet), that just sounds painful. Depending on the load in the .44 (Spec or Magnum), it would nearly vaporize the knee at close range.

  9. Ah, boarding pikes. Not just for combat, they’re an all-around tool. Use them to push things away like boats and chunks of ice, pull things to you like boats or bodies, hook a line from the water, and other utilitarian jobs.

    A spear-pike is limited in usage next to a hook-pike. But cheaper. So maybe the USN and Congress were being cheap or something.

    There’s all sorts of things you can do with a hooked-pike. Really good for grabbing and snagging people, poking them, slashing and smashing with either end. Shorter poles allow for better use in close quarters, of course. So I can see short pikes and more traditional longer-hafted ones.

    As to the ring? Probably to attach a tether rope to it. Hook or stab into something, then haul away on the rope. if something is heavy enough, rope can be looped around a capstan or over a cleat or sail-pin.

    1. I use a species of telescoping boat hook (not quite a boarding pike) to reach and pull pine needles and oak leaves from my roof to keep them from accumulating. It’s a very useful tool. I originally bought it for one of my boats and have had it for years.

  10. A little late here. Got to take care of a young trooper sick to death of guard duty at the DMZ. Stuck his leg straight out and put a .45 through his Patella(aka knee cap). Perfectly round .45 inch hole straight through and never touched anything important. Quick wash and straight to the psych ward.

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