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!


Who's Who?

How exclusive can a group be that sends me three spam invitations to join them each day?


Republicans vs. Democrats at Christmas

Republicans say "Merry Christmas!"
Democrats rebuke them because they are marginalizing other religions

Republicans help the poor during the holidays by sending $50 to the Salvation Army.
Democrats help the poor by voting to increase welfare, by taxing the last few working republicans.

Democrats get back at the Republicans on their Christmas list by giving them fruitcakes.
Republicans re-wrap them and send them to in-laws.

Democrats let their kids open all the gifts on Christmas Eve.
Republicans make their kids wait until Christmas morning.

When toasting the holidays, Republicans ask for eggnog or mulled wine.
Democrats ask for a "Bud."

When not in stores, Republicans shop from a catalog or on line.
Democrats watch for "incredible TV offers" on late night television.

Democrats do much of their shopping at Target and Wal-Mart.
So do Republicans, but they don't admit it.

Republican parents have no problem buying toy guns for their kids.
Democrats refuse to do so.  That is why their kids pretend to shoot each other with dolls.

Republicans spends hundreds of dollars and hours of work decorating the yard with outdoor lights and Christmas displays.
Democrats save their time and money, and drive around at night to look at *other* people's lights.

Democrats' favorite Christmas movie is "Miracle on 34th Street."
Republicans' favorite Christmas movie is "It's a Wonderful Life."
Right-Wing Republicans' favorite Christmas movie is "Die Hard."

Republicans always take the price tag off expensive gifts before wrapping.
Democrats also remove price tags off pricey gifts ...  and reposition them to make sure they are seen.

Republicans wear wide red ties and green sports jackets during the festive season.
Democrats do too, all year round.

Most Republicans try, at least once, enclosing indulgent, wretchedly maudlin form letters about their families in their Christmas cards.
Public ridicule from Democrats usually discourages them from doing it again.

Democrats' favorite Christmas carol is "Deck the Halls."
Young Democrats' favorite Christmas carol is "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer."
Republicans' favorite Christmas carol is "White Christmas."
Young Republicans' favorite Christmas carol is "White Christmas."

Cheapskate Republicans buy an artificial Christmas tree.
Tight-fisted Democrats buy a real tree, but they wait until the week before Christmas when the lots lower their prices.
Green Democrats buy a real tree with roots, and then replant it after New Years.

Republicans see nothing wrong with letting their children play "Cowboys and Indians."
Democrats don't either, as long as the Indians win.

Republicans first began thinking like Republicans when they stopped believing in Santa Claus.
Democrats became Democrats because they never stopped believing in Santa Claus.

Democrat men like to watch football while the women fix holiday meals.
On this, Republicans are in full agreement.


Scenes From a Thai Restaurant

I'm getting a new computer since my old one is dying.  In Wyoming this means going to the big city to pick it up, that or paying for shipping.  I used my day off to go to Casper.  For those of you who live in the city, you don't appreciate how big of a deal it is to "go to town".  Its true I live in a town, out side of it really, but in Wyoming going to town involves a long drive to a BIG city (50,000 population).  In other words its an all day big deal so you make the most of it.

You go out to eat in restaurants that you don't have at home and go shopping in places that you don't have back in your town.  So I dressed my in my best almost clean jeans, didn't shave for a couple of days, put on a big shirt (something might have been spilled on it) and left it untucked, to conceal my handgun, wore my ever stylish SEB hat and headed off to a restaurant I found on line, DSASUMO's.  

Lunch was great and so was my conversation with the owner.  In fact if your ever in Casper drop in and give them a try. 

As I was walking out, three females were walking in.  The trio looked to be a teenage girl, mom and grandma.  They were out spending the day shopping with the girls. Since I was going out and they were coming in, I did what was known in my youth as "holding a door for a lady" but what now is known as "oppressing liberated females who are just as good as any man, because of their reproductive organs, while perpetuating the patriarchy power structure". 

The teenage girl (maybe about 14 to 16 years old) walked past me and remarked with sigh, "Well what was that all about?".  The oldest of the two women (maybe in her mid to late 70's) turned at her, and stuck her boney finger about an inch from her nose and said, "that's a gentleman, you don't see them much anymore and you'd be better off encouraging them when you do".  

The elderly women then turned to me and  said, "I thank you sir, and I apologize for my granddaughter."

I don't know why I did it.  In fact I don't think I've done it a dozen times since I was taught to as part of a formal course in manners in 8th grade.  There was something in her tone of voice and maybe her slightly Can-Scottish accent that made it seem natural. I removed my hat, clicked my heels together and bowed in her direction in a traditional antebellum bow. (Think Rex Butler or the boy from Sound of Music)  I think, had she offered her hand, I might have actually kissed it. I thanked her for her thoughtfulness, made a minutes worth of small talk, recommended the roast duck salad (and I do it was wonderful). I remarked that it had been a pleasure to make her acquaintance, and I asked her permission to take my leave; which she granted. 

I'm sure that Farmer Tom has fallen on the floor of his living room and Waterboy is suffering the after effects of snorting his scotch out his nose from laughing at the mental picture.  FT and WB have probably the best idea of how ridiculous a sight, I, a pudgy, middle age man, dressed more appropriate for elk camp having  a perfectly civil conversation in the doorway of a nice restaurant must have looked. The person most astonished however just stood there with her chin touching her chest.  I put my hat back on, tipped it to each of the laddies and simply said "madam",  "ma'am" and "miss" and walked through the door.  As the door was closing behind me, I heard the middle aged women say, "mother you know the most interesting people".  Followed by her reply, "nonsense I just met the gentleman" and  "Samantha Sue close your mouth you're gathering fly's".

Decorum.  Now if I could only get a handle on posture, penmanship and punctuality, I might actually pass myself off as a civilized person.


Christmas Shopping

I just finished my Christmas shopping.  All I have left to do is wrap.

Go ahead and hate me.   I understand.



We buried a cowboy today.  Not a big city cowboy like you've seen on TV or the Nashville Now kind that people today seem to relate to.  We buried an honest to god, born on the prairie, lived on the prairie, drove cattle across the prairie,  broke horses, rode fence, drag; fought drought, nearly froze, burned up, and drowned on Wyoming's prairie, cowboy.  In 80 years of living he only left to go fight in Korea.  Then he came home and cow poked till he could get his own ranch and raise his own kids and cows the only way he could be proud of, on the prairie.

I don't get to Sundance very often any more.  When I do its not to visit old friends like I should.  It's for a shoot, or in an effort to make the best time possible getting to points east. Today I got up early after working last night so I could go to a church and sit.  I haven't been by the ranch in about 4 years.  Lately me and a buddy have talked about going by, but we never made it.  After the Alzheimers set in didn't seem like there was much of a point.  Which of course is what you tell yourself, but you know its a lie.  His wife could have used a hand, especially after the Alzheimers turned him so violent the family put him in a home.

That doesn't matter now.  Only the good times are talked about today, and there were lots.  I was thinking about writing that half the town showed up to pack the church for the funeral.  After doing some research, it looks like it was only a quarter.

Chuck thanks for your friendship.  The world will not see your kind again, and we are poorer for it.


Computer Sick

Sorry about the lack of posts.  I had a virus on the home computer.  It took me several days to get it cleaned off, but I seem to be OK now.  That's the good news.  Bad news is that it looks like after 7 years my PC is starting to die.  So Santa will likely be buying me a new PC this year.

