Off I go again
We just finished the Spring Gathering of the Tribes yesterday, and this morning I am taking off to the wilds of Pennsylvania to collect some old time blacksmithing equipment (Anvils, hardie stakes, hammers, tongs and such).
The Spring Gathering was a resounding success, with people coming from as far away as Oklahoma for the long weekend. I will have the whole blow by blow write up when I get back.
This next trip was a direct outcome of the gathering and I will relate the story for your amusement upon my return as well.
Until then, be good (but not too good) and remember that the disastrous state the world is in today is a direct result of letting right wing "conservatives" have political, economic and religious power.
(Yes Brian, I will take lots of pictures)
(And yes, Ann Coulter is Osama Bin Ladin in drag)
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Off I go again
Posted by Mushtaq Ali at 5:55 AM
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
From Tribal Edge Knifeworks
One of the reasons that I have not been posting as much as I would like lately is that Chuck and I have been working hard on new projects for our little cottage industry.
My latest creation is a version of an Indonesian design called a "Tiger Claw" (kuku macan in Bahasa)
This one is made with a high carbon steel blade that has been "clay tempered" in the manner of Japanese swords. This gives it a very hard edge and a tough, springy back, and a visible temper line, called a hamon line.
The grip is made from zebra wood and resin soaked hemp cord. The turk's head knot that finishes the grip gives the hand a very nimble purchase on the blade when it is held in forward grip.
Since I finished the first one on May fifth I named the model the Uña Del Tigre.
We have expanded our product line to include canes and walking sticks that both look good and are superior self defense tools.. (A major subject for this year's Gathering of the Tribes).
We are making them in a number of different hardwoods and lengths, with an eye towards both form and function.
Most of them are designed to complement the cane fighting methods used by Silat Zulfikari, which will be demonstrated in an upcoming instructional DVD.
The walking stick/cane is one of the few self defense tools that can still be taken anywhere, so it has become one of the most practical ways to give yourself a little protection when traveling, or just taking an evening stroll.
We have also added a line of cooking knives.
This sort of happened by accident. Jennie, Chuck's wife, did not have any really good kitchen knives, so I made her a set (seen here) for Christmas.
There are made with high carbon steel instead of "stainless", so they will take and hold a razor edge with very little work.
I leave the blades blackened from the tempering process to help prevent rust. They have become our favorites, and nobody uses anything else for cooking now.
Chuck has perfect his karambit design, which he calls The Talon.
The blade is made from 1095 high carbon steel (if you are getting the idea that we are steel snobs and would not be caught using "stainless" steel you are correct) and offers an number of grip materials (my favorite is bloodwood).
The hand made harness leather sheath is very practial for everyday carry and offers a lightening fast draw.
I an just now building a website to offer our wares to a discerning public and should have it up in a week or so.
Tribal Edge Knifeworks
Posted by Mushtaq Ali at 10:46 AM
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
I guess my taste in music could be said to be "eclectic" .
This week I have been listening to a good deal of music by native performers.
I discovered Sharon Burch years ago when A. Paul Ortega, the Mescalero Apache singer (and homie) introduced her to the world on his album "Blessingways" (if memory serves). She has a sweet voice and sings in both Navajo and English.
I was introduced to Ulali through Robbie Robertson (by way of my friend Chuck) and they have some great vocals. A lot of their music has more of an "Eastern Woodlands" feel.
The Black Lodge Singers just rock!
Posted by Mushtaq Ali at 1:17 PM
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
The City of Roses (and other flowers)
So last week Chuck and I head to Portland Oregon because of an event that was taking place there.
It has been a while since I have been there, but I used to live in the area, and I have friends there, so I was looking forward to the trip fir several reasons.
While Portland is one of the rainiest cities in the US, sometimes the sun does come out (It is not true that residents sacrifice goats at times like these, it is just that everyone barbecues all at once. I admit that the pits do look a bit like alters, but there is nothing to it, really)
I am still writing about the thing that brought me out there, but I wanted to give you a bit of a walk around the city.
On one day of my trip, after I had gotten all of the "work" things done that needed doing, I got a chance to spend time with friends. The early part of the day was spent hanging out with Steve Perry, who is one of those people you could spend hours talking with, but I am going to save that for a separate post.
Today is just a walk around Portland with a friend.
