Author Archive: Gerard Heidgerken

Unbiased Review: So You’re Going to be Tortured

torture-coverFull disclosure, I wrote this book.

Actually, that’s not true – it’s not really a book; more of a booklet. Like, 15 pages maybe. And that includes the drawings. But it’s 99¢ so how can you go wrong?

That too is a lie. You CAN go wrong. You’d go wrong by entering into the medieval penal system unprepared by NOT reading So You’re Going to be Tortured: A Layman’s Guide to the Medieval Penal System. When staring down the angry mob yelling “WITCH!” or “HERETIC!” or “FRECKLES!” you’ll surely appreciate the peace of mind that comes with a familiarity of the tools and people you’ll likely meet in your tour of the torturer’s dungeon. And that’s what this book does – it fills you in on the basics in simple, friendly terms that you’ll be able to understand even if your mind is clouded with terror. And that’s a win for us all.

Did I mention it’s only 99¢? Less than a buck for the friendliest, most light hearted exploration of medieval brutality you’re likely to find. It would make a great stocking stuffer except it’s digital. So buy your loved ones a Kindle or an iPad, and then load it with this book for the best holiday ever!

Review: Bail Money

cd-bmI’ll never forget my first meeting with the Bilge Pumps. It was in a seedy back alley pub – more of a shack, really – in the red light district of the Philippines. These were the closing days of the cold war, and the Bilge Pumps had made quite the name for themselves amongst the covert circuit as NATO’s very best choice for freelance maritime demolitions. Their preferred method was to infiltrate targeted boats from beneath, hence the team’s codename, The Bilge Pumps.

For myself, I was still a fresh-faced junior operative. I’d only graduated from CIA Academy the summer before, where I’d written my thesis on the structure and security of Soviet bilges. In those days there was no one in the free world who knew more about the bowels of Russian vessels than me, which of course led to my own unfortunate codename; Bilgemunky.

The Bilge Pumps had been hired for a mission by the British government, the details of which remain classified to this day (although some jerk Admiral did sell the story rights to Disney. They made a film of our adventures. I think it was called “Tangled”.) Suffice to say, they had need of my particular expertise, and I was all too happy to help in hopes of finally making a name for myself. (more…)

Review: Superior Titanium Money Clip

As you know, I live the high life something fierce, and that’s why the 1st world problem that plagues me most is finding ways to tame my tall stacks of cash. I used to shove it all in a wallet in my back pocket, but my right buttock can only handle so many bills before back pain strikes. And that’s why I decided to try a good old fashioned money clip.

The first clip I grabbed was made of spring steel. That might be good enough for those of you that only carry chump change; but me? I won’t leave the house with fewer than nine, even ten George Washingtons bursting out my pockets. With so many dead presidents, that spring steel clip got bent out of shape faster than Cornwallis’ tummy when it was time to surrender his sword to Washington back in 1781 Virginia, y’know? (more…)

The Kiwi Connection – A Reviewaventure

It was a dark, sultry night as I stumbled into my den and slowly eased into a plush velvet easy chair, ready to sink into a well-deserved libation. The Ambassador hadn’t much cared for my advice regarding the whole New Zealand debacle. Our heated conversation seemed like hours before she finally relented, but she knew when she called that if she’d wanted easy answers, I was the wrong bloke to ask.

Taketsuru Whisky and Surefire E2D FlashlightI leaned back into my seat and gently exhaled, letting the trials of the day melt from my shoulders even as my own weight eased from my feet. Reaching for my crystal lowball, two-and-a-half fingers deep in 12 year aged Nikka Taketsuru Whisky, I inhaled, savoring the warm notes of charred butterscotch and victory. I let the first sip rest on my tongue for a spell before gently swishing it around, feeling the whisky thicken as the comforting tingle filled my mouth with a gentle spice. I confess myself a novice to Japanese Whisky, but I’m well versed in what I like – and I certainly liked this. Taketsuru 12 year is a pure malt whisky with a heavy smoke finish much akin to a scotch or fine mezcal. It truly was the ideal accompaniment to my waning evening, and I prepared to take a second sip and settle into a comfortable respite.

The creaking of the floorboards, however, foretold a different story. (more…)

Pirateyness Chart of Beer, Wine, and Spirits

A little something I found while digging through some old files. I don’t believe I ever got around to posting it here, so it seems time to remedy that. I present my carefully researched Pirateyness Chart of Beer, Wine, and Spirits. And a special thanks to “How to Speak Pirate” for the inspiration for labeling the pirate archetypes.

