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!


A Kind Word for the LDS

Those of you that have been around blogging with me the last 7 or so years are probably aware of my intense dislike for Mormons. This has to do with an event in my life involving a Mormon girl and some surrounding unpleasantness.  Anyway I once said if they ever did anything good I'd be sure to point it out.

Well here I go.

My sister is married to a youth minister.  He was working for a ministry (run by a group of evangelicals) that ran a boarding type school for troubled teens.  As it happens this school is located in Utah.  They decided to move the school and fire a number of staff persons to reduce costs.  My brother in law was one of the employees to get the ax. My sister was 9 months pregnant, when her husband lost his job.  They had baby girl last week and everyone is doing fine. 

In the midst of all of this they needed to have someone watch their kids and they went to use the day care that they had been using.  The lady running the day care (LDS, go figure its Utah) told him not to worry about paying since she was aware of what had happened at the school.  My brother in law told her that not letting them pay was no way to run a business.  She told him to do the best he could getting another job, take care of his pregnant wife and let her worry about her business.  She happened to know that my folks would be coming to visit after the baby was born.  So a full sized Christmas type dinner of ham potatoes and all the trimmings showed up.  All they had to do was put it in the oven for dinner.

I should point out that this kindness was more than the local "Christians" associated with the ministry did.  In fact, the guy who runs the program wanted everyone to donate their last paycheck to the ministry before the move. Apparently there was a bit of pressure for them to do that. I don't know how many that "donated" their paycheck got to keep their jobs at the new location.

There is no likelihood of me changing my religion or my over all stand on Mormonism. But a least one Mormon is a great person and has earned a public pat on the back.

Ground Up Soup

My family has a rich tradition of foods at holiday time.  Christmas typically has a lot of cookies for example.  Mom makes up about 12 or 14 different kinds of cookies and plates them up for friends and neighbors for delivery on Christmas eve.

One tradition involves a  concoction known as "ground up soup".  The story goes, that back during the first great depression, the family was living out in the north woods someplace and it was an especially bad winter.  All that was in the house on Christmas eve was a bag of potatoes, a bunch of carrots and some salt pork. So they took the potatoes, carrots and salt pork and ran them through a meat grinder.  Then the ingredients were put into a pot of boiling water.  It may have been melted snow water as the pump might have been frozen, the details here are somewhat lost as my great grandma has been dead over 12 years and she was the last surviving person to be there for the start of this tradition.  In any event, they made soup out of it, as there was noting else to eat.

My mothers side of the family has been making this soup once a year on Christmas eve.  As a kid I hated the tradition.  I was always much more found of peanut-butter balls, Santa's Whiskers, butterscotch bars and my favorite Church Windows.  Even my brother and sister hated this culinary adventure into yesteryear's poverty.  We called the stuff "gruel"  and swore we would never eat it again after leaving home.  Which with the exception of visits home at Christmas time remained pretty much true.

Except this year.  I made a batch.  Not the big 5 gallon batch my grandmothers and mother would make.  It was a more moderate gallon and a half sized batch, as I don't have a 5 gallon pot to make it in. Christmas eve I sat down and ate a bowl or two.  Traditions apparently never die. They do however go well with cookies.


Seasonal Ramblings

Christmas is almost here.  I'm done shopping.  All I have to do is wrap up some gifts.  I'm still waiting on one item I ordered to get here and I'll be finished with the whole deal.  I've really been rethinking my thoughts on the whole holiday and I'm a little surprised at where I've ended up.  While I am a Christian, I do not believe Christ was born in December, and therefore I've never celebrated Christmas as a religious observance. As a kid I was taken in by the whole Santa thing but generally disappointed by the way things turned out.  You see growing up Christmas gift giving was about getting stuff you needed more than getting fun stuff.  Gift giving was similar.  Mom and Dad got gifts from the kids that were slightly dumb and not greatly desired.

Growing up gifts were 80% stuff you needed, like cloths and maybe 20% toys or other fun stuff.  Despite my never asking for socks or underwear, Santa always brought some. Christmas of 1977 was the sole exception in my childhood.  For those of you who don't know or care, the first Star Wars movie came out in 1977.  Me and my friends all believed that Star Wars was the coolest thing ever.  That year Santa came through with an X-wing Fighter and action figures.  While he also no doubt showered me with socks and the required whitey tighties, the overwhelming coolness of Stars Wars made up for it.  With the exception of 1977, my over all outlook on Christmas has traditionally been someplace between slightly annoyed and mystified that people would bother with it at all.

Then I married Mrs Ipsa. She grew up Lutheran.  Her family celebrated Christmas as religious and a family holiday.  I do mean celebrated.  Christmas was an all out great big deal for her family.  My mother in law starts asking for Christmas wish lists in July.  No kidding!  The forth of July kicks off her Christmas shopping.  Year one of marriage I discovered that Christmas would be a BIG DEAL.

As I remember it, my idea of a great first married Christmas, involved some festive seasonal red fashion ware from that great Christmas retailer, Victoria's Secret and some not too subtle hints about a certain elf and visits to the south pole. The men reading this will no doubt agree that, with some slight modifications to accommodate personal tastes, my general concept is a sure way to enjoy the holiday season. Women reading this should take note as well.  If your man gets grumpy at the holidays, maybe you're putting too much time into "the season" and not enough time into the "happy" portion of "happy holidays".  Less sex and more of your mother, sister and other family members is a guaranteed recipe for "Grinch". 

Reality didn't go along with fantasy.  Our first Christmas was exhausting and not for any of the good reasons.  Christmas Eve services, staying the night at her folks house (no we can't do it here), up at 4:00am, her sisters bratty kids TONS OF GIFTS and a 2 hr car ride to my parents, the lack of joy that I traditionally have about Christmas at their house, Santa made sure I got some more socks, dinner, a long ride back to our house after a 18hr day of holiday fun, no elf action.

I made a couple decisions after that first Christmas.  Number one, NEVER would we do Christmas at every-bodies house on the same day again.  It was just way too much.  Number two, Christmas still sucked every bit as much as I thought it did, but she loved it.  I would go along with a minimum amount of griping, since apparently sharing my insights into the activities just made her upset.

So for the last 13 years I've been going along and getting along.  My mother in law has been doing her thing and the wife has been doing hers.  I've been doing my best to keep my mouth shut, and hang lights as required. 

Res Jr. turned 4 this year, which means that he remembered from last year what was coming this year.  Talk about excited.  For a week before Thanksgiving he keep asking Mrs Ipsa about putting up the tree.  She promised him they would do it the day after Thanksgiving.  Mom broke down and had it up Thursday afternoon.  Friday morning I was woken up by sounds best described as "weeping and gnashing of teeth". My son believed that with the erecting and decorating of the Christmas tree, Santa would come and the living room would be filled with presents.  It wasn't, and the great comforter known as mom wasn't able to get things under control before the great protector known as dad arrived on the scene looking to kill whomever was murdering his son.

The youthful excitement of my son and wide eyed wonder of my daughter has been tugging on my heart these last few weeks.  I've been rethinking Christmas in my heart as well as my head.  No Jesus wasn't born on 12/25 but something is being born in my heart.  This year my wife asked me for suggestions for grandmas wish list for the kids.  I started giving her a list of things, all very practical things mind you, like the socks and underwear I hated as a kid.  She stopped me and told me that her mom would say buying that stuff was a parents responsibility and not real Christmas presents.  I huffed off.  What she said has stuck with me.

The wife and kids have been gone since the middle of week before last visiting the grand parents.  They get home on Monday.  Last Friday they had Christmas with my folks.  A no toy Christmas and one game for the boy.  He was less than thrilled.  Just like me growing up.  This morning they had Christmas with her folks.  Yes the kids got some cloths, but they were shirts with pictures of things the kids liked on them, and every box of practical gifts had a couple toys of some sort stuck in to go with it.  It was fun, they got cool stuff.  It sounds like they had a blast.  The best Christmas ever!!!  I missed it.

Socks and shirts are things a parent is supposed to buy for their kids.  They never made me smile as a kid.  Christmas time comes once every year but childhood only comes once a lifetime.  I intend for my kids to love Christmas every bit as much as their mother does.  The only way for that to happen is to make it as great for them as I can.  As this attitude has been taking root my enjoyment of the season has been growing.  I've even been wishing total strangers a merry Christmas.  Some of them simile and wish it right back to me, which is great. 

Friday I waited on a rather stern looking older man.  I finished up his paperwork and wished him a Merry Christmas.  He gave me a rather peeved look and said, "I'm a Jew".  I could tell from the look on his face he was less than pleased with me.  Not knowing what to say and a little lost for words, I just said, "That's OK so was Jesus".  He broke into the biggest smile and laughed at me.  "Merry Christmas to you".


Advice Columns

I don't get it.  I thought he was offering some solid insight into why the car was having problems.  Does anyone have a better solution or place to look to fix her car?