This is Sonia, a friend of mine from the time (several years ago) I lived in this area. We spent the afternoon wandering around the Pearl District and areas close by.
Sonia is one of the more interesting people to hang out with, she is both brilliant and unique, having a world view that has been informed by more "interesting" experience than perhaps any one person is entitled to.
While we talk on the phone fairly regularly, I have not seen her in perhaps three years or more so it was very nice to actually spend time catching up.
So we wandered around the city.
Portland has all these lovely old buildings with tons of character, one of my favorites, for some reason is the Radio Cab building.
It looks like a place you could tell stories about, and I have to admit, I like old brick buildings and interesting urban settings.
The city has a real diversity of architecture, such as this turreted stone house with slate roof, designed I suspect by someone with a King Arthur fixation.
One of my favorite buildings in the area is this Jewish Synagogue. It sits on a small hill next to a rather pleasant park, just looking slightly mysterious.
Portland has a reputation for being a dreary city with way too much rain. I have to say that this is often deserved. But during those times when the sun comes out for a while the city is transformed. The wistaria growing on this house sent its fragrance all the way down the block on the spring breeze.
Here is a shot of a dog we met on the street who was out walking her pet human.
And lastly, me in front of one of the better music stores out in the Hawthorn District.
Portland in the spring, how nice.
Posted by Mushtaq Ali at 8:10 PM
Saturday, May 06, 2006
That would be our Don, not some putz that has usurped his name and is using it under false pretenses.
He has found a place where you can put together your very own music list with groovy pictures of the album covers.
Of course I have to ask "why anyone would want to do this?"
Several reasons come to mind.
If you are young, it may be sort of like feathers on a peacock, something to attract the interest of people you might like to meet.
You may want others to know just how kewl your tastes are.
You may want some way to remember what you are listening to (this one is for us old folks)
Or, as in my case, you may think that there is value in what you are listening to for some reason and want to encourage other to check out the tunes.
Or you may just like the pretty pictures.
Create your own Music List @ HotFreeLayouts!
Posted by Mushtaq Ali at 10:24 AM
Thursday, May 04, 2006
That's right, the "Decider" is bragging about how much people in the U.S. pray.
Check it out, what incredible ego!
I guess he is just too busy to read his Bible;
Jesus (as) said
"When you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites, for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Most certainly, I tell you, they have received their reward.We need to remember that the Decider is also the Hypocrite, and whatever they are, him and his buddies have never followed the clear instructions of Jesus (as).
But you, when you pray, enter into your inner chamber, and having shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
In praying, don't use vain repetitions, as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their much speaking.
Therefore don't be like them, for your Father knows what things you need, before you ask him."
From chapter six of the gospel according to Matthew
Nation of Prayer
Posted by Mushtaq Ali at 8:39 PM
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
The momentum is building!
Quite some time ago I asked "Where is the music?" Well here is the answer.
The Dixie Chicks have put out a new video that talks about their reaction to the death threats and such like while introducing us to the title track on their new album "Taking The Long Way"
Check out Dixie Chicks new video at Amazon for free.
Considering what they have gone through for speaking their mind I consider them to be American heroes.
Of course we are seeing a lot of the "How dare they criticize the President?!!?" from the very same people who were all over Clinton for his little excesses. The hypocrisy of these people astounds me. It is fine for them to rip Clinton a new one for cheating on his wife, but don't let anyone dare to say anything about Bush for driving our country to the brink of bankruptcy, being an incompetent administrator, committing crimes against the American people and causing so many deaths around the world.
So remember people "Blowjobs = evil, murder = good"
The "Old Guard" is beginning to speak out as well.
Neil Young has a few things to say about Bush and the war. He has put out a new album, Listen to it here for free .
Merle Haggard is going to really piss of the right wing and the drugstore cowboys with his newest tune. Take a listen and tell your friends to do the same.
I have not paid much attention to Pink. I have to admit I just assumed she was another self absorbed pop star. I was wrong. (hey, it happens) "Dear Mr. President" is powerful. Click on her name to see a live performance that just might give you a chill.
While she is not a musician, Ava Lowery is an artist. She is a 15 Year old girl who was moved to say something about what is going on in the world. She built a website called Peace takes courage where she puts up animations that express her thoughts. Of course she has received death threats from the American Taliban for her efforts. I particularity like "What would Jesus do?"
Posted by Mushtaq Ali at 10:37 AM