Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
While at Blogorado, new friend Joe mentioned hunting in Nebraska. As a guy who likes to see the world but has seen but little of it, I speculated that it was probably mostly beanfield hunting out there. He smiled and explained that in fact, there's some serious broken ground hunting out where he hunts, and while the deer are in fact corn fed (the farmers desperately want their numbers reduced) and heavy, they spend a lot of time in drainage woodlots, and the best way to hunt them is to walk them up.
Long story short, I begged an invitation, and have gratefully accepted that which I sought when it was proffered.
According to Joe, a 100 yard shot would be long, and somewhat unusual. So it was that this week, days before leaving to go to Nebraska to hunt, I found myself needing to check the zero on my stalking rifle-- a Springfield 1903 re barrelled to .35 Whelen. It's been awhile since I loaded for it, and frankly, I didn't recall where the zero was with the loads that I had on hand. And I was VERY short of hunting ammo.
This morning, I checked some handloads today (250g Hornady softpoint spitzer over about 53g of Reloader 15, if memory serves), and found that it was centered a couple of inches high, and maybe just right of, dead center, from 100 yards. I didn't cover myself with glory with my shooting today, and that was a shame, because I didn't have much ammo to practice, and still go hunting. I shot a group of factory 250g Remington, and was irritated to see that I shot it better. I'll carry the Remington loads, probably.
Every hunt needs a backup rifle, so I checked my 1953 vintage M7o .243 with our handloads. The first two shots put my 100g Nosler SP Spitzer into a 1/2 at 3" high.
Screw it. I wasn't going to waste more ammo. Hold dead-on out to about 300, which probably wouldn't be a problem (this is still blowing my stereotype of Nebraska.).
I checked the old cut-down Super Blackhawk and found that, as comfortable as Dad's 240g SWC Special loads are, I was frankly shooting the factory Remington 240g JSPs into a tighter group. Call it 3" at 25yds. With full Magnums, that tiny trigger guard, and that short (4 1/2") barrel, I'll take that. The group was about 2" right of where I want it, and about 4" high at 25. Something to remember. The sights will NOT come down any further, and I didn't have a screwdriver anyway.
Of humorous note-- in changing from my work clothes to run out with Dad to go sight in this morning, I somehow, um, sort of... forgot to put a gun on. Well, except for the Super Blackhawk that I had in the Thad Rybka holster on my belt. I got into Dad's car, realized that I had no carry gun on me, and shrugged and loaded it with 5 Magnum rounds. (It's an old model Flat Top). Let's all say it together, class: Load One, Skip One, Load Four, Cock and lower the hammer. I may have been a little slow on the draw, but I was not poorly armed. I had to run into the PD to pick up something that I had forgotten there, and I know my chief was mildly curious, but he just smiled and didn't ask. I let the mystery be.
Friday morning, I'll be in Omaha.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Nine years later, I'm still remembering, but I'm noticing that things are culminating in... something. More stupid spectacles. More buildings going up. The new tower is rising.
I don't forget that for whatever reason, 9 years ago this morning, 2,774 people died because someone hated our country.
I don't think that we should stop down and quit doing our jobs because of that. I think that we should do our jobs twice as hard because of that.
And when the next attack come, we should go to work and do business as usual.
We need to be ready with a real winning response that doesn't involve just hunting terrorists. We need to repell them with our disdain.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Bringing up Men in an age of sissies.
I've a good friend (let's call him Red) who has married a good woman, with two boys. At ages 12 and 9, they're decent kids, but they've been reared for the previous several years by their mother, alone, and before that, with an ufortunate man. Red's new bride is delighted to see the boys now have a positive male role model, and my buddy Red is more than happy to step in and provide them direction in that role.
Long before Red proposed to her, he began helping the boys. After they got married, he began working in earnest to show them how to grow up to be Men. There are little things, like how to shake hands like a man, and how to wear clothing. Then there were bigger issues, like not coming inside and just sitting on the couch to watch television all day long, simply because it's hot outside. (It's Texas. You can expect triple digit temperatures in the summertime. Drink lots of water, and get back to playing outdoors.)
The younger boy has shown an uncommonly strong love of WebKinz. Okay, says Red. Fine. But try not to be silly about it-- boys at some point shouldn't carry around dolls. And when that doll is a wolf, a boy traditionally names it "Fang," or "Spike," or "Timber"-- not "Jenny." Red isn't trying to impede the boy's creativity, but he does insist that the doll get left home in the boy's room when they're out and about town.
Wailing and gnashing of teeth were observed.
Looks like Red has his work cut out for him.
The other day, Red reported to me that his boys were coming in the house, whining about what to put on an ant bite that each had sustained. He was incredulous. "You could rub some dirt on it," he answered. "If that doesn't work, maybe we could find you some cream for it, from your Mother's bathroom!"
Red isn't intolerant. If the boys grow up to actually be gay, he's fine with that. But he will be DAMNED if he will let them grow up to be wussies.
We have discussed how the world has changed since we were kids. Nowadays, boys are taught that there is zero tolerance for violence, so that even throwing a punch back at someone who has punched them in the face is grounds for expulsion. Boys are taught to cry more readily, and come seeking the ready attention of their mothers, rather than learning to deal with adversity themselves. Red's wife is a very, VERY good mother. She gives her boys lots of mothering. The problem is, they've been receiving double doses of mothering, without much fathering, in the past. Red is trying to overcome that. He figures that he doesn't have much time.