Making a Marine Cry

Last night I left the house under the excuse of retuning a video.  It seemed like a good excuse because I had a video that was going to be overdue if not returned by 10pm.  This seemed like the perfect chance to get a little clandestine shopping done for my wife, who is just a tad bit Christmas crazy.

While waiting at the counter in the store I noticed an older man who had a piece of jewelry on with a very nice EGA.  An EGA is the Eagle Globe and Anchor is the emblem for the Untied States Marine Corps, for those of you who did not grow up the son of a Marine.

Several years ago I made it a personal challenge to thank anyone who is a vet for their service.  So when I see anyone wearing something reminiscent of one of the branches of the service I ask them about it.  If they have a hat with a boat crew number I ask them about the Navy, an Army unit patch gets the same question as does the Air-force.  If they say they were in, I tell them thank you for your service.  If they say no, its my kids's boat, air crew, regiment etc, I ask them to tell their kid thank you for me.

I don't do that with Marines.  I ask them if they EARNED the right to wear that EGA.  If they say no, its for my kid, husband, etc I ask them pass along my thanks.  IF they say yes, and its normally more along the lines of a "HELL YES! OTHERWISE I WOULDN'T BE WEARING IT. WHAT DO YOU TAKE ME FOR?"  Then I say, something along the lines of, "I thought you looked like a Marine, I just wanted to say thank you for your service."  This almost always does two things: 1. brings them to attention and 2. elicits a beaming light of pride from their eyes.  I've done this to a man in his 80's who was bent over from age.  He got out of his wheel chair and stood straight to let me know that I was more than welcome and he wished he could do it all over again.

Back to last night.  I went through my normal "so did you earn the right to that EGA" question.  I think I narrowly avoided getting my butt kicked by a man 30 years older then me BTW. Predictably he came to attention.  I do mean attention. Ram rod straight, eyes locked forward, chest out, fingertips perfectly aligned etc.  USMC on a parade ground attention.  I could almost see him in his dress blues.  I gave my usual hearty, "I thought you looked like a Marine, I just wanted to say thank you for your service."

Perfectly at attention, he began to weep.

I teared up as well, and for the first time since I started my personal campaign of saying thanks to vets I wish I had not said anything.

Then he spoke, "no one has every told me thank you".

"Well they should have" I replied.  "I appreciate your service". I said and turned to go.

"When did you serve?" he asked me.  I stopped and turned back around.  "That honor is not mine to claim." I replied.  "I just make it a point to say thanks to those who have". I went on, "My father served with the 3rd Mar Div and pulled security at the De Nang airbase in 67 and 68".

That opened the flood gate of info.  He served in Viet Nam from 1964 till 1972.  He was with the 1st and 3rd Marine Recon. When we were done talking, and we were done, the store was getting ready to close; he made me promise to tell my dad thank you and Semper Fi.  In his estimation my father had done something right and quite frankly I hadn't earned his respect as #1) I am not a Marine, or #2)even in one of the other support branches of the military who do the less important jobs that let Marines go and fight Americas enemies.  I told him I would pass it on.

I got home well after bath time (one of my normal jobs) and past bed time, also my normal job.  Mrs. Ipsa was slightly less than happy with me.  When she demanded an accounting, I gave it.  As I was getting ready to round the kidos up for bed, she told me to call my father.  As she pointed out, "You'll forget if you don't do it now".  So I made the call.  The kids were even latter getting to bed.  My dad informed me of how great this Marine was.  How tough he had it.  How my dad's combat experience was like being on vacation compared to everything this man faced.  I suspect that dad was standing at attention while he and I had this chat. Ram rod straight, eyes locked forward, chest out, USMC on a parade ground attention.

I never got the man's name.

I don't know if you are the type who will go up and talk to a stranger because they are wearing a hat or a pin that has a unit on it. If you are, try out my little program. Tell a vet thanks. You might be the only person that ever has. You owe them this much.  They earned it. Some more than others have paid the price of your freedom.


Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours my friends.

May you be blessed more this next year than you were this, and may your extra blessing be used to bless those around you.


The Secret of Bill’s Success

Back in his college days Bill Gates used to wander around the seamy side of Cambridge MA. Even in the brainy town that surrounded Harvard, Bill was something of a nerd. Forced to cruse the second hand stores for the 1950’s era pocket protectors and plaid fashion accessories he craved, Bill became a regular in pawn shops and at yard sales.

It was on one of these excursions from the Ivory Tower that Bill wandered into Habeeb's House of Pawned Crap and Estate Brokers. Bill saw what appeared to be a giant hookah in a box that had just came in. Thinking that getting random strangers to take a hit on the hookah might just be the ticket to getting some new friends, he bought it. Rushing home he began to polish it up.

That’s when it happened. A genie came out of the hookah. Apparently the genie got confused during the 60’s and wasn’t able to get back to his lamp during a raid on a frat party. This incredibly laid back and mellow genie offered Bill his three wishes.

Bill said, “I want all the money in the world, for all women to find me irresistible and a Pack Man arcade game.” The genie thought over his wish and said: “Sorry man, can’t do it”. “Well why not?” Bill asked, “Aren’t you a real genie?” “Sure man I’m a real genie, but some things aren’t possible”, he replied. “Like dig it man, you can’t every have ‘all the money in the world’ cause as soon as you do the man just prints more and everybody gets inflation”, the genie said. “Face it Bill you’re a nerd, all women are never going to find you irresistible, it defies the nature of the universe”. The genie continued, “man you have to adjust your expectations and stay true to your place in the cosmos”.

Bill thought this over for a bit. So he said, “OK this is what I wish for, I want to get credit for inventing the personal computer, I want a nickel for every time someone has to reboot it, a dime for every time it crashes and a quarter for every time someone gets a virus”. The genie, not knowing anything about computers agreed to the wish.

This is why Bill Gates has almost all the money in the world.

It is also why I haven’t been doing much blogging. My computer has been and still is giving me fits. It’s also why I have lost everyone’s email address.


Good Timing

A special note of thanks to my friends who served our country in the armed forces.  Thank you for your service.  From the Marine Corps Times:
The Marine Corps has recommended that a former corporal receive the Medal of Honor for braving a hail of enemy fire in September 2009 to pull the bodies of four U.S. troops from a kill zone in eastern Afghanistan, Marine Corps Times has learned.

Dakota Meyer, 22, of Greensburg, Ky., was recommended for the nation’s highest award for valor, according to a source with knowledge of the process, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Meyer was recommended for his actions on Sept. 8, 2009, near the village of Ganjgal in Kunar province. He charged into a kill zone on foot and alone to find three missing Marines and a Navy corpsman who had been pinned down under enemy fire for hours by about 150 well-armed insurgents. Already wounded by shrapnel before braving enemy fire, he found them dead and stripped of their gear and weapons, and carried them out of the kill zone with the help of Afghan soldiers, according to military documents obtained by Marine Corps Times.

As a side note, if this Marine recieves the Medal of Honor, he will be the first living Marine to do so in a generation.



I guess the evil empire just ran out of cash.


Hip Boots

First a hunting/shooting update.  Normally I would blog about my success.  Except I can't.  First opening day of elk was 74 degrees outside.  I saw no elk, but had a great 4 days of camping. 

Second, I took one whole day for antelope.  My shooting SUCKED.  Attempt on mature buck #1 resulted in a miss at less than 300 yards.  One day I will remember about shooting down hill and against a head wind.  Notice I said remember, not learn.  I already know what to do and have practiced the shot.  I just can't seem to remember not to screw it up.  I have no idea why I missed shot at doe #1.  No idea at all.  Not even a good guess.  Same thing goes for the 200 yard shot at doe #2.  Buck #2 (a baby buck barely 2 years old) was a double shoulder 1 shot kill at 225 yards with a 12mph cross wind and an extreme downhill angle.  168 grain Berger Bullets in a 7-08 Rem at 2600 fps was a new load for me this year (I'm still experimenting) they will more than get the job done.  As it turns out I had NO USABLE MEAT on either side of the front quarter of the buck.  Doe #3 presented not one, not two but three shoots for me.  I missed them all.  I have no idea why.  I changed guns at this point.  I had a sweet set up on a buck at 1,079 yards.  I've shot targets in the same exact place and NEVER missed.  1,079 would be a new personal best on a big game animal.  So I set up, checked the wind, ranged it again, got a great rest and missed it by TWO FEET!  I had no clue why.  So I had another go at another lope at 998 yards and missed.  Research latter proved that the scope had been bumped and was off.  Doe #4 was an easy 375 yrds and I missed.  I tried again at 450, and missed.  I got closer (about 80 yards) and made a solid hit.

For those of you keeping score that's attempts on 2 bucks and 4 does.  With one buck and one doe hanging in my garage.  It took me 11 shots to get it done at a little less than 7 hours.  Normally I'm done with antelope in less than an hour of hunting to fill two tags.  I'm not even keeping the bucks horns. The tenderloins however were delicious tonight for super.

