I didn't post over the weekend. Saturday was expected, as I was at a Celtic Festival and Highland Games all day and well into the night. Let me tell you, a kilt is not the best weather gear in 30 degree windchill with a 40 mph wind and driving "wintery mix." But my torso was good to go with a t-shirt, heavy twill shirt, an Orvis zip up sweater with a wind-proof liner, and a Dick's rain coat. Sunday was filled with helping my wife bake to prepare for the family cookout and pumpkin carving at the in-laws. A little break is always good, and now I'm back.
At the Celtic festival, I visited the booth of Mike McRae and Scotia Metalwork. I've visited Mike's booth for the past several years, and always admired his hand forged knives and swords. This year, my wonderful wife bought me an amazing Sgian Dubh (translated as black knife, typically worn tucked into the stocking of a kilt wearer) that Mike forged with his distinctive differential tempering, and fitted with a beautiful California Buckeye Burl wood handle and a Marine Corps Eagle, Globe and Anchor emblem. This knife is as gorgeous as I believe it is usable. I can't do a full review of it until after I get it for Christmas, but a friend has had one of Mike's Sgian Dubhs for several years and has been very pleased with it. If you are in the market for a great, handmade knife, that is also a work of art and a piece of history, give Mike a look.
In this month's America's 1st Freedom magazine from the NRA, there is an amazing interview with Nikki Goeser. In 2009, Nikki was a Nashville DJ who did karaoke events with her husband. A stalker was at one of their shows and shot and killed her husband right in front of her. He was tackled to the ground by a couple of patrons and is awaiting trial. Nikki had a concealed weapon permit, but could not legally carry in a bar, so she was unarmed. Since her husband's killing, she has worked with the Tennessee and Ohio legislatures on gun rights and removing the prohibitions against having concealed weapons in places that serve alcohol. Her story is heartbreaking, but inspirational.