All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.

Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!


The Baroness

Ever since my first bird hunt, at age 4, I wanted a bird dog.

My wedding present from my minister was the pick of a litter of pups he was expecting to be born latter in the summer. No discount on the price, just first pick. I jumped at it. I had hunted behind his dog and I wanted one of those pups. I understood, albeit vaguely that I was getting a good blood line. Years latter I bought a book on the GWP in America and then I understood how good. I had, by total accident, bought into the best pedigree available in the US. By the time I understood that fact, it didn't matter, at least not much.

After the pups were born, I was a regular visitor bedside. I had first pick. I was learning everything there was to know about picking "the best dog". In the end I should have skipped it all. Because I didn't pick her, she picked me. By the time 3 weeks passed I was regularly testing the pups with stick and wing, playing "fetch" or at least throwing stuff for the little pack to chase, I can't claim I ever got anything returned at this stage. By 4 weeks one bitch wouldn't leave me alone. If I sat in the grass all the pups would come to climb on me. She would get in my lap and bite, scratch and claw her brothers and sisters off in an effort to keep me to herself. But there was another bitch in the litter. This one had a very stylish coat. I could see the dollar signs if I bred her and got similar pups. I passed because she wasn't strong on point, that and I knew my buddy really wanted her.

One dog was strong on point, and she tried several times to follow me home from my visits. At 5 weeks of age, I said "hup" and she ran to my truck to get in. So we got in and went home. I named her Abby and registered her as The Baroness Von Hoover. Hoover, of course being the vacuum cleaner company. No speck of people food, no matter how small, could fall from my table and escape her.

I had a little experience working with leader dogs for the blind so I used some of those tactics to socialize her. It seemed to work well. I started to teach her to be a bird dog. Foolish effort on my part. She was ALL BIRD DOG, there was nothing for me to teach, other than trying to control her and guide the hunting. Abby was one birdy dog.

Have you ever made love to a women and brought her to the point she passed out from the pleasure of the experience? That moment right before the ecstasy overtakers her and her whole body is a quiver with emotion and sensation, is the way Abby got every time she was on a bird. She would lock point and tremble with anticipation. After the flush, the shot, the fall, and being told "fetch" she would retrieve softly to hand, and then look up as if to say, "that was great for me, do you have a cigarette"?

That was because of how grand a dog she was. I was a miserable master. I thought you could make a good dog into a great dog by applying liberal amounts of discipline. She, uncharacteristically of the breed, accepted my blows and figured out how to turn me into a master worthy of her love.

I don't know which hunting stories do her justice. At 6 or 7 months of age she made a fantastic stalk, point and flush (on command) on a pheasant. The retrieve was amazing. The bird was only wounded and managed to land in the middle of a mostly frozen river on an ice flow. Abby dove superman style off the bank into what she had to have thought was solid snow. She went under and so did the bird. She came out on the other side of the river and immediately looked back and scouted for the now submerged hen. She sniffed the air, pointed the ice flow and jumped back in the freezing water. Scouting around in the water she submerged herself and swam under a large hunk of ice. When she came out the other side she was holding the bird in her mouth. She promptly brought it to hand, shook herself off and trotted back to the bank she just crawled out of and pointed a stand of cattails. I gave the release command and she flushed a rooster. I shot it and it made the far side of the river before it fell. Abby went and got that bird too.

There was a man who saw her hunt from the farm yard. He offered me $1,000 for Abby. I shook my head no. Then he offered $5,000. I don't know if it was pride or vanity or just plain appreciation of what kind of dog I had, but I said, "not for ten times that". He thought about it and said, "a man gets a dog like that, maybe once in his life, I wouldn't respect you if you would sell."

Abby has successfully hunted every kind of bird I ever sent her after, even when she didn't know what we were hunting. We hunted and limited out one year with a tornado touching down just 5 or 6 miles up the road from us. She has protected me from rattle snakes that remained silent. She has drove thousands of miles with me in the truck. We would fish, hike the mountains and camp out together. Abby would steal the covers every time she got to sleep in a hotel bed. In the tent she would burrow her way into my sleeping bag until she was comfy and I was out of the bag. She was a very clean dog always going as far away as possible to do her business. If she saw me get a shotgun out she would get so excited that she wouldn't sleep. She would just pace at the backdoor to make sure I didn't go hunting without her. She would let kids and puppies maul her without complaint. 12 years with her was entirely too short, I wish it could have been longer.

About two years ago she got cancer. I had it removed. They said they got it all. She still went down hill. It was hard for her to walk she had arthritis. She would growl mostly because she hurt and wanted to be left alone, except if I was around, then she would come running with her tail wagging to nuzzel her master. Pain meds seemed to help, but not much. I didn't let her hunt last fall. I was planning one last hunt for this year. A trip to South Dakota was in the works. I wanted one last good weekend and then a peaceful retirement for her in a warm bed.