I'm going to make a try for elk again this weekend, even though the heat wave is expected to continue.  Deer season opened yesterday in my elk unit so I'll buy a tag.

The election was today.  I voted.  There were no surprises here.  Our congress critter is a republican.  She won.  Yawn.  They seem to be making a big fuss in the news about our having a Democrat Governor and a Republican winning.  Its not a big deal.  We have term limits.  Gov Dave limited out.  The Republicans ran a candidate and the Democrats didn't, this isn't a big upset.  At least not in my book.  In fairness to Gov Dave, he was more conservative than most Repubs, at least outside of Wyoming.  He did a decent job when in office and was elected to the maximum number of terms.  What would have been big news is if Taylor Haynes would have won as a write in candidate.  If that would have happened we would have had a black man as governor, who ran to the right of the Constitution Party.  BTW I wrote him in.

In local races I stuck to my policy of either 1.)vote the challenger or 2.)vote for the lessor evil.  This year I actually had to vote Dem in a handful of races.  Don't hate me.  The reason was that the Repub incumbent is/was such a complete and total waste of oxygen that I couldn't vote for her, her and him.  That and there were no 3rd party options in those 3 races.  I hated to vote dem but face it, at some point even the dems couldn't screw the job up worse than these clowns. We've reached that point.  Hopefully we get someone new in those jobs and we get a new cohort of crooks in the county commissioners and other assorted offices that actually can be affected by my vote.


Halloween Pun

Ted Lawrence awakened from a deep sleep.
What was that noise? He could have sworn he just heard music coming from somewhere. But that was impossible. He was alone in the house.

There it was again, coming from outside the bedroom door. Familiar music that he couldn't place. It certainly wasn't coming from his stereo since there wasn't anything remotely like it in his extensive collection of cassettes and compact discs. He preferred rock but this was something else entirely. 

Suddenly, there was an outburst of laughter as if a big party was in full swing downstairs. Loud voices and hoots echoed off the walls as the volume increased. He clutched the sheets in fear, hauling them over his head to try to block out the noise coming from the empty house. Could he be dreaming? Was this all a figment of an overworked imagination?

No sooner had he asked himself these questions when the bedroom door flew open, embedding the knob in the freshly painted wall. He nearly jumped out of the sheets, and his skin, at the same time. What was that? His heart seemed to be looking for the easiest path out of his chest.

''Who's there?" he asked timidly. No answer. The racket continued unabated downstairs. I've got to be flipping out, he thought. Maybe a nervous breakdown. That had to be it. The house was empty and he was alone. But the music continued nonetheless. Um-pum-pum, um-pum-pum.

Trembling, he inched his way out of bed and moved toward the door. Laughter erupted as he crossed the floor. He whipped his head around to make sure no one was behind him. Downstairs, accordions and drums blasted an incessant beat into his terrified brain as he edged out into the hallway. Nothing. No lights, no flickering shadows. He had to be losing his mind.

That beat, repetitious and boring. An odd beat with the accent on the last half. Most unusual. He felt his way to the top of the stairs, not daring to turn on any lights for fear he might see something he really didn't want to confront. He peered into the darkness. Still as death, he thought, and quickly wiped the unfortunate choice of metaphor from his mind.

He made his way quietly down the stairs and reached for the switch. As his fingers searched, something cold and slimy clamped itself over his hand. He reeled back in horror as something laughed in his ear.  Then something glowing flashed in front of his face and flew up the stairs. A cold, thin tendril wrapped around his ankles and slithered up his leg. 

He was cemented to the floor. His eyes were wide with terror as the laughter and the music reached ear-splitting levels. Then it dawned on him. Of course. He had been so stupid. He should have stayed in bed, maybe then he would have had a chance. 

But now it was too late. A scream erupted from his tortured lips as he slipped to the floor. Um-pum-pum, um-pum-pum. That beat! It was pounding mercilessly into his very soul. He watched in dread fascination as one of his feet began to jerk back and forth in time to the music. They were inside his body now. He tried to form the word but could barely move his lips.



In the News

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — U.S. Marine commandos stormed a pirate-held cargo ship off the Somalia coast Thursday, reclaiming control and taking nine prisoners without firing a shot in the first such boarding raid by the international anti-piracy flotilla, U.S. Navy officials said.
The mission — using small craft to reach the deck of German-owned vessel as the crew huddled in a safe room below — ranks among the most dramatic high seas confrontations with pirates by the task force created to protect shipping lanes off lawless Somalia.
The crew managed to kill the engines before taking refuge in an panic room-style chamber, leaving the ship adrift and the pirates so frustrated they started damaging equipment after hijacking the vessel Wednesday, Navy officials and the ship's operator say.
Lt. John Fage, a spokesman at the U.S. Fifth Fleet headquarters in Bahrain, described the pre-dawn raid as an "air and sea" assault that included Cobra attack helicopters for surveillance and coordination.
Marine Corps officers involved in the raid told reporters in a conference call that the attack involved "overwhelming force" and the element of surprise. Marines were able to separate the pirates and confront them singly or in small groups, while helicopters bore down.
The armed pirates gave up quickly when faced with large numbers of Marines carrying heavier weaponry.
The rest of the story here.

A couple of thoughts.
1. Marines are not commandos.  They are Marines.  They are bigger and badder than "commandos".
2. "The armed pirates gave up quickly when faced with large numbers of Marines carrying heavier weaponry." Giving up quickly is a smart move when confronted by the USMC.  What is the heavy weaponry?  The Marines are boarding a ship, I doubt they brought tanks or field pieces.  This is evidence that Fox News is filled with know nothing pinko democrat nut cases that don't have a clue about the armed forces.  Sure they aren't as bad as NBC ITAR-TASS.
3. The USMC has been the preferred and most effective method of dealing with middle east pirates since 1805. See Pic


Humble Pie

I've never thought of myself as stuck up. If anything I think I'm the opposite.  Funny how we delude ourselves sometimes.  I really do care, apparently a great deal more than I would have thought, about social status.  I find myself in a job, that allows me to tread water till I get a better job.  My boss is a friend and knew that I needed some kind of income in the worst way.  There was an opening, and I was offered the job.

Its a job that requires me to wear a name tag, and serve the public.  I haven't had a job that required a name tag since I was 19.  I hate the name tag.  Not that I'm ashamed of my name, I just would rather not wear it.  Its a requirement, and I like being among the 65% of Americans with a job rather than the 35% without one. 

I serve the public.  I wear the tag.  Except yesterday I took it off.  One of our senators came in to do business with us.  I knew he was coming and I was the only person available to take care of him.  I've met him before.  We've worked on projects together when I was actively consulting.  I didn't want him to remember me, because frankly I'd like to be working on those kinds of projects and doing that kind of work more than wearing a name tag.

I waited on him.  We made small talk.  I didn't take the bait when he asked me about politics. I did and said nothing in hope he wouldn't remember me.  He looked at me like he recognized me but he couldn't remember from where.  Then he left.  A few minutes latter he came back in because he forgot something.  I took care of it for him.  He thanked me using my full name.  He remembered me, but was enough of a gentleman not to ask any questions.

I'm really not ashamed of doing honest work.  Even when the pay is low.  Its better than not working at all.  After 3 full years of under employment and having a baby, my savings is almost tapped.  Frankly I haven't done a government contract since 2003.  Apparently I miss playing a big shot.


"Biblical Endorsements"

What if Biblical characters could be recruited as product endorsers?
For - Noah: "We can find a mate for anything. Why not you?"
For Excedrin - Moses: "Take two tablets and call me in the morning."
For Dell - Adam and Eve: "No Apples for us. We learned the hard way."
For AARP - Methuselah: "Life begins at 960!"
I thought it was funny.  Anyone have any other suggestions?


It Pays to Vote

Today is primary election day here in Wyoming. This is important because its the only day you have any real say in the election process on a state or federal level. I made the effort to go to the polls for a couple of good reasons.

1. We have a real ass running for sheriff and I don't want the guy elected. The only way to avoid this travesty of justice is to make sure his name isn't on the ballet come Nov.

2. All real political leadership issues are settled in the primaries here. The state doesn't have a two party system. Sure there are democrats but they mostly vote like republicans. Basically, with the exception of Jackson Hole and a couple of liberal backwaters, the state is conservative. Our retiring democrat governor is actually more conservative than GWB ever was.

So I showed up at the polls, and went in and did my duty. I voted for a couple of incumbent candidates, mostly because the challenger is a waste of oxygen. I voted against every incumbent for county commissar. They're crooks. The main reason to be a county commissioner is to vote in favor of deals that make the other commissioners money, so they in turn will vote in favor of your crooked business deals. I figure its time for a new set of crooks.

My goals amounted to: Stop a really poor potential sheriff, and get rid of some small time crooks. As I walked out to my truck I looked down and found a $20 bill on the parking lot, proving that, at least sometimes, it pays to vote.