Since I'm not a computer geek, and I'm a bit on the lazy side and don't want to spend 2 weeks researching which PC to buy, anyone have any suggestions?

The PC I have now is a HP.  Its was a middle of the road unit in terms of performance when I bought it.  I play the occasional PC based game but mostly I use this computer for email, blogging, Word and Excel work.  I have no idea what I need in terms of RAM etc or what the enhanced performance would do for me.  With that in mind what would you buy and why?


It's Good to be King

I am the king of ala king.  Yes it's true here at the Ipsa household we have successfully subjugated the thanksgiving leftovers.  I made a large batch of turkey ala king, which was superb, even if the kids refused to try anything remotely featuring turkey.  With the help of my loyal dog, chow hound, we managed to regulate the remaining leftovers to smaller dishes that will become daddies lunch for the next week, or so.  Thus we conquered the leftover invasion that had occupied our refrigerator. 

This year we purchased an "all natural" turkey from a group of hutterites, as opposed to the synthetic kind offered in finer Wal Mart meat sections around the country. Mrs Ipsa insists that I am mispronouncing hutterites.  According to her I'm saying Hooterites, which changes the focus to a different kind of breast meat.  I think its a Freudian thing on her part.  Either way dinner was yummy.

Hope your coping with a fridge full of blessings this year.   


Home for the Holiday

Res Jr. declared today, "the best Thanksgiving ever".  Mrs. Ipsa broke down and made the kids jello with marshmallows in it and served it on their plates with dinner.  Being able to eat dessert as a side dish with dinner is more than enough to put the day over the top for my son. 

Thanksgiving as a parent is a totally different holiday than it was as a kid.  Normally I'm not overly sentimental about such things. I enjoy special food.  I love turkey and pumpkin pie, since I seldom get them, I make it a point to appreciate my good fortune.

20 years ago today I was laying on my back in a hospital bed.  I was a college kid.  I had finished my last mid term around 8am on Tuesday and had driven the 2 hours home.  I dropped off my stuff and took my fathers car north to pick up my great grandmother for the holiday.  It was four and a half hours north and another four and a half back home.   My girlfriend had also made it back home, so after dumping grandma's stuff in the door I took off for greener pastures.  Around midnight I headed out from her place, but I was too wound up to sleep.  So I took a little drive.  According to the person behind me, the car gently slid across the country road I was on and flipped in the ditch.  He stopped and saw that a large number of steel posts had impaled the car.  Assuming I was dead he called the police to report the wreck.  They arrived and called for rescue and an ambulance.

I spent Thanksgiving in the hospital, and was released Friday afternoon, in time for me to return to school on Monday.

I started off writing this post wanting to talk about what it means to me to be "home".  "Home" being a farmhouse in northern Michigan that my grandparents built. It's a place now lost to me by circumstances I had no say or control over.  I miss it and wish I could go there again.  "Home" is place with people, now dead and gone, people I miss horribly at holiday time.  The rest of the year I can put them out of my mind.  Today I can't.

Today my son celebrated the best Thanksgiving ever.  My daughter got turkey grease all over everything including her pull up.  Everyone else is taking a post pumpkin pie nap.  I've cleaned up the turkey carcass and would be washing pots and pans if it wasn't for the very painful burn on my hand.  I hate flat top electric stoves.  Part of me feels I should be out behind grandma's in my blind that I bet is still there after all these years, waiting with my rifle, a portable heater and a turkey sandwich, for a buck to wander by.  If not that, I should be driving swamps with my cousins along the Black.  Is nearly dark there now a deer should be coming out of the swamp and heading towards the field, right in front of where I ought to be sitting.

My children will never know that place, but to them, they are home and today was a good day.

Happy Thanksgiving to you my friends.  May you thank God for the homes you have and the families you enjoy.  May next year be a even greater blessing than this last one.


Not a Joke Wednesday

You know Barack Obama is president when you order a burger at McDonalds and the kid behind the counter asks, "Can you afford fries with that?"
Obama claims that he has a balanced budget plan. It's exactly one half smoke and one half mirrors.
America once had Johnny Cash, Steve Jobs and Bob Hope. Now we have Barack Obama, no cash, no jobs and no hope.

Q. Why is Obama more popular in China than in America?  
A. He created jobs over there.

Q. What does Barack Obama intend to do about the Washington, D.C. earthquake?  
A. Blame it on George Bush.
Q. Why isn't TSA catching any terrorists?  
A. They don't screen passengers on Air Force One.

Q. What's the difference between Obama opponents and Obama supporters?  
A. The first group works for a living while the second group votes for a living.

Q. Why did Obama wait so long to release his birth certificate?  
A. He didn't have a registered copy of PhotoShop.

Q. What do you call the most powerful Muslim in the world?  
A. The President of the United States.

For Turkey Day

What did the mother turkey say to her disobedient children?
If your father could see you now, he'd turn over in his gravy!

Why do Pilgrims have trouble keeping their pants up?
'Cause they wear their belts on their hats!

What is the difference between a chicken and a turkey?
Chickens celebrate Thanksgiving!

What is the turkey's favorite black-tie celebration?
The Butter Ball.

What do you get when you cross a turkey, the beach, and Broomhilda? A turkey sand-witch.

What kind of music did Pilgrims listen to?
Plymouth Rock.

Why do turkeys eat so little?
Because they are always stuffed.

What key has legs and can't open doors?

What sound does a space turkey make?
Hubble, hubble, hubble.

How do you keep a turkey in suspense?
I'll tell you at Christmas.


PC Running Amuck

When I was a kid (1970's) white people told back jokes.  They also told Pollock jokes, Mexican jokes, Asian jokes etc.  It was mostly in bad taste.  I say bad taste because it wasn't racist.  I remember asking a black kid one time if he knew any white jokes.  He knew lots of them.  So I guess blacks are just as guilty.

One of the jokes I remember him telling had something to do about all white people looking the same.  It was funny, because we had jokes about blacks all looking the same.  No harm, no foul, sometimes people form different races are hard for other races to tell apart.  Not a big deal right?

What if you live in California but your originally from Alabama? What if your kid is in a public school?  What if a black guy comes to school that looks like the president?  Is your kid a rasiss for saying so?  Yep and they will kick him out of school for it.  That's right whitey, no saying a black guy looks like another black guy, even if he does.  What if the white kid's family had a black man (a friend) stay with them for several months while he was looking for work? Nope still racist.  What if the black guy even says the white people are cool? Nope still racist.  Even having a black friend isn't enough to get other blacks and publik skool officials to believe your not a racist, cause your from Alabama and they saw Roots, so they know. 

Sad thing is, kicking a kid out of school for saying a black guy looks like another black guy, does make a point.  It makes several here they are:
  1. Blacks now abuse the system, solely on the basis of race.
  2. The public school system is about indoctrination not education and should be closed before it does more harm.
  3. We have eradicated all serious forms of racism in America, since we have time to focus on these types of situations.
  4. Hurting whitey is the most important thing, the truth is secondary. 
  5. Little girls can have little boys kicked out of school, not because anything was done to them, or even said to them, they can be offended solely biased on what someone said another kid said.  They then can send mocking texts with no consequences.  Had the boy done that he would no doubt be arrested for bullying. 
We've come a long way from what blacks were trying to portray when I was a kid.


