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!


Echo Sucks

Apparently the Echo commenting system is next to worthless, unless you will pay them.  In which case its just mostly useless and your out some cash.

What commenting system would you rather have?


A Fork in the Road

I had a job interview yesterday. I think that there may be a reasonable chance that they want me. This would be doing development and marketing for a non denominational Christian camp that also offers a number of other fellowship and ministry opportunities.

Here is the good:
I have the talent and know how to do the job.
I would be good at the job.
The work would be rewarding.
The job would involve living in some of the most beautiful mountains in the world.
At least part of the time my job would require me to: hunt, shoot, fish, hike, guide whitewater rafting, camp out, and travel to exotic lands.

Here is the bad:
Its a ministry job.
I have to raise support to do it.
I haven't done a budget or looked into it, but I am advised that the average salary at the largest employer is over $100,000. This makes the cost of living higher than what I would like being in a non-profit environment.
I have to leave where I live, but its still in Wyoming.
Money is a big issue as are health insurance etc.
The economy is in the toilet and Obama is wanting to get rid of tax deductions for religious charities and churches.
Its not with my denomination.
While I share many doctrinal beliefs, I would be in disagreement with at least 2 core beliefs that I hold. These are how a person becomes a Christian and what constitutes acceptable/proper worship.

Here is the tantalizing:
There is a slight possibility of my finaly being able to realize a dream and own some mountain property, that I cannot afford currently, and being able to build a dream house that we first conceived of building when we got married. IF things worked out, Mrs Ipsa might be able to stay home, which would allow us to home school. There is also the appeal of remote nearly off grid living. I would also be very close to UW and there may be the possibility of my earning either my JD or PHD. This goal is tangential and not of major concern at this point, but it has crossed my mind.

Here is the troubling, at least for me:
I started college as a Biblical studies/ministry major. I believed, at that time, that God had a calling for my life in ministry. After spending the summer between my freshman and sophomore years in ministry work, I abandoned my faith. For good reasons, like I was immature and the people I worked with convinced me that I didn't want to deal with them, ever. I did not abandon my scholarship, so I graduated with a degree in marketing. After college I returned to church and had an encounter that strengthened my faith and returned me to ministry work. I realized that it was possible for me to serve God and have a job that allowed me to be independent of the good graces of people whom I didn't want to be beholding to. For the last 15 years I have worked in different areas of ministry and supported myself financially. This has proved to be a good system for me. For me to do this job, I would have to go outside my church for support as well as have the faith that the money would be there.

At this point I'm open to all thoughts, comments and advice.


100,000 You Say?

I'm sure Nate is going to love this post, on so many levels.

My primary carry gun for the last 5 years or so has been a Kimber 45 ACP. My reasons for this choice had a lot to do with the number of features for the amount of money. I was buying a top of the line gun and wanted to get the most for the least amount of time and money reinvested in having a gunsmith do custom work. Kimber seemed to fit the bill.

I bought the model I wanted. All has been fine since. I'm a believer in shooting what you carry. Practicing with what you might actually have to use seems wise to me. My normal annual numbers of rounds down the barrel is around 2,500 to 3,000, at least in this gun. I figure I shot more the first couple of years than I did last year and the year before. Lets call the total number of bullets used 10,000 to be conservative. Recently I started having some bad shots. What had been a 2in at 25 yard gun was shooting some real odd and low flyers. I bagged it and even had other good shooters bag it. Everyone had the same problem. So, what to do?

I called Kimber in Yonkers New York. "Hey guys what would it take to get you to send me a new barrel". Them, "you don't need a new barrel". I went back and forth for a couple of minutes with the smug little prick. In desperation I tried a sometimes useful tactic of letting the customer service rep "handle" me. After all with more than 25 years shooting experience and the gun in my hands what could I possibly know? So I asked, "how many rounds should I get out of one of your barrels". Conservatively sir, 100,000. "Really?" I guess he could tell from the tone of my voice I wasn't buying it. "Well we've never really tested that figure, it would be a waste of ammo."

Uh huh. If made guns for a living and I thought I had a 100,000 round handgun barrel, I'd sure as heck test it and have solid proof of the fact. If not, I wouldn't let my customer service reps tell people that we did.