Sunday night I came home from work and let the dogs out of the kennel. I wanted to give them a quick run before I got ready for church. Sunday night is a bit of a rush at our house with me working till 5. I was getting changed as the wife and kids were headed to the car. Res Jr. tried to pet Abby and she bit him hard on his hand. I went outside and for the first time in 12 years Abby refused my orders.

I knew what I should do. I knew what I had to do. I sure looked for anyway around doing it. I went back in the house leaving the dog in the garage. I questioned the wife and the boy. Was there anyway that this wasn't her fault. Please God let the boy have hit her in the eye or something, anything. But there was nothing.

I went back out to the truck and dropped the tailgate. She came. Its been over a year since she could hop in by herself, so I lifted her up. I didn't speak or pet her. I just closed the tailgate and drove. We drove down the interstate for about an hour when Mrs Ipsa called. She wanted me to go to the vet. I told her no and hung up. A man does his own killing. Half an hour or so latter we pulled off the interstate and onto a gravel road. Gravel roads have always meant something good to Abby. She stood up in back and waged her tail. She was happy.

I drove up the long curvy road into the forest. I had a vague idea about a place on a ridge overlooking a valley with ridges and a mountain visible on the other side. We hunted grouse not far from here a time or two. I pulled up the two track and found a spot to stop. I dropped the tailgate and grabbed the shovel. Abby jumped down. Her hips and legs didn't seem to be hurting her. She started hunting. I let her. "Please God let her run off and get lost", I pray. I know I don't want that for her. Night will come, it will get cold, and there are lions and coyotes to contend with. I don't want it to end like that. I let her hunt and sniff. The sun is setting behind the mountain. She hasn't come to me on her own and I don't have the hart to order her.

She walks down a game trail below me on the ridge. Like so many times before she is testing the air for scent. She is facing away. I draw and shoot. Abby falls dead instantly. The report from my gun echos around the ridges.

Just last week Abby, the boy and I went up to the mountains. "Fun day, daddy" he said. Thursday we went back to the same place that we had gone before to "climb rocks" and look for animals. "Where is Abby?" he wants to know. "She doesn't live with us anymore", I say. The boy has asked me that question all week.

He doesn't know his daddy is Judas.



Ever wonder how we got certain sayings?

One I've been pondering is, "A man does his own killing". If your not from a certain American subculture or a fan of of the Western you might not have come across that one. If you are, have you ever thought about how or why we got it?

I think we got it because there are times when a man must kill. Some times it is for food, or country or defense or another justifiable cause. Regardless of the reason, only the person performing the act can determine if the cost to his soul is worth the taking of another life. "A man does his own killing", is a fact of life. A real man doesn't order his own killings or pay to have them done. HE must pull the trigger, either literally or figuratively. He must pay the cost.

Is the cost worth it? Sometimes the cost is only the knowledge of having performed the act. Sometimes the cost is having other people know, and either praise or condemn you for what you have done. Sometimes the cost is a gaping hole in one's soul. A hole that tears cannot fill.

Think of that cost whether you hunt or hate, or must do what is right and administer a just blow to someone you know. Is the cost worth it?

A man does his own killing.

And accepts the price that he must pay.

More Tests

I spent this morning getting x-rays, a CAT scan and a heart monitor. The x-rays and CAT scan results should be in by tomorrow or the next day. I have to wear the heart monitor till tomorrow so the results won't be available till Friday at the earliest.

The mental midgets at workman's comp are insisting on me having these tests as part of deciding if they are going to foot the bill. Apparently I have to actually run up significant medical bills (beyond a 40 mile ambulance trip and an ER visit) in order for them to pay for the ambulance. Of course if they decide that they aren't going to pay for the accident then they won't pay for these tests either. Which leaves me on the hook for the whole (much bigger) bill.

And people actually want more government involvement in health care. Idiots.

In the hospital waiting room they had news coverage of congress on. I had to listen to some chick make an emotional plea to congress for more involvement in health care because she had cancer and a sub-prime mortgage. How the two (cancer and sub-prime mtgs) are connected escaped my powers of observation other than it was SO UNFAIR that she had to go through this.

In the mean time I'm working the same kind of dead end job I used to pay for college because (in part) congress and the Indonesian Who Would Be King (IWWBK) want even more control over the economy and the environment in an effort to establish the same workers paradise and high living standards of Kenya.


The doctors office called tonight after I signed off the computer. The CAT scan came back 100% normal. I'm still waiting for x-rays and I'm on the heart monitor for another 12 hrs or so.



I went in for more blood work yesterday. I should have results tomorrow or the next day. I have a x-ray and CAT scan scheduled for next Wednesday morning.

I'm having symptoms that something is wrong. I tend to get dizzy for no reason and am having problems being sleepy and disorientated. I've also started having problems recalling words that are common for me to use when speaking, as well as "stalling out" (forgetting the rest of a sentence when speaking). I tend to get a feeling of being lightheaded from time to time as well. Occasionally I get the "spins", and no I haven't been drinking. I'm having headaches and pain behind my right eye, both of theses things come and go during the day. I'm also more forgetful than normal.