Another Game Post

OK so its a little Monty Python.

For the most part the above is true.  Acting like a jerk will get most guys what they desire the most, most of the time.  When a guy is a total nice guy/romantic that respects the girl and wants her "best" what she will respond to isn't the nice guy.

On the topic of sexual/relational norms, I found a modern/non religious person who believes that "a womens place is in the home".  His is an interesting take on the subject from a purely evolutionary and personal satisfaction stand point.  
In our ancestral past, people did not have to fill in forms. They did have to copulate in order to pass on genes. Consequently, we did not evolve to get a natural mental high from form-filling, but we did evolve to get something of a pleasant sensation from copulation. Today, we have to fill in forms, but no amount of education can make form-filling fun, because our brains simply do not have a mechanism for releasing pleasure chemicals for form-filling. Our brains do, however, have very strongly hard-wired mechanism for rewarding sex. By the same logic you cannot educate men to be happy about being kept or women to be happy working in an office while a stranger looks after her kids.

Another interesting bit I found.



It's that time of year again. The 70th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is in full swing. I hate it.

You might be thinking, "Res you live in Wyoming, what do you care what happens in South Dakota?" Normally you'd be right. Sturgis is different. In order to get to the rally from the west, most people come through Wyoming. There in is my problem with the whole mess.

There are two kinds of bikers at the rally. Those that rode their Hog and those who made the trip some other way. I hate them both. Those that rode come through town at all hours of the day and night, with the classic loud pipes. For those of you who don't know, Harley Davidson Motorcycles are the most efficient method of turning petroleum into decibels without the added inconvenience of horse power, ever invented by man. The other problem I have is environmental. I was stuck behind a pilot car in a work zone, they were resurfacing the road. There were 3 guys ridding Harleys. They left enough oil on the newly rocked road to make a British Petroleum offshore drilling executive blush with shame.

The second group trailer their bikes. These are my favorites. The $250,000 to $1,000,000 motor home with the $50,000 special bike trailer carrying $100,000 grand in bikes. They're my favorite because I remember a time when I was a bad boy biker. I owned a $100 Honda CL360. I drove the bike almost all the time, because that's what I had. I made maybe $5 an hour in those days. It's time to play, "lets get a clue". If you can afford to drop over six figures to come to a one week rally in South Dakota, you're not a bad boy biker. Chances are you're a pediatrician, programmer for a dot com start up that made it big before the bust, or an employee of a company that the government just bailed out. In other words you're not a bad boy, you're a poser.

Seriously, we see the California plates on the motor home, don't try to play tough guy big shot in our town. Assless leather pants don't make you bullet proof. When you come into Perkins for breakfast, just wait for your table and don't bother the locals. When you pull the "who you looking at?" crap, act tough, and try to start something, we just pull our guns and lay them on the table. That's known as calling your bluff. Running out and calling the cops, that was so bad boy biker of you.

A couple of years ago the BMW Riders of America had their rally in Wyoming. I had a group of 50 to 100 riders drive past my house. They barely made any noise, none of my windows rattled. I guess they even spent the night in town. No bar fights, no trashed restaurants, no arrests that I ever heard about. Apparently the grocery store ran out of organic yogurt, but no other incidents were reported.

For those of you curious about the difference between Harley and BMW riders, I have complied a brief list.

HD: Loud pipes save lives.
BMW: Riding a good bike sober saves lives.

BMW: 120 mph
HD: 120 mph??? You're making that up.

BMW: Let's stop, I need a couple of gallons of gas.
HD: Let's stop, I need a couple of gallons of oil.

BMW: Shower regularly, wash bike when needed.
HD: Wash bike, polish chrome, Armor All tiers and seat, make it shine. What's a shower?

BMW: Sporty matching riding gear.
HD: Black leather chaps and dew rag.

BMW: Electric start.
HD: Fat chick on back to kick start.

BWM: New personal speed record.
HD: New item on criminal record.

BMW: Earl Gray lightly brewed and some nice scones and jam.
HD: Ben Gay, man I hurt all over, 12 miles is a killer ride.

BMW: Great each other with hugs and kisses.
HD: Only hug and kiss if they spent time as roommates in the big house.


Dr, Phil

Yes, its the best I could do on a couple hours sleep.  Hope you got a chuckle.  I hope the girls got one or two right, somehow I doubt that they did. :-)


Blogging Will be Lite

I just landed a bit of short term work.  Unfortunately it involves me being on location 12hrs overnight.  I'll be working all night and sleeping during the day.  Less drive time etc I should get 6hrs sack time each day, so the hobbies have to take a back seat for the next 3 weeks.

I hope your summer is going great.  We are currently being overrun with veggies from the garden.


Wyoming Wildlife 1, Tourists 0

Suggested soundtrack for this post:

This started playing in my head as soon as I started reading this article.

It happens almost every year, someone, normally its a bus load of Japanese tourists, but not always, makes the mistake of thinking Yellowstone National Park is a petting zoo.  The park is special to me, I used to live there, so I can speak with some authority on this. Every visitor gets a hand full of papers when they drive through the gate.  Mostly these are pamphlets on park attractions.  Most of these have a warning on them: "Don't disturb the wildlife".

The park hands these warnings out and posts signs reminding visitors that wildlife is in fact wild. Some people just don't get it.  They have to try to pet the animals or pretend that they are an National Geographic photographer, or Jane Goodall or something.  When the park service closes hiking trails due to bear activity, they do stuff like ignore the closing and hike the trail anyway.  I have a funny story about that, remind me to share it sometime.  They have to go check out wolf kill sites.  They like to try to see why all the cow elk are circled looking out.  That moose looks so tame, I think I'll get a picture of me petting it.  True statistic: in 1950 most of the rattlesnake bites reported to the park service, were located on the ankle or calf.  In 1994 most snake bites where located on the face, neck and upper torso.  Did rattlesnakes learn to jump higher in 54 years? No tourists just got dumber.  In the 50's snake encounters were the result of not seeing the snake and stepping on or near it.  In the 90's snake bites were the result of SEEING the snake and getting down on the ground close to it to take a picture.  Yet another proof of the infallibility of  biological evolution.

BTW, I don't count snake encounters as proof that a person is a total moron.  I've been bitten once and had several near misses myself.  All of them accidental, if I see a snake its shoot first, collect the tail latter. Then again, I have thousands of hours of time spent in the outdoors in wild locations. I should point out, I've never been bitten on the face while taking a picture of a rattlesnake getting ready to strike.

Here is a video of Cathy Hayes and her summer vacation to Yellowstone:

Cathy is a school teacher, so her IQ is somewhat in doubt to begin with. She decided that "do not disturb the wildlife" means: "go ahead and chase a buffalo across the parking lot".  After all buffalo are known for their enjoyment of fun loving  games like tag.  They so miss the days when the Indians used to chase them across the plains.  It would be wrong to just leave them alone.  The real kicker comes when someone decided that chasing wasn't enough and they wanted to get that extra bit of playground humor and threw a stick at the buffalo. After being chased across the parking lot, the stick must have been too much like the old days of Indians and arrows and the buffalo decided to run off the pests.

Which he did.  Good on you Mr. buffalo.


Candy Store

As a boy grows into a man he learns about Candy Store.  At first the candy store is something he knows happens to exist.  It's really not important in his life, after all they look goofy, smell funny, act funny and aren't very good at playing army or ball.  He hears about Candy Store, but why bother? Something happens as he gets older, the talk form adults about Candy Store starts to get interesting.

At first he hears about Dad's Candy Store, how they met, what Dad liked about the Store, and what the Store liked about Dad.  There are stories about the purchase transaction negotiations and about how exciting the day was when they signed the purchase paper. The lesson learned is, this is what works for getting a Candy Store.  The boy goes to church and learns about the importance of signing the purchase paper before you get into the Store.  He learns that he can only ever have that first Candy Store for the rest of his life.  The lesson learned is he better pick carefully.

The boy gets older and he realizes that he REALLY NEEDS a visit to the Candy Store.  So he starts window shopping.  He knows the rules, no sampling the candy unless he buys the store first, and a man can only have one store in his life.  He spends all his spare time and money checking out Candy Stores.  He gets to know them.  They look funny, act funny, smell funny aren't any good at sports and he can't get enough.

He finds one that his parents agree is an excellent Candy Store.  It's got a solid foundation, a reputation for sturdiness, and a good roof.  Most importantly to the boy, he saw a glimpse of some truffles and can't wait for a taste.  The boy enters into earnest negotiations to buy it.  Eventually they reach a bargain.  He agrees to only shop at the store, and spend all that he has in time, money and energy on its up keep.  The Store agrees to supply the candy.  

Purchase day comes, they sign the papers and all their friends and family are happy for them. Finally its time to sample some candy.  It's awkward at first, no one has tried this recipe before, which is great, as far as the boy is concerned, but awkward for the candy maker.  There were some difficulties unwrapping the candy. Who knew the packaging had so many hidden clasps?  Even that is fun for the boy.  He gets the candy, its good.  He knows he likes it and looks forward to more tastes.

