A Bit on Mondern Piracy

Since the very beginning of Bilgemunky.com, I’ve mostly ignored any news regarding modern pirates. I freely admit that my love of historical pirates is selective – frock coats good, rape bad. Rum, flintlocks, cutlasses, ships, pirate hats all good, actual cold-blooded murder or torture bad. Of course, being as the 1700’s were harsh times, and you could easily make the case that pirates of the day were in many ways no better or worse than the very governments they fought against, and that sailing merchants often created an environment so cruel that it left their crew little choice but to go on the account – this only further enables the easy glamorization of historical (and fictional) old-timey pirates. Continue reading

PyrateCon/PyrateWeek After-Action Report

dsc_3990Unlike previous after-action reports, I don’t need to provide you with full details as to how PyrateCon and PyrateWeek went – you can read about them on my earlier posts from onsite. But, it does seem worthwhile to offer a few final thoughts. Both events have enjoyed (meaning suffered) their share of political BS – some of it perhaps justified, some of it perhaps less so. For me – and I imagine for most readers – none of it adds up to squat. All that matters to me as an attendee is whether these events are worth my time and money to attend. That’s not to say wronged parties shouldn’t seek justice, just that it’s not my concern to sort it all out. Continue reading

Some Brief Words about PyrateCon

There’s a whole lot of gossip floating around the web right now about PyrateCon. Most of it consists of either vague allegations based on “inside information” or long winded tirades that have little to do with anything the general public needs or wants to know.

Since returning from PyrateCon 08 I’ve been torn between whether I should publicly share my thoughts, or quietly “wait and see” what occurs on its own. But I get asked, and then asked again what my thoughts are on PyrateCon, and so I think it’s time to just throw some things out there. So here are some facts. No inside information, just the publicly available truth: Continue reading

Special Report: Bilgemunky’s Dye Adventure

Over the years, I’ve begun to look at a newly arrived article of pirate clothing as essentially a starting point, rather than a complete product in itself. A proper pirate look requires age and character. It requires clothing that looks like it’s sailed the seven seas, and participated in a battle or two. Getting a new garment to look old is no small task – it takes a lot of guts to beat up a new item that you spent real money on. What follows is my own experience with modifying my custom Reconstructing History Short Jacket, so that readers might know what they can do, and what they should avoid. Continue reading

Pyrat Rum XO Side-by-Side Taste Test

Some time back, perhaps a year or two, Planters Gold Pyrat XO Reserve became Pyrat Rum XO Reserve. The name change was subtle, and the label changed slightly to match, although the familiar (and beloved) handblown glass bottle remained the same, as did the accompanying ribbons and Hoti medallion. As time passed, I received an occasional email from readers asking if I’d noticed a difference in the new rum vs. the old. Some of these readers had claimed to have contacted the distillery to inquire, and passed along that the distillery claimed no changes had been made to the rum itself. Nonetheless, many fans seemed to have noticed something different. Continue reading