    I seem to remember that Warren Buffet has recently been going around the country telling us all how Obumer needs to tax rich guys like him MORE not less. Here's Buffet in his own words in the NY Times.  You can read it if you want.  Basically he thinks rich people should give the government more of their money.  Its a stupid opinion but its his and he's entitled to it.  Just like a crack whore is entitled to think that getting aids is a good thing because she doesn't have to worry about making guys put on a condom anymore.

    The Obummer cartel took ole WB at his word and the IRS taxed Net Jet for flying rich people around in private jets.  Did the Sage of Omaha rejoice in getting his taxes raised, like he's been preaching?  After all who's better able to pay the taxes, rich guys in private jets or guys like me?  Nothing says excess wealth like having a pilot fly you around the country the way some people take a cab.   Is WB praising the IRS for doing exactly what he wanted, i.e. taxing the rich?

    HECK NO! Warren Buffet is suing the IRS over paying a lousy $642 million of his fair share.

    The ticket tax WB is pissed about is an indirect tax on people who have the money to fly PRIVATE JETS, because it would be so droll to fly first class commercial to the 10,000 foot weekend cottage in Aspen. Hey Warren, I'm in favor of the government cutting spending, paying off the debt, canceling the welfare state and CUTTING everybody's taxes.  BUT COMMON all ready you can't bitch about taxes being to low and then cry about a tax on people rich enough to take the Lear; when thanks to your buddies handling of the country, most of us can no longer afford to take our car for a weekend trip to see grandma.



    Happy Birthday

    To those of you, (Difster) you know who you are, that look upon Tun Tavern as your spiritual birth place, HAPPY BIRTHDAY.  Thank you for your service.

    Oct 26, 2010

    A little better than a year ago, I was at work, praying my hart out.  I've got family that sails the lakes, as well as friends I've not seen in years.  Even here the weather men were making comparisons to November 1975.  I couldn't help remembering a song we used to request Kim to sing at the Peanut Barrel or maybe Claddagh, in my college days.  We called it the "Dead Ship Song".  I guess that was a smug college kids way of dealing with something that I hadn't the least bit of a clue about.

    The weather report that day had me worried. Gary was on the Jackson and they hadn't made port.  There is a web site that tracks ship movements.  I keep hitting refresh every couple of seconds, hoping to see the ship come up.  All it reported was that the Jackson was out of Duluth bound for the Rouge.

    The waves on Superior were reported 30 to 40 foot with winds up to 90 miles an hour.  This was way worse than Nov 10, 1975.  I was just a boy then and I don't remember much of it, but I learned more about it as I got older.   Enough that in 1991 when I was offered a chance to sigh on as a cooks mate on the Paul R. Tregurtha, I turned it down.  Perhaps that was a dumb move.  If I'd done it, I'd have my 20 in this year and could retire at the end of season pulling down about $5k a month.

    When I saw the Jackson had made port, I thanked God.  I also made a phone call, it went unanswered, just like the one I made a minute ago, but that as they say is another story.


    HIgher Education

    "Where did you receive your training?"


    "Good. And what's your name?"

    "Yim Yohnson."

    Would you have read the post if I titled it Bad Joke Wednesday?

    Internet Friends

    I enjoy meeting people in real life that I've met on the blogs.  Its usually very enlightening.  Over the years I've had the chance to met several people and I've always enjoyed it.  Today I got to wondering, "what would happen if some of my internet friends got together for a weekend?"  For instance what would happen if Farmer Tom and Astrosmith had a couple of days to hang out?  Wonder no more.


    Marines and Momma

    The white haired women stands by the gate, it’s late and the day has been long.  Yet she waits.  A while latter a blond bounds through the doors and over to her.  Her walk is more of a bounce, a youthful skipping and hoping motion that to older eyes is annoying for its youthful vigor.  The older woman is both perturbed and amused.  “His plane isn’t here yet”, she offers.
    “Oh good” the young girl giggles, “I want him to see me first”.  The girl is a blond of the dish water variety; not magazine cover drop dead eye candy, more of a solid old fashioned, girl next door kind of cute.  She’s not the school beauty but she runs in the top tier and most of the other girls probably envy her for being “the in crowd”.   Her perky B cups defy gravity briefly as she hops around excitedly.  “Oh he’s been gone so long” she sighs.  She is still wearing her green Albertson’s grocery store apron and she’s popped out over the top.  The older women just smiles at her exuberance and motions for her to “fix that” as another couple walk in.
    The husband and wife come over to the gate.  They too look like it’s been a long day.  The wife has a cross look on her face as the blond introduces her to the first white haired lady.  “This is my mom, Mrs. X” she coos.  I can’t hear if the old biddy is actually saying hello or just nodding a terse acknowledgment.  A boy comes running in and asks the father if the plane is in yet.  The dad shakes his head in the negative.  Another young man with a short hair cut comes around the display case and assumes an at ease position behind the family.
    This solves the mystery of who these people are.  The newest arrival looks to be all of 17 and is wearing a rust red jacket with an EGA on it.  The guy they are waiting for must have just finished boot camp and is coming home for leave.   I think I recognize the man.  If I remember correctly he is a pastor at a local church.  I don’t go to his church but I think I’ve seen him around town.  It looks like two of his boys enlisted.  That’s a proud thing.
    A plane is taxing up to the gate.  Some travelers come in off the tarmac.  The youngest boy runs out the door.  This is a security breech.  The TSA blue crew sees, but does nothing.  The kid is a freshman, not Al Qaeda.  We still know the difference here.   His dad gives the boy a nervous “get over here now” motion and the young man comes back inside.   “I saw him” he says excitedly.  “I can tell by his walk, he walks like you do” he says to his older brother.  The young marine smiles and nods, but says nothing.
    A very lean boy walks in the sliding doors and a blond girl bounces past his increasingly irate mother to get the first hug in.  They start clapping for him.  Then the passengers on his plane applaud, as do the other people waiting in the lobby.  I’m by the baggage claim and join in.  One of ours has come home, at least for a visit.
    I get my first close look at the two brothers.  They look young, I can’t believe these two kids are old enough to drive.  The young man grabs his sea bags off the baggage belt, and sets them down.  His mom and dad are making all kinds of arrangements, or rather his mom is and dad is trying to pretend he still has a pair. Mom has now brushed the blond to the back and SHE is taking charge.  The girl looks rejected as her mother puts her hand on her arm and pulls her back.  The drama is compelling.
    That’s when I notice something else.  The two brothers are both in civvies but they still wear combat boots.  A dog tag is laced up next to the tongue with just the eyelet showing.  The young man in the rust red jacket gives the new arrival a nod, as if to say “how was it”?  He shrugs.  No words are spoken, they nod and they know.  I can see the airline tags on the marines sea bags, two of them are in Arabic, one says Okinawa to L.A.  This isn’t a reunion after a 13 week trip to boot; this boy has been away for awhile.  
    Neither one of these young men tip the scales at 150.  Neither one of them look old enough to drive.  You’d card them if they tried to get into an “R” rated movie.  The eyes tell a different story, a story older than their years.  As the group moves towards the exit mom moves to block the blond girl from coming with them.  I see the look in the girl friends eyes.  She chokes back a tear; her eager enthusiasm has been thwarted. 
    I have heard it said that the number one thing a man dying on the field of battle asks for is his mother.  A man returning from battle wants something mom can’t give.  It's a kind of comfort but its more, it affirms life and manhood, in a way that momma can't.  He’s earned it.  "Hey mom, the innocence your trying to protect is gone, being a bitch isn’t gong to bring it back."



    Have you ever bet on a fart, and lost?