Time goes on.  The boy invests his time, money and life into the store.  The Candy Store is closed most of the time.  Not only that, but there are whole sections of shelves that he can't select candy from.  It gets to the point where the shop is only open every fifth Thursday and all that is available is stale milk chocolate miniatures which are handed over with poor service and a snarl.  A little variety would be appreciated but the candy maker insists on only using granny wrappers on the candy, because doing something different would be "uncomfortable".  Meanwhile the store makes more demands even though its closed.

The man knows that he has been cheated.  He can't get out of the deal.  The purchase papers are signed.  He learns that other men get to shop from all the shelves in a variety of different stores, whenever they want.  This sounds fantastic to him.  How can it be?  All he wants is some nicely wrapped truffles and a little juicy fruit on a regular basis.  He can't get that, even though he played by all the rules.  The players ignore the rules of the church but get all the candy they want.  It's not fair.

He learns what the Players are doing.  It boils down to being a more manly man and working on yourself.  He learns that Candy Stores are more generous with the goodies when they think the man is attractive to other Stores.  The man learns not to ask, beg or cry as a way of getting candy.  After all it didn't work before.  He learns what does work and does that instead.

Candy Stores are against men learning how to get the candy.  The candy store wants an indentured servant, not a eager and dedicated customer.  If men know what works, they will do that instead of paying for a new paint job or sweeping up in the kitchen.


I got started on this topic because of you and Hedi.  I think its interesting to apply the concept of "Game" to marriage.  Christian men were created as men first.  They chose to become Christians.  The same with Christian women.  The basic facts of human sexuality and attractiveness don't change because of Christianity.  Christian sex develops a spiritual component as well as the physical one.   As far as I can tell your basic position is that men should do without adequate sex and "master their lust".  I've provided you with direct quotes from the Bible that say differently.

The fact is that certain behavior on the part of men encourages their women to want sexual intimacy.  I can see no Biblical reason for men not encouraging this.  If men doing the dishes turned wives into nymphomaniacs, husbands would have dishpan hands and a great big contented smile on their face. Men being more domesticated isn't what elicits the hot pants scenario in women.  Men being more manly does.  If you're a guy and need more sex, the most logical thing is to do what works, not what women say they want.  Most guys learn that what women say, and what they mean, and what will actually work are seldom the same thing.  The best option for a man is to ignore what the women says and wait and see what actually happens.

70% of what we say is non-verbal, 20% of what we say is tone; leaving 10% for the actual words to convey meaning.  If a man says: "Honey I need a blow job", the wife will process that bit of information in her head.  If his tone is whinny, she will filter the message accordingly.  If his non-verbal body language is limp, defeated, desperate and wimpy, that will convey further meaning.  What he is saying is; "I need sexual intimacy".  What she is hearing is: I'm a whinny, wimp of a boy-child, I'd like a little nooky, but I'm not likely to get it because I'm desperate because no women finds me attractive enough to invest 15 min of her time on my pleasure.  She is a female animal.  Nothing in her biology makes her want to mate with a weak example of the male sex.  This holds true even if she is a christian married to a christian man.

Same man and women.  The man has been being manly.  He approaches his women confidently.  He has done some service for her that she likes.  He has killed the big nasty spider that was on her counter.  The oil is changed in her car (which reminds me...). He is wearing the clothes she bought him for his birthday and the cologne she likes.  He has a plan, the kids are going to grandmas till Sunday.  He takes mom and kids to grandmas Friday night.  Instead of going home they go to a nice restaurant, then a hotel.  She wants to know whats going on.  He informs her that they are staying the weekend or until the manager throws them out for having wild, loud monkey sex.  She hasn't packed anything.  He hands her a little box and tells her its all she'll need to wear.

In which scenario is the man most likely to get his blow job?

If you said the second, you now understand why Christian men are interested in how/if game works better than non-game.  If a women wants a man to help out around the house vs strut around the house, all she has to do is make mad passionate love to him when he picks up his socks and does a load of laundry.  When he asks, "what brought this on"? Tell him that it gets your juices following when he helps out with the chores.  Next time he helps out reward him the same way.  Keep repeating the cycle of great sex as a reward for making you happy and he'll work himself to death for you with a smile on his face.


Sex and the Married Man

True confession time:  I normally just read the "game" post at Vox's and smile to myself.  That's as far as it goes for me.  I have no interest in scoring with college co-eds or nailing the newly divorced.  I smile because I can remember a time that I did or sad something that was very "game" but in all reality I was just trying to communicate that I wasn't interested.

My personal history is pretty simple.  If I thought a girl was attractive, I asked her out.  That statement is true from 7th grade right up until I proposed to Mrs. Ipsa.  In all that time I was turned down one time in Jr. High, one time in High School, once in college, and one time in after I started working.  That's it.  Turn down number one and two, was because her father said she was too young (different girls), number three had the hots for some other guy; they married two years latter, number four was a gal I met in a professional class who said she was just got engaged, I just said' "oh that's fine" and gave her a big smile.  At the end of the week, she took me aside and asked to talk to me.  She showed me the ring and told me the story and how it was getting sized to fit her on Monday and that's why she wasn't wearing it when I asked her out. I guess she felt bad that she was taken.

That's four strike outs from 13 to 25.  Basically I had a date every weekend that I wanted one until after college.  Notice I said date, not slept with.  I remember one girl that I thought was very hot, that I took home after less than an hour.  She was a drag and I wasn't interested if putting up with her.  That's what dating was to me, looks good = ask her out, had fun = ask her out again, girl is a drag = dump now.  No sense in wasting time on women you don't enjoy. As far as looks quality, most were average girl next door types but there were two actresses, a model/rodeo queen and a Ms Hawaii runner up mixed in there as well.

For me the dating "game" ended the day I said "I do".  I was off the market and no longer looking, so the "how to" of "getting the girl", no longer interests me.  For better or worse, I "have her".  So the game posts are more humor to me than anything.

Guys like sex.  We need sex.  The only thing we know we'd like more of in this life is sex.  This is true of Christian guys as well as PUA's.  Ladies, if your man isn't saying something like, "women I'm only human, we did it four times today and 5 yesterday, let me get some sleep", then yes, your man would like to be getting it more often too.

I never would have found this blog if it hadn't been for Vox: Married Man Sex Life. This is "Game" applied to marriage.  I read some of his stuff yesterday.  He's not a christian but he claims that he and his wife were each others first and that they are monogamously married.  Here is a sample:
In general I find Roissy to be an entertaining writer and he is perhaps the best describer of the value of the Alpha = Female Attraction link and I have found that quite useful in learning that facet. However I am obviously in disagreement of his disdain for the Beta Traits and as such any advice he gives on LTRs is usually wrong and may as well be designed to destroy the relationship. PUA Game and Married Game are worlds apart.

Before and After, Why Is That?

The change is often commented on across many blogs, but why is that so common? And try not to just say "Betaization", the question is why does that happen... what is the cause of it?
Warning the blog its self is not always Safe for Work, images are mostly PG-13 and R, no XXX that I found.

Guys take a look.  He recommends a balance between alpha and beta characteristics as the best way to have good sex with your wife.  By the way he defines good married sex as "doing it like rabbits" with lots of passion and variety.   I think most of the men would go along with that definition. Laddies, take a gander as well, would some of the things he recommends spice it up a bit for you too? Let your man know.  Don't deceive yourself women, christian married men are still men, and we were created with the same sexual instincts and needs as PUA's.

Let me know what you think of his blog.


Good Day Fishing

I come by my love for fishing genetically.  My granddad started taking me fishing when I was still in training pants.  I don't remember how many times we went fishing together but I remember fishing with him.  His last fishing trip was to the pond on his farm.  He took his only (at that time) grandson (me).  I caught a black crappie. There was never a prouder man, nor apparently a bigger fish ever caught in the history of fishing.   If there was a bigger one, it was not a grander one, not in his eyes.

That was on the weekend.  Granddad had been on layoff from work and he had been feeling poorly.  Because he was laid off his insurance wouldn't cover him and if he didn't go back to work he couldn't draw his pension or disability if he was real sick.  Monday he was called back and worked his one full shift.  Then he went to the doctor.  Lung cancer.  That can happen when you start smoking at 5.  He was dead in days.  All of that happened 34 years ago, last week.

Res Jr.'s real life name is the same as my granddad.  Because, I remember and honor him still.  Granddad was the best fisherman to ever live.  I say that because no kid throwing rocks, kicking his feet, breaking bottles or dropping the anchor in the bottom of the boat ever stopped him catching fish.  No amount of dumb kid behavior ever interfered with his joy of fishing.  He loved having me fish with him.  All he needed was a cane pole a can of worms and his little fishing buddy.