I never got my new barrel ordered.


Of Deafness

Those of you who aren't from some type of religious back ground may not understand this post. That's OK. I'm finding that many of a Christian background don't get my point of view on it either.

Back in 02 I lost over 80% of my hearing in my right ear and around 10% in my left. This was particularity hard on me since prior to the loss I had above average hearing. The reason for the loss was in part due to a viral infection and in part due to medical malpractice on the part of a self absorbed doc with an overinflated view of her medical skills. Of course being 7 whole weeks out of residence means that you're smarter than God Himself when it comes to all questions concerning the human body. She was very eager to point out her superior abilities to those of the man who left the practice about 10 min after meeting her. In addition to the treatment of a viral infection with antibiotics she refused for 3 weeks to give me a referral to an ENT. Once I got into the ENT his recognition of my condition and treatment saved most of the hearing in my left ear. I'm still bitter about the whole deal.

When this all happened in 02 I was given a first rate recommendation by my ENT to get me into a Stem Cell regeneration research program. The university called and I was able to talk to the man heading up the program. They were interested in my case because the nerve cell death was recent and there was reason to believe that I had only lost a portion of my hair cell's ability to transmit signal to my brain. I was very interested. We talked more. My prospects of being accepted into the program were good. They even had funding to pay for me to make the 1,100 mile trip to the University Hospital and cover my expenses. It all looked like an answer to a prayer.

Did I have any questions? Yes. Where did the University get the Stem Cells for the research? Embreonic donors. I said I wasn't interested in joining the study. My response puzzled the researcher. The program harvested the best embryos at exactly the right developmental stage for the optimum chances of success. After hearing how scientific and wonderful the embryo harvesting was, I said "I'll be dammed if I will". I hung up. Thus ended my chance of having my hearing restored and having someone else pay for it.

My guess is that about 90% of you reading this post don't "get it". That's fine. If you're a Bible reading sort of person I have a passage for you: Mark 9:42-47. If you're not a Bible reading person, just skip to the comments and tell me what a fool I was.

For you good Bible believers out there, do you get it now? If not skip to the comments, etc.

What brought this rant on? A good bible reading type person, who normally is very kind, proceeded to butt in on this subject with me yesterday and let me know what a fool I am. I agree, I am a fool and any number of choices in my life bear this out. I will not profit from the death a person not yet born. I would rather be deaf, including losing the rest of my hearing, including not being able to get a better job, including any additional hardship that may be placed on me and my family than have a baby die to harvest some cells that might make it so I could hear.

A hat tip to Farmer Tom. I was visiting his home 4 or 5 years ago and told him this story about my hearing loss. So far he is the only person that I have shared this with that had a response that seemed to instantly understand and sympathize with my stand. That conversation with him has meant a great deal to me and has been a source of strength in the intervening years.


A Brush with Fame

I know I've mentioned my shooting hobbies here before. Recently Mark Hampton published an article in American Handgunner about this last summers 1000 yard pistol shoot in Sundance.

Some how he remembered that he received much, and I do mean much, spoting help from the guy shooting next to him on the line. He even said thank you. He just forgot my name. Other than that its not a bad article.

And yes two fifteen year olds did win in both the heavy and light classes. Becky is a fine shot. Eric's winning 8in group would have been more spectacular if he hadn't blown one of his shots. 4 of his 5 shots were sub 2 inches at 1,000 yards, incidentally that would have beaten the current 1,000 yard world record for 5 shots from a rifle.

I can say with pride that Becky didn't beat me. Mostly because I didn't have a light gun so I wasn't able to shoot in that category. This year will be different. This year I own a Thor so Becky will have a fair shot at kicking my butt too.

Here's Mark's Article.

If this sounds like fun to you, why not make plans to join us this next June?


Mind Set

I was recently asked to become a NRA qualified instructor. I turned it down since I don't have the time/money to get the credential and teach classes. I'm really hard pressed to prep for the 2 shoots I've committed myself to compete in this year. If I was to start teaching classes for CCW pistol and home defense I think I would include this video in my curriculum.

The video is 10 min long

It's all about mind set.

1. refuse to be a victim.
2. do whatever it takes, training, paperwork, or practice to make #1 a reality.