    You know it might stink. The important thing is, if its an SBD nobody else knows YOU did it.   What the heck. Right? To have the little sucker betray you and leave a skid mark worse; a greasy, all day odorous, skid mark, well that's just wrong, Right?

    Voting the lessor of two evils is betting on a fart.  You know its going to stink.  You're just hoping it doesn't leave a big streak of poo on your back side.  It always does.  You'd think we'd learn not to do it.


    Self Evident

    I haven't made up my mind about the whole Occupy Wall Street thing.  Is the system fixed? Yeah as much as the players can fix it.  You don't send your kid to an Ivy League school for nothing.  There is a reason half the class go to fancy pants jobs and the other half goes to government procurement offices. That reason has nothing to do with the betterment of the country or a desire to serve "the Public".

    But, and this is a big but, do the Occupiers have my best interests at hart?  I don't think so.  They get their funding from left wing political agitators like George Soros.  Who is George Soros anyway?  Apparently he's a rich guy too, according to this, worth about $22 Billion.  Not a bad chunk of change.  Did he go to a Ivy league school?  Does the London School of Economics count as Ivy, or does it just help you land a job doing arbitrage trades on Wall Street?  Cause thats what George did after college, which came after WWII.  George was too young to do much during the war.  Ever industrious though, George had a job handing out eviction notices to Jews who were going to the death camps and apparently he made a couple of bucks on the side pawning their left over belongings.  Seems like an odd enterprise for a Jewish kid.  Maybe he's just a tad flexible with the ethics when it comes to getting what he wants.

    Occupy Wall Street, funded by Billionaire, Holocaust Profiteer George, Hedge-fund owner and Wall Street Insider, Soros.  WTF is this all about?  The guy bank rolling the protesters is one of the biggest inside traders of the last 50 Years.  What could be his motive?  Well if history is any indicator then the past might give us a clue to the present.  Is there a past?  The Brits call it, Black Wednesday.  The long and short of it is that during a little financial crisis, George Soros, with some fast and furious Forex trading, broke the Bank of England, and made about a Billion pounds sterling.  Remember the Asian Financial Crisis?  George Soros does, not sure how much he made on that one.  He thought it too little and lamented that they got out of the trades too early.  Apparently every seven to ten years or George needs to make a quick buck and he's not having any luck getting the Nazi's back together.

    Occupy Wall Street seems to be a bit of theater, dressed up as social crisis to facilitate some Forex trades.  I'm just guessing here but I think George has shorted the dollar.  So George has set up his own little empire of concerned citizens  dumb ass pawns that do his bidding.  I guess we've got George's motive, whats theirs?

    cosmetologist (ˌkɒzmɪˈtɒlədʒɪst) [Click for IPA pronunciation guide]
    a person skilled or trained in the use of cosmetics and beauty treatments.
    In my defense I thought the chick was a guy. I guess we all know why shes out of work, evil capitalist pigs.


    Bathing With Hippies

    It is a universally accepted fact that there are certain topics of conversation that one does not bring up in polite society.   There once was three, Politics, Religion and Sex.  People talk about sex a lot more these days, and its getting harder to tell if your in polite society. Like the seven words you can't say on television (pre 1990 and cable) you NEVER talk about the big three.  It's just bad manners. 

    During the annual elk pilgrimage I made a couple of trips down the mountain to soak in Saratoga's hot springs.  One one of these trips an older couple showed up to take an afternoon dip.  Since we were the only people in the pool at the time we struck up a conversation.  Which soon lead to politics.  (Not my doing). Now I've learned (it might have took awhile) that I'm not a good political conversationalist.  I'm a fairly good political debater i.e. argumentative type, etc., but not a good conversationalist.  So for the sake of my blood pressure and because my wife/family/friends tend to look at me like I'm a ranting lunatic after almost every debate/conversation I have, I've learned a few techniques that help me get along when dealing with the insane/liberal/hippie/haterofAmerica/communistnutjob types that one occasionally meets.

    Technique number one.  Find some point, no matter how small, (sometimes its very small) that I can agree with that they have made, and acknowledge/feign/fake some sort of common ground or agreement with the insane liberal.
    Technique number two.  If they actually made an intelligent or rational comment, of any sort what-so-ever agree that it is a legitimate point and change the topic to anything not politics.
    Technique number three.  If either technique #1 or #2 has been even slightly successful in averting my derision and sarcasm, and there is no possible way to politely get the topic changed; I change the topic to something that they will likely know nothing about or dislike so that they will let the whole thing drop.

    Now about 95% of the time the three points above work wonders for me and allow me to keep some semblance of decorum while I preserve a degree of personal integrity where my philosophy/politics/religion are concerned.  My basic technique can be summed up as, avoid conversations with liberals in the first place, fake agreement on some small point, polity change the topic, change the topic at any cost. Like I said normally this works out pretty well for me.  I avoid stupid conversations that only irritate me. The problem comes when a political conversation starts out looking like I agree with the person on the substance and conclusions that they have.

    I think we've all been there, you meet some, they seem OK and then something gets said that make you think, "hey these are my kind of people".  Maybe you like the same sports team, or whatever and you think, "they might be OK".  I get that way with politics.  If someone gives me a little clue into their thinking, I tend to let my guard down a little.  After all, there is no reason to avoid a topic if we basically agree.

    So there I am, in my swim shorts and this older couple drops in the pool.  "How's the water?" he asks.  I said, "it's great, not quite as hot as the other day".  We chit chat a bit.  Live around here? Yep. You? Nope, passing through.  Just basic stuff, safe stuff, everyday conversation with someone you don't know, just met and aren't going to see again.  Without any warning politics rears its ugly head.  "So what do you do for a living?" she asked.  Seems like an innocent question.  We answered.  There's a problem though, when someone asks what you do, its just natural to ask them the same thing back.  In my defense I was expecting, a normal answer, something along the lines of, "I'm retired".  What I got was a dissertation on the evils of illegal immigration and how it was killing jobs in the valley.   Come to think of it he never did say what he did for a living, owned a business I think.

    Anyway, he hates illegal immigration, is complaining about it.  Seems OK to me.  Illegals do push wages down.  He might be intelligent.  Seems like we actually agree on this, and with the exception of the Hole most of the state is conservative.  So I venture an amicable, "Yep, illegals are helping wreck our economy".  "Nothing wrong with our economy" he retorted.  From there it went down hill fast. I tried to shut up equally fast.  As someone who has actually read an economics text book, or two, I've learned that there is a forth topic no one wants to talk about, economics.  It's boring and almost no one understands it beyond, "me got job, good" and "buy stuff cheep, good".   This guy had a third "economic" concept he held to, "republicans bad, democrats good".

    I'm now at the "change topic at any cost" option.  I go for hunting.  Major fail.  They are bunny hugging tree humpers. This has gone from bad to worse and the turd is circling the bowl. I'm considering the nuclear option.  Instead, I grab a towel and call it a day. Hippies, no matter how clean you are, still make you feel dirty just being around them.


    Home Again

    For your viewing pleasure, pictures from elk camp.

    It was a beautiful trip.  The weather was very nice and the snow only lasted a day.  Which meant that the elk stayed up at higher elevations.  I did mange to see some cows and one bull elk that ran by me in heavy timber, but I didn't get a chance to shoot one.  As far as other wildlife, I did get to see some moose, deer and I think a bear.  I say think because we had one or two near our camp that other folks saw.  One dark morning I went out to find a tree and I might have chased him out of the area.  The next day I was glassing a shelf and did see two dark creatures moving around a meadow.  It was too far to make out what they were for sure.   So again this year, I'm not cluttering up the blog with pictures of dead elk.  However I did manage to kill a couple of antelope on Saturday.  One buck and one doe, both of which are hanging in the garage awaiting my butcher knife.