Today Res Jr. and I ditched the girls and got in the truck for a drive.  The little guy likes to fish.  What this means is he likes to watch daddy fish.  So last year for his birthday I bought him a pole and a reel.  Not a kiddie one either, a real honest to goodness ultralite panfish setup. He's got to use it before.  Mostly to get it tangled in the weeds.  When that has happened we just call it a day, because its not fun for him anymore.  He gets such a kick out of fishing that I don't think it matters when we leave, just as long as he got to come.

Today we got to our spot, daddy rigged up the line, daddy put the worm on, daddy cast it out.  Jr. reeled it back in.  This is a big accomplishment for him.  This is the fist time he as worked the reel.  I was proud and had high expectations.  Except, just as soon as I'd throw it out, he'd reel it back.  I couldn't even get my fly rod outfitted. This was frustrating to daddy.  Fish were jumping all over the pond.  Jr. hadn't caught one in 3 casts.  That was frustrating to him.  With about 8 ft of line still in the water and the bobber floating free, we gave up on the worm and left it there. 

We walked around to the other side to try the fly rod.  Daddy managed to kill some time and land 3 nice rainbows.  Jr. loved it.  This was what he came for.  The fishing slowed where we were at and so we moved back to the other side.  About then I noticed that the bobber would go down and come up.  There was no doubt in my mind the fish has swallowed the hook.  So I made ready for the big event.

I acted like nothing was up.  Just like another man did 34 years ago.  I handed the rod over with the instruction to "reel it in".  Just as he started to crank he cried, "its stuck daddy, its stuck!".  "Is it now?", I asked.  The fish made a run for it and the pole started bouncing like a kangaroo doing jumping jacks.  "It's a fish daddy, a FISH!!!".  I don't know who was more excited him or me.  "Reel it in"! I ordered.  "I'm doing it, I'm doing it daddy!". 

Somebody, (a real big dumbo) who shall go without being named to protect his identity, had set the drag way to lite.  So the reeling it part was much more dramatic than might have otherwise occurred. I swear the way he was swinging the rod back and forth I thought he was going to throw it in with the fish.  That would have made me mad, because I knew that if the rod went in, I was going to have to make a 2hr ride home soaking wet.  There was no way we were going to miss that fish, even if I had to take a swim.

We got our whale landed.  It was a 11 inch rainbow.  "We caught a fish daddy", he said. "No you caught it", I corrected.  "I caught a fish daddy!" he shouted.  "Yes you did" I told him.  If you go to the Wyoming Game and Fish web page where they keep the records, you will find no fish such as this listed.  There has never been a better trout caught here or anyplace else.  In the history of the world only two fish have ever been this grand.  I was privileged to be there when they both were caught.

The fish:


And I Quote

"The people of the U.S. owe their Independence & their liberty, to the wisdom of descrying in the minute tax of 3 pence on tea, the magnitude of the evil comprised in the precedent. Let them exert the same wisdom, in watching against every evil lurking under plausible disguises, and growing up from small beginnings."
--James Madison
Three cents per pound of tea was the lowest tea tax in the British Empire at that time.  In the American Plantations as we were called in the Act, tea was sold at a lower price than in London.  This was by design.  The colonies had argued that we were not legally required to pay any taxes levied by the Parliament in London (this is historically correct, we had the same type of charter to form legislature, granted by the king that formed the Parliament in London). So the price of tea was cut below market rates and the tax was reduced to 3 pence per pound from 2 schillings 6 pence per pound for tea delivered to colonial ports.   The intent was to make tea so inexpensive and the tax so low that the colonists would just go along and pay it.

To put this into prespective I am brewing a cup of Lapsong Souchong. This is a fairly expensive tea at $35.65/lb.  I doubt that in modern terms the tax would amount to more than 25 cents American.  There was a principle at stake, and the colonists were not going to give into incremental taxes or incremental loss of their liberty.   One can only wonder what happened to their offspring.


I'd like to Know

Prof Hale posted about problems with my blog.  I'm glad he did.  I had been having problems getting my page to load for sometime.  I had attributed it to ISP problems I'd been having so I didn't make the connection that it might be a larger problem.

If you've been having problems getting this to load or with making comments, please let me know.  I just eliminated a link from the template that had been causing some stalling on my end.  This seems to be helping but there may be other issues that I'm not aware of.  If there are template changes that would speed things up please feel free to make suggestions about that as well.

VOX has a great little feature where all the archives are in a drop down menu.  If anyone knows the code for doing that, I'd love to give it a try.



In Other Good News

I just got great news.  I drew my favorite unit to hunt elk in for the fall. This is my second year in a row to draw it.  Now all I need is a new job and lots of vacation time.


For Waterboy

Here is the pic of my gun and the trophy.

The guns are from back to front a Rem XP 100 in 243 cal.  I borrowed it for the shoot.  The black gun is a Thor in 6.5x57R by Tanfoglio, as far as I know it is the only one of its kind in America. The rest is a SEB.  Yes they are real good.  I've met Sebastian Lambang and he does quality work.  If your in the market for a rest, this is as good as it gets.  My scopes are a Leupold Mark IV and a proto type made by Muller.

I received cash.  Plus:
1 Leupold Vari X 3 4.5-14 scope, valued over $500.
3 boxes of Berger bullets, about $100
1 certificate for a new installed muzzle break, valued $200
A certificate for 50% off Serra bullets  up to a max of $5,000 retail
I also have a handful hats, cleaning stuff, custom finishing goodies, software and misc stuff that I received as door prizes. 

Here is my one thought on the subject of 1,000 yard shooting: Anyone can do it.  It's not that hard and it takes less than an hour to learn the basics. Mastering it takes longer, but a person who wants to do it can without a lot of effort.  I think that I can teach a person and have them hitting steel at 1,000 in less than 1hr of instruction and shooting.  IF the new shooter is a women, I can probably teach her in about a half hour.


Pistol Shoot

This is how the game is played:

There are two categories or classes of pistols.  The first is light gun.  The second is heavy gun.  I shot in both categories.  There are three distances: 500 yards, 750 yards and 1,000 yards.  Each class shoots all three distances.  Every shooter gets to shoot 5 shots in three relays.  The best ag group from those 15 shots gets to advance to the shoot off.  In the shoot off there are 5 shots and the best (smallest) 5 shot group wins. There are cash and prizes awarded to the first and second places in the shoot offs.

This year I made some improvement over previous years.  I advanced to the 500 yard shoot offs with in both classes.  Where I promptly blew the whole deal. Competition is normally tougher at 500 yards because it is a distance that most people can shoot and bullet flight behaves about the way the computer programs say it will.  That said, I didn't preform well.  I assume it was totally operator error and I frankly haven't figured out what my malfunction was.

At 750 yards I made it into the shoot off and won first place in one category.  At 1,000 yards I won second place.  So I came home with some cash and nice prizes.

Lessons learned:
1. Just because you have a new gun and Exbal says your load will work, doesn't mean it will.  Find out before you shoot for score at a match that your load is subsonic and keyholeing.
2. Try practicing every once in awhile, you might do better. Just because you know how to do something doesn't automatically mean you will beat some of the best shooters in the world, just because you showed up.
3. Next year make up your mind to go to the match more than 24 hrs before it starts.  Investing in some prep time early will keep you from loading till 3:00am the day of the match and needing to load extra ammo the second day.
4. There is a nice little camp ground and hotels near by.  Staying at either one or camping out on public land is cheaper than gas, plus you might actually get some sleep.
5. Find out why you can't seem to get your act together under 750 yards unless your hunting.  Most people can hit the targets that are CLOSER easier.  This is the third year in a row you've done this.

I had a great time.  If your into shooting specialty pistols this is the match for you.

Questions Not Asked

Two Army NCO's, a Navy Senior Chef and an Air Force Colonel meet in an open field in Wyoming.  Sounds like an opening line to a joke doesn't it?  Its not, its part of how I spent the last three days.  I truly have an eclectic group of friends. I happen to know, in general terms, how each of the men above spent their careers in the military.  They make movies and TV shows about what they did.  Three of the men would have been in "The Unit" or the "Green Berets".  The fourth would have been in MASH. 

I genuinely enjoy listening to the war stories and tales of stuff that may or may not be remembered exactly as it happened.  Having traveled to third world countries myself, I am aware that white guys with American dollars to spend are considered much more attractive by the local female population, than what they might be at home. I never call BS on these stories. 

As a boy I learned something about war stories.  There are times to ask questions and times to just nod your head in acknowledgment.  I learned this the hard way with a WWII USMC vet.  He was one of grandpa's friends from work.  He had a couple of beers and was feeling like impressing a young boy with his sea stories.  I was all ears.  He was into a story about island hoping in the South Pacific and talking about the time one of his buddies did something funny.  All his buddies got a big laugh about it.  He stopped talking all of a sudden and changed the subject.  When there was a break in the stories I keep on him to tell me more about the buddy.  He did.  The funny story happened in a landing craft.  His buddy was getting the platoon to laugh as a way to lighten up before they hit the beach.  The reason he stopped talking, was the guy making him laugh didn't even make it 30 yards out of the landing craft before his head was vaporized by a bullet. No more stories that day.

