Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude

Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude
Where Great Intelligence Goes To Be Insulted

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Bloggers In Pursuit Of The Wayback Machine

It must be the time of year. Fall always evokes a feeling of nostalgia in me and I wonder if some of the other bloated bloviating bloggers work the same way. The leaves change colour, then they start to fly and the message seems to be "Take a good look around, O Foolish Mortal, for Ye shall never be back this way again....". The year officially ends in winter but for me it is over in fall. Maybe it's a function of age - I find myself taking extra pains around my elders these days because I want to hold on to them. I was out shooting at the rod and gun club today, and asked about one of the other stubfarts I hadn't seen in forever...and got the bad news that he had passed on. Frowns went right across the firing line. We are starting to lose our elders at the club...and the pressure is on lazy buggers like me to step up and step into the shoes left by the elderly volunteers that are going over the Great Divide in larger numbers every year. The shoes are too big; I'll never fit into them!

Sometimes I wish there was a way to re-connect with our ancestors and I see some of my fellow stubfarts doing it with varying degrees of success.

Uncle Bob is trying to channel the spirit of our ancestors by reading old little girl's books, HAR HAR HAR!!!!  (Sorry, Bob. I will forever think of Little House On The Prairie as a book for little girls in elementary school. Up here in Canada I think Anne Of Green Gables was another favourite for young women). Even as a lad I found that the TV versions were liable to induce vomiting. Bob says Laura Ingalls wrote stuff of value to men and one day I may check it out if time permits. And I mean that - a recommendation by Uncle Bob is a serious endorsement!

BW has had a little more success in my opinion. He has gone one better than the mad scientists of Hollywood with their obsolete uranium isotope flux capacitors - I am convinced he can slip in between dimensions to trump space as well as time. One day he's in southern Alberta and the next he's in Northern BC! That fella gets around and no bones about it! When he does arrive on historical scenes - bless his heart, he treads lightly and is no doubt welcomed by old ghosts everywhere. Not only that - he is a man of refined sensibilities and tastes - and a peerless art critic:

Arty The Art Seal Says: Art! Art! Art! THIS isn't Sparta! This is ALBERTA!!!!! I recognize these two Albertans and consider them old friends as do most travellers on Hwy. 21.

Bob Of The Jungle has his archaic books. BW has his dimension hopping motorcycle. They are worthy time travellers both - but it is time to look at another way of tripping the light years that divide us from our ancestors. Years ago I fell for the charms of shooting black powder firearms. They load slow. Burnt black powder smells like a wet fart. It's dirty. It's slow. It's inefficient.
It's wonderful.
Black powder geeks are a different stripe of cat than Uncle Bob, BW, and Yours Truly. They have been called "creative anachronists". Others call them eccentric loons (they aren't). I call them Retronauts. Bob and BW record and interpret history...but these guys LIVE it. They camp outdoors all year round using period correct equipment. They either make their equipment themselves or trade for it among other black powder geeks. made by hand. Yep - even the rifles:
When is the last time you saw beauty, art, heart and a gun?
Claude has a black powder forum dedicated to the intrepid Retronaut and I used to post at it years ago. The campfire is always stoked, somebody will always lend you a clay pipe if you've broken yours, and sometimes the BS flies faster (and hits harder) than bullets! There were a couple old farts there that drove me nuts: they were extraordinarily talented and gifted men, but modest to the point that they drove me mad. Their favourite trick? One of  'em would make something like this:

 Those are powder flasks. They're made of presentation grade curly maple or burl, and flawlessly scrimshawed - all by hand.  The skills that go into making one of these take DECADES to acquire. And - may God rot their balls, they would post a pic of inspired art like this and say "Here's a piece of crap I cranked out this weekend....". Stop and think about this for a second; imagine: you have a blank of flawless curly maple sitting in your hands right now. God Almighty spent close to a century, maybe more, creating that piece of wood in your hands. You cannot afford a mistake. You must work that wood with all the skill God gave YOU - to pay homage to our ancestors. It's a pile of responsibility, when you think of it. Womenfolk titter behind their hands as they laugh at us fellas as we sulk in our man-caves, unaware of the tests and tribulations posed to us - by a simple block of wood.

That is not to say that women are incapable of understanding the Wayback Machine or the journey - many of them definitely can - and the best of the best Retronauts can be found at Contemporary Makers!

Onto the blogroll they go, to take honoured positions by Bob and BW! If you're feeling pensive and blue as we head into the winter with long nights and short, cold days, the artisans at Contemporary Makers might warm your soul.

Hope ya had a great weekend lads.


  1. They make all their stuff like Pa and Ma in those Little House on the Prairie books. Snicker.

  2. You might have notice the round hay bale train on the other side of Highway 21 not far from the Schultz farm.

    1. Actually - I haven't BW. I will keep an eye out next time I am down that way.

      Hey - are you in up North? I saw a big Suzuki scoot in Valleyview covered in road dust and dried mud and figured it might be yours...

    2. He might have removed it, it was starting to fall apart.

      Valleyview earlier this summer. It does sound like me, I never wash a vehicle or the bike.