    We did have a couple of other adventures, on the way into Saratoga to soak in the hot springs we had this little adventure as we tried to cross the continental divide.
    This put us behind schedule for the Hot Springs and dinner.  Which turned out OK since there was a number of young female athletes taking an afternoon soak when we finally did show up.  Elk camp, its not just about shooting elk, drinking beer, eating chilly or telling lies around a campfire; its also about the scenery and enjoying nature.


    Its That Time Again

    Elk season starts day after tomorrow.  Blogging will be even more  nonexistent than before.


    MOH Update

    I found this on the net and since I posted about this story I thought I'd give a link to the David Letterman interview with Sgt Myer, USMC MOH.  Grease'n the bob cat must mean something different in Indiana than Kentucky.


    Bad Joke Wednesday

    Ok I'm a little late in the day posting this, but hey I posted something so at least you know I'm still alive.

    Random Acts of Thinking

    I want to become a vegetarian, but I'm not sure I can quit eating meat cold turkey.

    I wear glasses. Doesn't that mean that *everything* I see is
    an optical illusion?

    I paid my psychiatrist with a reality check.

    Do fishermen live in the reel world?

    You want to know a really, really hugely annoyingly bad
    habit? Over-exaggeration.

    I may not be a great artist, but I am really good at drawing
    a blank.

    My wife and I love each other. I rub her back and she
    massages my ego.

    When he who lives in a glass house invites he who is without sin for dinner, bad things can happen.

    You can't stop progress, but you can unplug a good chunk of

    A chrysanthemum by any other name ... would be easier to

    Some days the best thing about my job is that the chair

    My life no longer needs an extreme makeover. Now it just
    needs a complete do over.

    A friend of mine has a nose ring. She keeps the volume
    pretty low, though, and sets it to "vibrate" at the movies.

    I'm not too handy with tools. I once got my finger caught in
    a screwdriver.

    Yesterday I pushed my luck. It was clearly too weak to move
    by itself.


    Where is Roci?

    Today Roci had a real good post in which he criticized the New York PD for wanting to shoot down planes.  He went further than that though and talked about the criminal nature of our government shooting down planes with Americans in them.  Then his blog disappeared. Its possible he just got in a snit or wanted to reinvent his blog again.  If any one knows the reason, I'd like to know as well.


    Bad Joke Wednesday

    It had been a quiet night at the local bar so far, but then the door was thrown open and an interstate highway strode in.

    "I'm an interstate highway," he declared. "I stretch from coast to coast and have at least four lanes, shoulders, and a median almost my entire length. I have the highest speed limit of any highway. I'm the best of the highways, and I'm afraid of no highway and no road."

    He then strode up to the bar, ordered a beer, and began drinking it while looking around.

    A short time later, a four-lane highway came in, went to the end of the bar, and ordered a beer.

    The interstate looked him over and walked over to him. "I'm an interstate highway," he declared. "I stretch from coast to coast and have at least four lanes, shoulders, and a median almost my entire length. I have the highest speed limit of any highway. I'm the best of the highways, and I'm not afraid of you."

    The four-lane highway said, "I agree that you're the best. I don't want any trouble with you. Let me buy you a beer," and he did. They drank their beers and discussed their engineering specifications.

    After a half hour, the door opened again and a two-lane road came in, went to the other end of the bar, and ordered a beer.

    The interstate looked him over and told the four-lane highway that he had to take care of the new arrival. He walked over to the two-lane road and said, "I'm an interstate highway.  I stretch from coast to coast and have at least four lanes, shoulders, and a median almost my entire length.  I have the highest speed limit of any highway. I'm the best of the highways, and I'm not afraid of you."

    The two-lane road quivered a bit and said, "You're absolutely right. You are the best of the highways.  I'm just a lowly two-lane road. I don't want any trouble. Can I buy beers for you and the four-lane highway?"

    The interstate motioned the four-lane highway to come over. The two-lane road bought beers for each of them, and the three of them drank their beers and discussed the merits of various paving materials.

    After another half hour, the door opened again and a strip of asphalt about eight feet wide came in. The interstate highway ducked behind the bar and hid there quivering quietly.

    The bartender was shocked.

    After serving the asphalt strip, he walked over to where the interstate was hiding. "I watched you stand up to the four-lane highway and the two-lane road. You said you weren't afraid of any highway or road. Why are you hiding from that little asphalt strip?"

    The interstate replied quietly, "It's true that I'm not afraid of any highway or road, but he's a cycle path."



    I've received a couple of emails about not being able to comment on the posts.  So far I haven't been able to duplicate the problem, either from home or from work.  Please try to post a comment and then if your having problems please send me an email. If anyone has a suggestion on a commenting program they think would be better, please let me know.



    Astro is Back

    In case you don't know my friend Astrosmith has started back on his blogging.  For those of you who don't know he really is a rocket scientist, which means he's real smart, even if he looks a lot like Al from Home Improvement in real life.  :-) Drop by and give him a try.

    At Least He Didn't Hug Him

    I like these kinds of stories.  A fine example of American manhood goes above and beyond because, well because he knows its right and he can't help not doing the right thing, even when everyone knows he will die, even when he's told not to.  He he is needed, he can't not rush in, he can't wait for someone else to man up and get er done.  He is there.  The time is now.  The cost of action isn't important, the cost of inaction is unacceptable.  He may die.  He will not be defeated, he will not be dishonored.
    Meyer and the other Americans had gone to the area to train Afghan military members when, suddenly, the village lights went out and gunfire erupted. About 50 Taliban insurgents on mountainsides and in the village ambushed the patrol.
    As the forward team called for air support that wasn't coming, Meyer, a corporal at the time, begged his command to let him head into the incoming fire to help.
    Four times he was denied his request before Meyer and another Marine, Staff Sgt. Juan Rodriguez-Chavez, jumped into the Humvee and headed into the fray.
    For saving 36 of his comrades in arms Cpl Meyer was awarded his nations highest honor.  The down side?  He had to suffer through having BO award it to him.  At least O Bummer didn't give him a big hug, like the last time BO had a big time hero photo op.

    There are any number of things that I think I'd change or do different if I was president.  Fact is, I can say that for sure.  I don't really know what decision I'd make if I was in the big chair.  After all you don't know what information you would have at the time you had to make your decision and hind sight is always 20/20.  However there is one thing that I know deep down inside that I would do if I ever was the president and if I had the honor of  awarding the Medal of Honor.

    First, the ceremony would be outside so the Marine could wear his cover.  Second, I would order a 21 gun salute to begin as soon as I stepped back form hanging the Medal on his neck.  Third, at the exact moment the first shot was fired I would come to attention and salute the recipient.  I would hold that salute until the 21st gun was fired and the Marine returned my salute.  This would happen without reporters.  I don't need a stinking photo op, it's not about me.  Our armed forces deserve RESPECT from the bummer in chief.  His refusal to render proper courtesy on EVERY occasion he has had to award the Medal, disgusts me.  I can safely say, in the unlikely event I ever had his job, I would do this part better.