I learned that letting guys say only what they want can be a virtue.

This weekend, the guys talked about how all the bad stuff in special ops just seems to disappear from your memory.  One guy talked about a bad situation that hadn't left his memory.  He fell silent.  The other operators covered for him and changed the subject while keeping the conversation going. 

My gut wrenched at what I had been told.  I haven't wanted to ask a follow up question so badly since I was ten years old.  Nevertheless I keep my mouth shut. 

The question I wanted to ask was, "So did you kill the bastard?"  I hope he did.  I hope he didn't shoot him either.  My buddy is a very big guy.  I hope he grabbed the SOB by the throat and squeezed the life out of him.  I hope he saw the full terror in the eyes as life left his body and the demons in hell started clawing on his soul. That's what I hope happened.  What I'm afraid of is that he didn't.


This Week End

This is what I'm up to.  I wasn't going to go and then I got talked into going.  Which wasn't that hard since I really wanted to go anyway.  All my efforts in the next 24 hrs will be dedicated to getting my poop in a group so I can make some kind of reasonable showing of myself this weekend.


Sounding Conceited

Today I was accused of being a narcissist because I mentioned that I had access to some political figures.  The person claiming that has proven himself an asshat, but thats not the point.  I don't think narcissism means what they think it does either but that's a different topic too.

Fact is, I've got to meet some famous people, as well as some very rich ones.  Is talking about it a sign of a psychological short coming?

I've met a handful of celebrities over the years. Most of them have been by chance and about half the time I had no idea who the person was or even that they were famous when I met them.  Is this conceded or just clueless?

A couple of weeks ago I had a classic clueless celebrity encounter. A couple of them as I had no idea who I was hanging out with.  Encounter #1 I let a guy from New York borrow my cell phone.  He needed to call his girl and his phone was getting texts but he wasn't able to call or text out.  This is a hazard of being in WYO if you have an out of state cell phone.  I now have a 212 area code phone number on my bill that belongs to a model in NYNY.  Dave, the guy who made the call, has an above average resume for someone in that industry.  The same week I had that encounter I was working with (unknown to me) an actress who is currently on this show.  Again I had no idea.  As we were leaving work she asked me if I wanted to buy her a drink.  I told her no but she could buy me one.  She did.  We ate dinner and had some laughs.  We also went dutch.

If I tell you about the summer I worked on a ranch you'd probably be bored after the first story about redoing fences.  If I tell you the ranch was owned by Bill Nicholson and who he is, stories about who I met from my $200 a week job might seem more interesting.  I did meet several celebrities that summer.   Last year this time I went to the home of an artists grandson to relax and catch some fish on their pond.  You've seen grandpa's art.  Impressed?  What if I told you I was invited there because I was hanging out doing a favor for Larry Flint's former chef?   What if I said some of the girls were there too?  They weren't and I'm not saying that, my wife checks up on me and reads this from time to time.

How about this: My folks phone number when I was a kid was off by one digit from Ted Nugent's.  I've had some interesting 3am phone calls and my mother still doesn't believe it wasn't my friends calling me drunk from Potters Pub.

As a consultant I had a client that was a municipality.  I worked on some government projects.  I got to meet some politicians.  It was part of the job.

Living in a rural state, like I do, you can call your elected politicians and they will actually get back to you.  If you hang out at the governor's office and he's not to busy, he'll probably meet with you too.  Of course if you had a job working on projects that they were part of chances are they'll see you sooner than someone else. See above.

The most recent encounter I had with Gov Dave, last year, was because I was flipping burgers to make ends meet.  He came in for a free meal.  I fixed it.  Impressed?  Over the years I cooked for some famous people and thousands of regular Joes. The most recent political encounter was doing the training job.  I got an "atta boy" from two men who thought I was from their home state.  They were out "supporting the troops" with a camera crew, so they could get credit.

Some place there are pictures of me with Bill Cosby, Barbara Bush, and Colin Powell.  You want to know how to get yours?  Your alma mater has a fund raising dinner, you pay big bucks, you get a photo.  Yes I got to chat with them for a few min.  It was cool.  If I told you about getting my picture made with two black guys and an old lady, you might be less impressed.

What if I told you I 'dated' a Hawaii Swimsuit model or an actress and one very hot rodeo queen.  I did.  For the life of me, I can't think of either one of their last names in RL.  

You care about famous people because they are famous.  If it was a story about some Bob or Bill it wouldn't be as interesting.  Famous people are famous because lots of people know them.  Their families don't think they are very exceptional.

Is it telling of some personal short coming to mention any of this in conversation?



You're Lost Between Baby Boomer & Generation X If...
  • You remember when Jordache jeans with a flat-handle comb in the back pocket was cool.
  • Any photograph of you shows you wearing an Izod shirt with the collar turned up.
  • You know any "Weird Al" Yankovic songs by heart.
  • You've ever rung someone's doorbell and said "Landshark!"
  • You were once bowled over by the technological excellence of such products as Atari, IntelliVision, TelStar and Coleco.
  • You remember the premier of MTV -- or worse yet, you remember its predecessor, "Friday Night Videos."
  • You and your friends ever discussed having a reunion at the end of the century and playing Prince's "1999" until you passed out partying.
  • A predominant color in your childhood photos is plaid.
  • You remember when music that was labeled "alternative" really was alternative, and when "alternative comedy" was really funny.
  • You took family trips BEFORE the invention of the minivan.
  • You rode in the back of the station wagon facing the cars behind you.
  • You've recently horrified yourself by using any one of the following phrases: "You know, back when...," "When I was your age...," or "When I was younger..."
  • Schoolhouse Rock played a HUGE part in how you learned things like grammar, math and history. (A big hint here is if the only way you can recite the Preamble to the Constitution is by singing it.)
  • You ever dressed to look like someone in a Madonna, Cyndi Lauper or Duran Duran video.
  • You remember your first kiss with someone having happened while either "Leather and Lace" or "Crazy for You" was playing.
  • You remember with pain the day the Green Machine hit the streets (or the sidewalks), instantly making your Big Wheel obsolete.
  • The age-old question "Where's the beef?" still makes you laugh.
  • You remember when film critics raved that no movie could ever possibly have more advanced special effects than "TRON."
  • You had a crush on Ted the photographer on "Love Boat," Gage from "Emergency," or Ponch from "CHIPS."
  • Your hair at some point in time in the '80s could only be described by saying "I was experimenting."
  • You've ever shopped at Benetton.
  • You're starting to believe that having the kids in school year-round wouldn't be such a bad idea after all.
  • You're currently employed doing something that has absolutely nothing to do with your college major.
  • U2 is too popular and mainstream for you now.
  • You remember trying to guess which episode of "The Brady Bunch" it was by the first scene.
  • You had a front-row seat (i.e., blew off one or more classes) for Luke and Laura's wedding on "GH."
  • Your parents wanted you to attend medical school, but you decided it was pointless since Quincy got all the babes anyway.
  • You know who shot J.R.
  • You recall when Love's Baby Soft was in every girl's Christmas stocking.
  • This rings a bell: "My name is Charlie, and they work for me."
  • You were unsure if  Diet Coke would ever catch on. (Related item: you were sure that "New Coke" would NEVER catch on.)
  • You know all the words to the double-album set of the "Grease" soundtrack.
  • You've ever had a Dorothy Hamill haircut.
  • You sat with your friends on any given Friday night circa 1982 and dialed 867-5309 to see if Jenny was actually there.
  • "All skate, change directions" means something to you.
  • You've ever owned a pair of rainbow suspenders like the ones Mork used to wear.
  • You bought a pair of Vanns and wanted to order a pizza in history class so you could be just like Jeff Spicoli. (Related item: if you've ever smacked yourself in the head with a shoe and exclaimed, "I'm so wasted!")
  • You owned a Preppy Handbook.
  • You were too young to see "Blue Lagoon," so you just had to settle for the second-hand reports.
  • You remember when movies were only PG and R.
  • You learned to swim at about the same time "Jaws" came out....and still carry the emotional scars to prove it.
  • You remember when your cable TV box had a sliding selector switch... and your "cable remote" was connected to the TV by CORD!
  • Your jaw would ache by the time you finished one of those brick-sized packages of Bazooka.
  • You remember Bo and Luke Duke, Daisy, Boss Hogg, or-worst of all-what Sheriff Roscoe's full name was.
  • Your parents paid $2,000 for a top-loading VCR that was almost the size of a coffee table.
  • You found nothing strange about Bert and Ernie living together.
  • You remember having a rotary phone.
  • You actually believed that Mikey, famed kid on the Life cereal commercials, died after eating Pop Rocks and drinking a Coke.
  • "Members Only" jackets...say no more.
  • And lastly, I'll make a song stick in your head for the rest of the day: actually remember the words to the theme song of  "The Greatest American Hero." ("BELIEVE IT OR NOT, I'M WALKIN' ON AIR...I  NEVER THOUGHT I COULD FEEL SO FREE-EE-EE...")