My hope is this chart will have a timeless and limitless impact towards the betterment of humanity. That, or at least encourage you to tease your mate for being a milquetoast next time they dare order rosé wine in your presence.

Pirate-Spirits-Chart

 

“My Underwear Costs More Than Your Car…”

I’ve been thinking about underwear. Not in a juvenile giggling way, nor a creepy Victoria’s-Secret-catalog-stashed-behind-the-garage way, but more in a, “gee, my underwear is all falling apart. I should do something about that” sort of way.

At one point this would have meant a trip to Target and buying whatever’s cheap. It’s just underwear, I figured, so who really cares?

In more recent years I’ve learned that I care, as I’ve been spoiled with slightly nicer, mid-range underwear from Express made with better cotton, better elastics, and a fun little lions-on-a-shield Express logo that made me secretly feel like royalty. Or a knight. Actually, it’s the better materials that really matter – bargain boxers feel like sandpaper in comparison, and I couldn’t possibly go back.

A few years in and I’ve been pretty happy with this level of underwear. Now that I need more, I’d have gladly restocked with the same except nobody seems to make mid-range boxers anymore – it’s all about the boxer briefs these days. And so I explored further and tried a test pair of what I’ll call “affordable luxury” boxers, made with cotton poplin and science. They’re from Mack Weldon, and I have to say they’re really quite brilliant. Super comfy, and that 2% of spandex means you can bend over without cutting off the blood flow to your legs, which is a plus.

But now that I’m on a roll, I figure why stop at affordable luxury? Why not TRUE luxury? Why not super expensive underwear made from endangered silk worms harvested by fairies and gold-plated unicorns? (more…)

The US Space Program, Past and Present…

note: I wrote this some while back and posted it on Tumblr because it wasn’t piratey. Nobody saw it because Tumblr. So now I figured is a good time to post it here :)

With the retirement of the Space Shuttle, much has been said lately about the successes and failures of NASA and the space industry. I felt it was time to more closely examine our esteemed astronauts’ accomplishments, beginning with the Mercury Program, through to the present day, and beyond.

spacesuits

Note: I stole the above image from rockets-2-go.com. Visit them and buy stuff.

Mercury 1959-1963 – First Flights

Befitting their fresh-faced enthusiasm, NASA hit the ground running with a look that was classic and sporty. A high-riding crotch and lace-up boots give an athletic impression, while silver mylar says “we come to party.” (more…)

Choose your wine, Choose your loyalty…

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 9.15.46 AM

I have a deal of experience reviewing rum. And very soon I plan to broaden that scope into other fine spirits. But wine? Am I that fancy? I know stemmed glasses are involved, and you’re supposed to do something with your pinky, I think? Cheese also has something to do with it, I’m told.

Still, I just might have to figure it out, what with the “Wines of Westeros” about to launch. 12 wines representing 12 houses (more or less. Do White Walkers count as a house? Do they even have houses, or just rustic-but-charming igloos? G.R.R. needs to wrap these books us so we have answers!) (more…)

Pirates… and other stuff.

So if you’re here, you’re probably wondering what the hell’s going on. I mean, Bilgemunky.com has gone through a few versions over the years, but this new look stands in stark contrast to anything before. Well, that’s not by accident.

I’ll freely admit that it’s been pretty quiet here the past two years. Sure, a post now and then, but ever since I shut down Bilgemunky Radio the blog has also been only an occasionally-updated entity. Well, I’m thinking it’s time to get back in the saddle, but with a twist.

To be honest, “all pirates all the time” just hasn’t been doing it for me like it used to. So rather than agonizing one moment further about how to keep Bilgemunky.com afloat while I’m exploring other waters, I’ve decided to bring the site along with me. What does that mean? It means I have a Japanese Whisky sitting here next to me that doesn’t have squat to do with pirates. And you know what? I’m going to drink it. And then review it.

It means the next time I find myself as an official photographer at a dinosaur-themed fashion show, you’ll read about it here, even though it too has squat to do with pirates (but it was seriously, seriously cool.)

It means if I’m too busy playing Grand Theft Auto to review the latest pirate game, then screw it – let’s just talk about Grand Theft Auto already.

Basically it means space monkeys and ninjas and scotch and race cars and jedis and really neat gadgets with bells and lasers… if I’m fortunate enough to come across it and it’s cool and worth talking about, then it will be here. And yes, that still includes pirates.