    There is yet another bright spot in this story:
    In the ceremony, Obama praised Meyer's humility and work ethic, noting that he would not even take a call from the president during his shift at a construction job because he was working. He's now out of the Marines. So they two arranged to talk over his lunch hour. Obama jokingly kidded him with thanks for taking the call.
    Um yeah, it was his work ethic that kept him from taking O Bummer's call.  "He's now out of the Marines." Which of course means he is free to say "screw it I haven't got time for that loser, tell him I'm working and my boss won't let me come to the phone".  Which is how I hope it went down when a fine heroic example of American manhood was faced a second time with an unspeakable situation that required exemplary courage, not to mention a strong stomach. 


    Blog NOT for Sale

    I have no idea who the company is that is currently trying to sell my blog address or why/how they keep doing a pop up/redirect when you access the page.  If anyone has any idea how to stop the redirect I'd like to know.


    Oh Shut Up Already.

    Most of you who stop by to read this little blog of mine know that I'm a Christian. I don't apologize for that nor do I see a reason to. Faith is a personal decision and I have made my decision. As a rule I don't get to concerned or worked up about other peoples faith. That goes for Christians that accept different doctrines than me and for most other world religions. The reason for that is that I don't see myself as able to correct the whole world about everything. I don't accept everyone or anyone else's opinion as equally valid, because that would be stupid. God by the very definition of the concept is the guy who gets to make the rules/doctrines that He deems proper. He is of course equally able to defend those positions and/or punish people for choosing the wrong path. Therefor I try to leave it all to Him and hope that He is as gracious to me for my short comings as I hope He will be to others. That said some people drive me nuts.
    The severe drought throughout most of Texas is taking its toll on ranchers, travelers, athletes, businesses and natural resources, and that last category includes the OC Fisher Reservoir, which has dead fish floating on its little remaining water.

    But what has caught the attention of many is the fact that the water has turned blood-red.

    The development, coming as it has amidst the various turmoil around the globe and just as a comet has been reported to be racing toward Earth at the peak of God's holy days, has sparked talk of biblical prophecy even from distributors of scientific information such as Live Science.

    Read more: American lake turns blood-red, sparking end-times wonder.
    A couple of basic's here:
    #1. The water looks red, its not actually blood.  If it was suddenly blood, you'd have a very interesting story.  As it is, it looks redish, this isn't news as redish water is caused by any number of natural phenomenon, that we have explanation for.  So unless the water becomes A pos, its not news worthy.

    #2. Not everything is a sign of the end of time.  Some things are just the way the world works., like lakes drying up during a draught.

    #3. Your stupidity makes other Christians look like dorks.  The world assumes we all are unthinking twits, because what they see is folks like you in the news.  Take a hint, your potato isn't a reincarnation of the Virgin Mary, even if it kinda looks like a picture someone painted of her.  Jesus isn't coming back on Tuesday because you cracked some secret (nonexistent) code in the Bible.  Jesus specifically told us that "no one knows the hour, not even the Son but only the Father in heaven".  If God didn't inform Jesus, why would you think that He invented a cleaver way to let you know?


    The Spending is Nuts

    I don't know how many of you saw this. I liked it. I guess for me the whole state of the economy is a touchy subject. On one hand I know how bad it is, on the other I see myself as basically powerless to fix it. The winner of the $100,000 Power Line Prize has been announced and it's a video called "The Spending Is Nuts." I think they did a great job putting the subject of Federal spending into understandable and realistic terms.

    Well Why Not?

    Russia’s Post Office has issued a collection of stamps and envelopes to mark the 50th jubilee of the US President Barack Obama.
    After all B.O. has done more to turn the U.S. of A. into a Marxist utopia than anyone else in history.


    Obama Fixes Illegal Immigration

    I didn't think it possible but apparently its true. Obama is actually doing something to help fix the illegal immigration problem that has been destroying America. From Stephen Magagnini at the The Sacramento Bee:
    There are fewer undocumented immigrants in California – and the Sacramento region – because many are now finding the American dream south of the border.
    "It's now easier to buy homes on credit, find a job and access higher education in Mexico," Sacramento's Mexican consul general, Carlos González Gutiérrez, said Wednesday. "We have become a middle-class country."
    Mexico's unemployment rate is now 4.9 percent, compared with 9.4 percent joblessness in the United States.
    An estimated 300,000 undocumented immigrants have left California since 2008, though the remaining 2.6 million still make up 7 percent of the population and 9 percent of the labor force, according to the Public Policy Institute of California.
    Obama economic policy seems to be solving the illegal issue. Although I doubt that was the intention of the Administration. How bad does the American economy have to be that Mexican criminals are fleeing the states because they can make a better living in the third world?


    Last weekend I spent my time volunteering as a Range Officer for the Wyoming Tactical Rifle Championship. For those of you who know the WTRC is the son of the International Tactical Rifle Championship. What happened was the guy who ran the ITRC left the state and went to Arizona. Which meant that no one was running the competition. So a couple of guys in the industry put together a shoot on the same ranch with the same shooting concept.

    I wasn't able to shoot this comp for the very good reason that I didn't have number 1 a team mate and number 2 $600 for the entrance fee. That and shooting with a group of Mil Spec and LEO's can seem intimidating. But after about 4 years of guys asking me to go I decided to offer my services as an RO.

    As it turns out I enjoyed myself a great deal. I got to score the team that won on one of the 3 legs of the shoot. Talk about great shooting! These guys did very well and deserved the win. I also got to score for the team that came in dead last. I don't think I'm supposed to tell what everyone does for a living but last place belonged to the US ARMY. I also got to score for a team that came in, in the middle. Three days, three teams and three skill levels for the shooters. The number one thing that made the difference between the middle of the pack and the tail end was the mental side of the game. The guys who came in last just couldn't stop shooting at the targets.

    The way the game is played is that there is a long range and a carbine shooter. Each shooter has a number of targets they have to engage at each station and each target has to be engaged twice. You get 20 points for a hit and 20 points for a miss with a 40 point deduction if you fail to engage a target. If you hit a target two times you score 40 points if you miss two times you get negative 40 points. If you miss twice and then hit it twice you score zero points. The guys who lost weren't bad shooters they just couldn't stop shooting after their two misses.

    Like most things in life a winning mind set is in your head. I doubt that I'll be in good enough shape to run the course next year as a shooter. But if I was able to compete I wouldn't come in last. Which is comforting considering the level of shooters I saw.

    Since this competition is aimed at guys who do this for a living, the sponsors tend to be upper crust of the industry. As a RO I happened to be in the right place at the right time and was allowed to play with some suppressed class III toys. Which is always a lot of fun, even better someone else (a manufacture) supplied the ammo.


    The Three "P"'s

    Libertarians confuse me to a degree.  I understand the basics of the philosophy, which amounts to live and let live with minimal governmental involvement.  All of which I'm OK with.  What I'm confused about is the strategy for implementing the philosophy as a basis for government.

    Libertarians like to promote the three "P"'s.  Now I know the first thing some of the more intellectual of the group will say is they also promote honest money and limited government and no public debt etc.  All of which I will readily admit to be true and I'm ready to get on that bandwagon.  Except that isn't what the guys I meet on the street are pushing.  They're all about the Three "P"'s.  For the uninitiated those are: Pot, Porn and Prostitution.  Pot of course is a catch all for unlimited drug use and the other two are what they are.  Now the Libertarian will quickly point out that it is the government that needs to butt out and that society would provide the necessary constraints to limit the use of the "P"'s in the world.