I'm still going to work and so far I haven't had a problem driving, perhaps that is because I'm sitting down. At this point I have nothing medical to report.


Ringing the Bell

Monday I was taken from work to the hospital by ambulance. Apparently I simply passed out and fell over backwards. My head hit the tile floor so hard that my boss thought the delivery driver had dropped a stack of heavy boxes. From what I'm told it took them over 15 min to wake me up and I couldn't answer all of the EMT crews questions correctly. All I remember is standing at a sink and waking up in the parking lot in the back of the ambulance.

The EMT's said my blood sugar was normal (107) my blood pressure was slightly high, but they thought that was a result of the stress of hitting my head and it went back down in a short amount of time. The hospital performed a ton of tests and could find nothing wrong with me. Other than a big knot on the back of my head.

Frankly I'm scared. I have no idea what caused this and apparently neither did the ER doc. I have a follow up apt with a different doc tomorrow. Prayers appreciated.


Die for my Daughter

I have a good RL friend. He and his wife have 5 kids, 3 girls and 2 boys. All of the girls are nice looking blonds. Their oldest is an attractive young woman of about 23. When she was born there was a problem and her brain went without oxygen for 4 minutes. We're going to call her Blondie for this post.

Because of the situation surrounding her birth Blondie has always had developmental issues. If you look at her she is a normal attractive young lady, if you talk to her she is able to communicate at what you would assume to be a normal level of understanding. For all practical day to day social activities you would think her a normal 20 something of average height/looks/intelligence. But she isn't. She can't drive a car, as she lacks the concentration to focus for more than a few minutes at a time. Blondie can't handle many other day to day things that require a normal level of concentration or planning. Because of this her parents took legal control of her affairs and her person when she was very young. So even though she is now over 21 she is legally their ward and will be for life.

Now my buddy, her dad, we'll call him Tex, is the nicest guy you'd ever want to meet. If you did meet him you'd be friends in about 3 minutes and life long friends after about 15 minutes of talking with the man. He's one of the most laid back and likable men there is. One of the things I tease Tex about is that he needs to get a gun and start saving up for a bail fund so I can get him out of jail when his twin girls start liking boys. I've been kidding him about this for about 10 years and now that the girls are at that age. Normally he just jokes back with me and we enjoy our visit.

I brought the bail thing up excepting a friendly chat. He told me in as serious a way as I've ever seen, "no need for bail, I'm willing to die for my daughters". Then Tex told me a story that had recently happened about Blondie. Blondie likes boys, just as any normal 20 something girl is apt to. Being blond, slim and appropriately and attractively curved as a female should be, the boys have noticed her too. Tex has always let his daughter date and like any good dad he has set limits and taught his kids what is right and what is wrong and how to be with members of the opposite sex.

Problem is that one boy has been putting the pressure on Blondie to violate dad's limits and rules. He likes to remind her that she is over 21 and doesn't have to do what her daddy says. Tex found out about this situation and ended the relationship between Blondie and the boy (this boy being about 25). In my book this should get Tex's name in the hat for a great dad award. In the boy's book, Tex's name went right to the top of his "to do" list.

Now the "to do" list included a confrontation with Tex as a way of establishing who would be filling the slots on Blondie's dance card. So the boy shows up at Tex's job and pesters the receptionist till she gets Tex and he goes outside. I'm sure you can fill in the details of the encounter. The cops were called. The boys mom works for the Sheriffs department and everything seems to have been swept under the rug. I asked for details about how it went down. This is what Tex said:

"I am willing to die for my daughter, he wasn't. I don't care what it costs me, I'll go to jail or the grave, no one messes with my family". "When some boy comes along that is willing to die for my little girls, I'll give them in marriage but not till then." "Thats the way it was in the Bible times and it ain't gonna change at my house."


The object of the game is to destroy American capitalism by having the government take over everything!

Tokens include a bus, a teleprompter, a sprig of arugula and a waffle iron.

Wanna play? No??? Too bad, you're already playing... And quite frankly, in this game, nobody wins!

If anyone knows who originated this, I would be glad to provide credit and a link.


Wise or Ungrateful?

I don't know if you've watched ABC's Home Make Over on TV. Personally I quit watching TV when they switched to digital and my roof antenna won't pick any channels up. A decision I'm more than comfortable with. I have seen the show though. I think it is one of the better shows on TV. The premise is simple, some needy family gets a break in the form of a new home that their community builds or remodels for them.

The houses I've seen on the show are fabulous. I wish I was able to have something like them for my family. Can you imagine someone giving up their home?

That's what the Hassall family is doing. You see they believe they would be better off if they were debt free. Blame it on Dave Ramesy. Their church held one of his Financial Peace classes and they decided that they would be better off in a house that was paid for, but not as nice. They would rather give up comfort than struggle with bills. So they're selling out.

Some of the folks in their Cynthiana Kentucky town are a bit peeved and feel like the family is profiting at the towns expense and ungrateful for such a nice house. Personally I'm with the Hassalls its better to live debt free than worry about the nicer things in life. I say good on them.