I know, after that last one you now officially hate me. Happy ear worm.

OK here you go, get it out of your head:



I spent some time visiting with Farmer Tom and his family last week.  The food, company and political activism were good.  As always I enjoyed my stay in the Pink Room.  Tom asked me about my post from several months ago regarding a job working for a Christian Youth Camp.  He made a point or two that I've been mauling over in my mind.  So I'm putting this out for you all to give me some feed back on.

The ministry is for Table in the Wilderness.  The job is for business development and marketing, which I am uniquely qualified for both educationally and professionally. My impression of everyone I met was vary favorable.  I like the location and the camp.  I like their goals and program and their willingness to make the handful of changes I suggested to them during my visit.

In short I like almost everything about the deal, except: 1. I would have to fund raise my personal salary in order to spend my time fund raising for and doing development for the camp, 2. I would have to learn to be accepting, at least of others, some things I'm not comfortable with doctrinally 3. I would not be able to fund raise from my own church denomination.  The reason I would not seek support from my brothers is that our denomination has its own camp program here in Wyoming.  That may not seem like a big deal to those of you in other states, but here it would mean that I would have to ask the 15 or so congregations that I'm most likely to get support from to support me when our own camp program isn't getting everything that they could use.  Now those of you living in a state with a big population probably have 15 churches similar to yours within less than an hours drive.  Here that's not the case we have very few people in a very large area.

Assuming that: They still want me and would hire me, and I could get the amount of money I want for the first years salary either in cash upfront or in reliable pledges; I would like to hear everyone's thoughts on this endeavor as well as any useful input you may have.



This School Year in Texas

This just came to my attention: Texas Student Suspended for Taking Down Mexican Flag.
Is Texas still part of the United States? Brain-off people live everywhere, I guess.I remember seeing a video of a Post Office, in CA, flying a Mexican flag over it, and an Army veteran was shown taking it down. I've also seen video of post offices in CA flying three flags at the same time. American Flag, the Mexican Flag, and the Canadian Flag. Do they know something we don't?
Let me make this perfectly clear!
A Map Of My Country:

If you like Mexico so much, by all means: Stay There!


Home at Last

Four states in three days.

I took a trip and saw my brother his family, Farmer Tom and picked up some chicken.  I also discovered that yes Virginia there is a Kiester MN. Nothing much happens there, mostly they just sit around on their you know keisters.

My truck has been acting up lately so I rented a car to make the trip.  I decided that I'd spend the extra $3 a day and got one of these to ride around in.  I felt this was the environmentally responsible decision since the car gets about 9MPG better than my truck.  It was also the fun decision.  Unknown to me, my brother has been wanting one very badly.  However child number four is due to arrive in a couple of weeks and his wife said no.  Considering they won't be able to fit the whole family into one of their existing cars its probably a good choice.

My brother didn't see what I arrived in until he went outside to call his daughter in for dinner.  He came back in and asked me about my rental.  He said he knew it was a rental because 1. he saw a bar code on the window 2. it wasn't the V-8 and 3. He knew I would never buy a sports car with an automatic transmission.

For those of you dying to know.  It handles well.  It will get triple digits fairly quickly.  Acceleration doesn't slam you back into your seat, but it does push you back very steadily.  The speedometer claims 160 mph, but the car's steering response gets a little squirrelly around 124 mph making 130 about as fast as I wanted to try.  The engine was only pulling about 3800 rpms (its rated for 8,000) so I think it could have gone the distance.

Over all I had fun.  I disliked the standard transmission even with the manual option.  Driving a sports car is like marrying a virgin supermodel and wearing a condom.  You know its going to be really good, but it could be that much better: And that much would make all the difference.

I also enjoyed the XM radio and having a good sound system, so I did something I don't normally do and listened to the radio.  Does anyone know why the station dedicated to gay/lesbian programming is right next to the Disney station?


Assuming the Joke

It's not exactly a secret that I'm a fan of All in the Family.  I enjoy the various Archieism.  I also enjoy insights that can be gained from the show.  One insight I've been thinking over recently is the assumed joke.  An assumed joke is one where the joke is never made but everyone pretends it is and has a laugh.

Archie was almost always portrayed as an ignorant bigot on the show.  Normally Archie would make a comment and someone (Michael or Irene normally depending on the season) would respond "Archie how can you stand to think that way?".   As a rule what Archie had said that provoked that response, was some observation about a person and a comment about a stereotype.

Two points:
1. A stereotype is a statement that is normally true about a group of people, although it may not be true about a particular person belonging to that group.

2. I can't remember anyone every logically disproving why Archie shouldn't hold a particular view.  He was simply demonized for his beliefs.  It was assumed that everyone knew why Archie shouldn't think that way.  Archie was a bigot; therefore whatever he said or thought was wrong.

If I say: "rednecks like NASCAR", I have made a pre-judgment about a group and an activity.  If I come across someone who has on a set of bib-overalls, a ring from a can of Skoal in his left rear pocket, sporting a three day old growth of beard, with a Dale Earnhardt Jr. tee shirt and a straw cowboy hat on their head, and I say, "he's a redneck", have I done something wrong?  What if I decide I don't want to let that person in my house?  How about if I refuse to give him a job?

If you were to hear me call the man a redneck, and you asked me, "how do you know he's a red neck?".  And I said "he likes NASCAR, see he's got a Dale Earnhardt Jr. tee shirt", would you be offended?   

The thing is, nobody cares about a group of people we call red necks.  Heck on a good day you can go into Wal Mart and see nothing but rednecks.  Its not a big deal because there is no National Organization for the Advancement of Trailer Trash (NOATT).  No organization, no official victim status, no special rights.  No need to watch what you say about them either. 

What happens if someone is part of a group that has lobbied for Special Victim Status (SVS)?  Are you suddenly evil because you don't want to associate with that person?  Are you guilty of a crime simply because of something you might think applies, like a stereotype?  Should you go to jail for it?

Thirty years after All in the Family went off the air, we're still assuming the joke and not requiring anyone to think if its true or not.  Now we call it "hate" and now its a crime, unless of course the person doesn't have SVS. 


It's More than a Cook Out and Beer

Every once in a great while a public school teacher does something not entirely useless or degrading to our country.  Please don't let the teachers union or the Department of Education find out.

While I'm on the topic of Memorial Day, I'm going to rant a bit.  First, Memorial Day is about remembering those who have DIED in service to our nation.  It is not a time to "remember all those who have served", you public schooled, wanna feel good patriot-without actually bothering to learn some basic facts-potential voter.  Perhaps if you ever bothered to met someone who served in the military, or  actually knew a kid who got his brains blown out in some fools foreign policy errand, you might take the time to get it right.  Then again that would take a minor amount of effort on your part and "like are we going to barbecue or what"? Those kids that get themselves killed are clear on what's going on.  They are out doing their job, their duty.  While there are different reasons for joining up, there is one thing they are clear on, THEIR DUTY.  They do that, because that is what their country via the chain of command, has asked of them.  They do it for you.

Second, give them the respect for the branch and job they do.  A person in the Navy is a sailor.  The Air Force has airmen.  The USMC is where you find Marines.  The Army has soldiers.  I recently received an invitation to a welcome home party for a girl that joined the Navy.  The invitation asked for me to take part in, I'm not kidding here, "welcome our SOLDIER home".  The party is being put on by her former high school boyfriend.  Recently she sent me an email and I learned she is getting married to a man she met on ship.  Her husband to be, is no doubt clear on which branch of the service she is in.  I get worked up every time I read about men serving in the Army who are called Marines.  This happens in the papers more often than you'd think it would.  Get it right people, or don't even bother.  Another thing; all service is honorable service.  The trigger pullers and bayonet operators wouldn't be able to do their jobs if the cooks, motor pool, and quartermaster didn't do theirs.  The comment, "I was in the Army etc" should get a hearty "thank you for your service" as the reply.  There is no room for "he was only a cook".  SHUT UP!  His cooking did more for our guys than your fair weather-feel good-wanna be a patriot-BS ever did.

I'm all in favor of three day weekends, at least when a four day isn't possible.  I love barbecues and the occasional cold beer.  This time do it right.  Before the eating starts, hand out a round.  Ask the men to stand and remove their hats.  If they don't, ask them to leave.  Then offer a toast to those who died, by name if you know it, by proxy if you don't.

To my grandfathers friends who didn't make it home~and whose names I've forgotten,WWI, WWII and Korea
To my father's friends in the 3rd MAR Div in Vietnam
To Cpl Johnson, USMC (11th grade computer class)  Gulf war I, and Sgt Bob Smith, Army (Eng Comp II college), Gulf War II
To those whose names I do not know:
Thank you.  You are still remembered.