    In Libertarian theory anyone would be able to discriminate against anyone else on the basis of any criteria that they chose.  So an employer could drug test and not hire someone who does pot, or tobacco etc.  Thus social mores would control most peoples behavior.

    Rather than promote the philosophy on the intellectual merits of personal political freedom and limited federal law, the Libertarian activities I seem to meet all fit a specific mold that I think most Americans find less than attractive. Like the guy who accosted me out side of the store today promoting Ron Paul as the answer to making Pot legal. I believe a Ron Paul presidency would be a great answer to some of Americas ills but making it legit to get high isn't my first priority. In fact that issue doesn't make my list at all.

    The limited government crowd needs a better mascot than the Potheads of Wal-Mart.



    I don't know if you went to VBS as a kid.  I did. and I have started taking my kids.  We just finished up tonight and for the most part my younguns did ok.  They all ready want to go again next year so I'll count the combination of behaved properly and want to go back as a parenting win.


    Too Fast

    I remember being a little boy and not wanting to wait to grow up.  All the good things in life that I could imagine existed in the realm of "big kids".  Latter all that was good an grand belonged to those who could drive.  Then I was 18 and an official adult. I could vote. I could join the military, although I never did.  The last magic age was 21, when I got there it was anticlimactic.  I had been drinking in bars since I was 16. Now that I was legal there was no element of rebellion in what I was doing and with that, the thrill was gone.  I suppose the last great frontier to cross was marriage. Which I did.  We were married for a number of years before having kids and I had begun to assume that we would be childless.

    Then we had a little boy and a couple of years latter a little girl.  Compared to the first half of my life, the second half is speeding by.  This last week we, and by we I mean Mrs. Ipsa, began potty training our youngest.  It seems that little girls prefer their mommy to help wipe that part of their body.  Little Ms has long preferred her mom to take care of the "poopies".  In retrospect that may be one of the reasons I love her so.  Today being a Saturday I was home at nap time.  So we went trough the whole potty time before nap time routine with little Ms.  She seemed less than pleased that daddy was part of the process.  Then to heap insult on to injury  mommy informed her that daddy would put her down for her nap.  She resisted long and hard and only the exceptional cunning of daddy carried the day and she slipped off to sleep.

    I crept from her room and went to check in on Res Jr.  He should have been fast asleep but he was playing on the floor with his cars and planes.  As I walked in he turned and looked up at me.  With a big smile on his little face he said, "I'm waiting for you daddy".  We crawled up into his bed and he hugged me tight.  "Rub my back daddy" he requested.  As I did he closed his eyes and mumbled "I love taking a nap with you".  We snuggled and soon he was asleep.  I waited a little and slipped out of the bed and back downstairs.

    Soon little Ms will go potty by herself and my son won't want a back-rub at nap time.  Then there will be no more nap time and the hugs will be fewer.  I will get scolded by both my wife and my daughter for wearing the universal uniform of fathers everywhere, shorts, back shoes and white socks. Dammit, kids in diapers went by too fast.  No matter what my son says, he is not waiting for me, he is growing up 60 minutes an hour, 24 hours a day, every day.  Everything I wanted to be be big for came to slow.  Now its all going by too fast.


    Last weekend was the annual Cold Turkey 1,000 yard handgun shoot in Sundance Wyoming. I went.  I shot. I was soundly beaten. I had hopped to have better news to post.  After all, this year was my first year with corporate sponsorship.  I wanted to come home with at least a couple of first place prizes and maybe pick up a couple more sponsors. 

    Here is the story of those of you who care.  Other people did a much better job of preping and shooting than I did.  Sure I've got a couple of alibi's I could share, but frankly some of the guys who showed up this year came to shoot and they did very well. If I was on my "A" game I would have done better and been much more competitive than I was.  As they say, "would of, should of, could of, never got me stuff".  Truth is that I'm very proud of the job some of the guys did, they really worked hard to prefect their equipment, loads and technique and they deserved to beat those of us who didn't put in the same amount of work they did.

    I'm all ready working (much harder btw) on next year.


    Arichie on Obama

    I was thinking up a political post, but I changed my mind. There is a much wiser person than I that has earned his right to be heard. It's high time I get some Archie Bunker back in this blog.

    If you'll permit me one more. Affirmative Action has proved to be a bad idea in 1976 with teachers and its proving to be an even worse idea in 2011 with presidents.

    Barrack Insane Obama is the only person who could make Jimmy Carter look like an intellectual giant AND an economic genius. No wonder the democrats love him. Just saying. Has it occurred to anyone else that if abortion was legal in the US in the 1950's we would have never been stuck with this situation today? You'd think that B.O. would be the most pro-life president of all time. Since it would be highly unlikely that an upper middle class, under age, white girl would have given birth to a half-black bastard. Considering that B.O.'s father made one of his other hoe's have an abortion you'd think B.O. would be grateful for his adopted country's prohibition on the procedure.

    Obama, wrong about the economy, wrong about "natural born citizen", wrong about the number of states in the United States, wrong about energy policy, wrong about social policy.  No matter how you dress it up, B.O. stinks.  Go ahead and tell me how evil  person I am for not swooning like a media whore over Obummer.  Call me a racist even though I once voted for Keys. Feel free to use the comments to support the American stench that is B.O.  While you're at it, all in favor of Obama raise your right hand.

    Not Socially Autistic

    I thought it was funny.
    How many of the lyrical allusions did you get? I had to look one up, mostly because I only remembered it as a Styx song.


    Socialism and the Christian

    Today I had to take a  road trip.  Coming back I was composing a post in my head. The post was about economics and a Christian world view.  I was so deeply in thought that I failed to see the Pennington County Sheriffs deputy until I made him chase me about ten miles with his lights on. Apparently its illegal to drive 80 miles an hour in South Dakota.  That's the bad news.  The good news is that in South Dakota they seem to think that people from Wyoming are too dumb to read.  The correct answer to "why can't you people from Wyoming read the speed limit sign?", is "well sir only about 2/3 of our elected officials can read and it ain't my turn to be mayor yet".  The good news is that I was able to remember to get my seat belt on about point two seconds before he got to my door and he decided to let me go with a warning as long as I promised to keep the seat belt on.

    As soon as I get my train of thought back on the economics post, I get er done.  I know ya'll are eagerly waiting.


    Just Thinking

    Giraffe and Professor Hale have got me to thinking.  Shooting, more importantly accurate shooting isn't hard.  I think its time to dispel some myths about the shooting sports.  First off, anyone with a good gun, good ammo, normal dexterity and a desire to shoot well, can.  The first thing to keep in mind is what do you mean when you say "good shooting".  When I used to shoot trap and sporting clays, good shooting meant that I was breaking above 95% of the clays I shot at, no matter what distance I was shooting.  Keep in mind that in those sports a long shot was 27 yards with a 12 gauge shot gun.  In handgun shooting, IPSC or IDPA type events any hit in the "A" ring is a good hit.  The goal is to hit all the targets in the shooting scenario.  Basically all you have to do is resolve your targets and execute a firing solution, a "group" of 6 inches is considered good and the distances are normally less than 25 yards.  Bench-rest shooting is about shooting real small holes at various distances.  The mythical "Bug Hole" is what we strive for.  A Bug Hole is all the bullets in one hole.  To prove you did it, they run a "backer target" to verify that you did in fact put either 5 or 10 shots on the paper.

    The type of event you are shooting determines what makes a "good" shot.  Most of the time "good shooting" means hitting a 6 in area at various distances.  Bench-rest shooting is when you go for the magical bug hole.  Nobody expects a shooter to run an IPSC course and shoot double taps into the same hole while making time.  Its not impossible, but its very unlikely.