The good news is, the boys have taken to him like a duck to water. They will literally follow him around, doing work with him. They learn lessons from him about telling the truth (this has been an issue with them), treating their mother and other women with respect (also an issue), and speaking plainly. Of course these aren't exclusively the providence of men, but some lessons seem to take better to boys, when taught them by a grown man whom they respect, and who walks the walk. Talk is cheap.
I reckon that Red is just doing what's right, and no more. But because so few seem to do just that, it makes him stand out some. I'm proud to call him my friend.
We've been talking about culturally manly things to do. He takes them fishing, and they do the sports thing. I mentioned that he needs to watch some John Wayne movies with them. Maybe The Cowboys, and The Searchers, and The Sons Of Katie Elder. I like The Wind And The Lion, partially because it's actually a movie about men, rather than just cultures.
Any other ideas I can pass on? Favorite books? Important activities?
I myself was fortunate to have been reared with a definitive positive male role model.
Thursday, September 09, 2010
Idjits on all sides.
Terry Jones, down in Florida*, plans to burn a big stack of Korans (Qur'ans) on Saturday, September 11, 2010.
This man purports to be a pastor. Apparently, he meets the definition, as he's created a spectacle in two churches, now. (The last one kicked him out for being sticky-fingered with the till.)
Makes you want to go check again what it takes to get bona fides to become a person of the cloth.
This man claims that Islam is the religion of Satan, and will prove that his own religion (a brand of Christianity) is the true religion of Love, by burning the holy books of the other brand of religion.
This bears attention: He claims his brand is better, but needs to burn the instruction books of the other brand, to make his case?
This also bears attention: Most pastors get their divinity degrees through hard study. Several graduate students that I attended Graduate Statistics with were getting their divinity degrees, and they had enormous stacks of books with them. (The Kindle is catching on fast among them.)
If this guy is a legit scholar of religion as he claims to be, he's had to do some reading in his time. What true scholar of anything is a book-burner? Most pastors that I know keep copies of other holy books in their office for reference.
So it's gratifying to see people point out that, while our First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects Mr. Jones' rights to freedom of religion and free speech, he's a fool to do this, and by extension makes our nation look foolish.
This story lists a lot of folk who say as much.
But they lost me at Angelina Jolie. (Dance, monkey!)
EDIT: The foolish pastor has since said that he will cancel the burning, and since then, has said that he doesn't plan to cancel the burning.
*Oh, you can bet they're proud he moved in.
You know there's something wrong when...
You know there's something wrong when the last Communist revolutionary holdout is talking like he is embracing capitalism and free market ideals more than "the leader of the free world."
Jeffrey Goldberg, a writer for the Atlantic Monthly magazine, wrote in a blog that he asked Castro, 84, if Cuba's model — Soviet-style communism — was still worth exporting to other countries and he replied, "The Cuban model doesn't even work for us anymore."
Goldberg said Julia Sweig, a Cuba expert at the Council on Foreign Relations think tank in Washington who accompanied him to Havana, believed Castro's words reflected an acknowledgment that "the state has too big a role in the economic life of the country."
This in contrast to our own ever-widening governmental net, fed by our own leader's plans to “spread the wealth around.”
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
A small matter of necessity.
What to do when your work is arguably as dangerous as the cops', but your job disallows you to legally carry a weapon?
In some cases, you may decide that you'll just have to risk your life, unarmed. That's your decision, but you made it.
Others, though, will decide that it's better to just quietly carry a weapon, try to avoid conflict, and deal with the consequences if they should have to use it.
Farm Girl, the small-handed woman who doesn't much like small pocket pistols, has decided that it's better to beg forgiveness than ask for permission, and is breaking a minor company policy to ensure her own safety.
She's not breaking any laws. She's not looking for trouble. She's just not willing to risk her own life, over a silly rule made by a company that she's not willing to die for.
Farm Girl is not compromising the quality of her work. She's not allowing this to affect anything else about her. She'll be just as friendly to her customers and co-workers. She'll get just as much done. It's just that she chooses to arm herself, with the smallest gun she can find, which no one will ever see, unless Things Happen.
I can get behind that.
There are other jobs, should Things Happen.
Good job, Farm Girl.
Tuesday, September 07, 2010
Friday, September 03, 2010
Tonight, I take my daughter and her two best friends out to dinner in the Big City of Fort Worth, TX. Well, it's awfully big, to us.
My daughter loves a restaurant there, and I'll be taking her there for her 12th birthday. She was allowed to invite her bestest friends. I'll be along to pay the check, and such. But basically, it's a first Girls' Night Out, for her. We'll walk the Stockyards or Sundance Square, or whatever.
I'm happy to blend in, and not make eye contact, as I'm sure she desires. Each girl carries a cell phone. I carry a cell phone and a gun or two.
On the way in, I think that I shall make clear my expectations about expected response to directions. My elder daughter knows them. But the other girls may not fully get that run, and get down mean exactly that. In my family, we also have a benign-sounding danger phrase, which I suppose that I will let them in on.
I, of all people, recognize that the world is actually a safer place than we give it credit for being, and I don't much think about these things, until I get put in charge of Other People's Children.
But when I take a group of kids downtown on a Friday night, I gird myself a bit tighter.