    As for me,  I'm a hobbyist. I've never been in any branch of the service.  I'm not a cop.  The only person responsible for my shooting interests and ability (or lack thereof)  is me.  Sometimes I get lucky and manage to beat other shooters.  Mostly though I care about making my personal goals happen.  While I like to win, my goals normally center around doing something better than I have before.  If I succeed I'm happy.  For those of you that might think that sounds like some happy horse stuff, its not.  Last year I took over coaching and spotting for a guy that was my competitor.  I did that because his spotter wasn't able to see his hits and call correction.  I got the kid on paper and helped him call the wind to keep his groups tight.  He beat me out of first place by one shot.  No one else was even close to us.  Had I kept my big mouth shut I would have won another 1st.

    My goal this year is to do all my own prep and shoot with all my own equipment and ammo.  If I win anything or even place I'm going to be thrilled.  If I ever shoot anything note worthy in an non sanctioned match I might go for a "real" match where there is a possibility of some recognition.  Until then I'm content to use a pistol to do what most guys don't think they can do with a rifle.  I'm not special, anyone who has the interest and even average ability can do what I do. Maybe I should start a "Road to Sundance" series.


    Pet Peeve

    I have a pet peeve.  In the USA today is a national holiday.  It's Memorial Day.  The purpose of the day is to remember those who have died in service to our country.  It is not a day to remember all veterans.  That day is Veterans Day.  It is not a day set aside to remember lost loved ones.  I miss my grandpa too, and I wish several loved ones were still alive.  They aren't.  Death is a part of life, that is a fact, not a reason for taking a day off from work.  Memorial Day is about those who died in military service for you and me.  I'm not much of one for poems.  In this one a dead lad has a chance to talk with his old friend.  A.E Housing writing embodies what Memorial Day brings to my mind. 
    'Is my team ploughing,
    That I was used to drive
    And hear the harness jingle
    When I was man alive?'
    Ay, the horses trample,
    The harness jingles now;
    No change though you lie under
    The land you used to plough.
    'Is football playing
    Along the river shore,
    With lads to chase the leather,
    Now I stand up no more?'
    Ay, the ball is flying,
    The lads play heart and soul;
    The goal stands up, the keeper
    Stands up to keep the goal.
    'Is my girl happy,
    That I thought hard to leave,
    And has she tired of weeping
    As she lies down at eve?'
    Ay, she lies down lightly,
    She lies not down to weep:
    Your girl is well contented.
    Be still, my lad, and sleep.
    'Is my friend hearty,
    Now I am thin and pine,
    And has he found to sleep in
    A better bed than mine?'
    Yes, lad, I lie easy,
    I lie as lads would choose;
    I cheer a dead man's sweetheart,
    Never ask me whose.
    Sgt. Bob, rest easy, and thank you.


    The End?

    When I was in my teen years I was exposed to several "end of time" teachings.  Mostly they focused on the return of Jesus and the end of the world.  One thing all these theories had in common was that current day events were a "sure sign" that the end was just around the corner. Even as a kid and latter as I walked away from the faith, I saw people that promoted these types of teachings as nuts.  After returning to a Christian faith in my mid twenties the numbers of people that taught this type of thing had died off significantly. Except for the occasional "preacher" like Harold Camping most Christians I know are very reluctant to try to predict Christ's return.

    In a May 11th interview, Harold Camping had some interesting things to say.  Interesting his radio station web site has been down for some time now and no one seems to have heard form Harold.  One of two things is true either; Harold Camping's prediction that God supposedly  gave him; that the rapture would happen on May 21st didn't happen, or you aren't part of the elect.  Either way if your faith is in Mr. Camping you're not in heaven right now. I was wondering if the Bible had anything to say about the likes of Camping and it turns out that it does:

    Deut 18:20-22
    But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.' And if you say in your heart, 'How shall we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?' When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.
    I realize that this passage is in the Old Testament, so those of you with a strict dispensationalist point of view may not see it as binding on Christians today.  I can't help but ponder what would happen if Christians started practicing this teaching.  Just think no more Oral Roberts, or Jehovah's Witnesses or any one of a number of other groups that are an embarrassment to thinking and believing people everywhere.  This isn't to say that I am seeking to end Harold Camping's life, or encouraging anyone else to do that. Mr. Camping is 89 years old and is close enough to meeting his creator. When he does, he shouldn't count on hearing "well done good and faithful servant".


    Good on Them

    Vienna Presbyterian Church had a problem, they had hired a youth pastor Eric DeVries, who had a series of inappropriate and apparently illegal sexual relationships with some of the young women under his care. The church leadership found out and eventually made the decision to involve the authorities and of course fire DeVries.  This would be a tough position for any church to find themselves in. What happened next is what impresses me about these folks.

    The church has insurance and their insurance policy has a rider that covers this sort of  situation.  The insurance company wanted the church to "lawyer up".  "Lawyer up" is a term that basically means shut up and let the professionals lie for you in an effort to make the problem go away.  Vienna Presbyterian went another, much more biblical route.

    The leadership owned up to the whole mess publicly. They apologized for not responding quicker to the allegations, for the way they handled things and for the harm Pastor DeVries caused. Instead of doing a "lawyer up" they "owned up".  This will no doubt be used against them in any pending civil suit.  However, there are victims that may find healing a little easier,  church members that find sorting out their own feelings a little less conflicted, because they took the high road instead of the lawyer road.  Christians also may learn from their example God's method of confession and "owning up" is more beneficial than "lawyering up".

    Good Years

    Last summer I was working on a job doing training for the Army.  I met a man who was traveling around the country doing the same thing I was but on a more or less full time basis.  He had raised his kids and owned his own business.  His kids were running the business and he was working on a way to transition ownership over to them. He was ten years older than me.  We were comparing notes about life in general and he made a comment to me that the period of my life that I was about to go through was going to be a great time.  He said that for him this period of raising kids held his fondest memories. He encouraged me not to miss a minute of my kids growing up.

    When I think about the condition of the world today I am worried.  It doesn't look like America will exist very much longer.  I expect to see it die in my lifetime, if it doesn't I will be pleasantly surprised. However, if things aren't fixed, my kids will have to live through the fall of the American dream.  I worry for them as well as my country.

    The screen saver on my computer plays a random loop of digital photos that we have taken.  I've been watching it for the last 10 min. Mostly these photos are of the kids. Who are growing up so fast. The world may very well be falling apart but my friend was right, these are the good years.


    Situation Room Pics and Comments

    You've no doubt seen the pics and photo shops of this:
    Hillary had to get in her two cents in the news about how the pic is really her coughing not her covering her mouth in horror.  Frankly I'd have more respect for her if she, as a women/human being, was horrified about some aspect of killing some one.  Of course I know that the Lizard Queen has no qualms about killing, just ask Vince Foster.

    It doesn't matter.  We all know how things really went down.

    All this material shamelessly stolen form other sites, that no doubt stole it form someone else.


    For Cruft

    Cruft asks: "Is baptism a work required without which we are NOT saved?"

    I've thought about answering this several different ways.  Instead of doing that, I'm going to talk about myself and the subject.  Mostly because I don't particularly enjoy internet arguments.  I was raised in a legalistic church environment, then my folks sent me to a baptist school in jr high.  I eventually graduated from a christian college (protestant) and obtained another degree from another college (catholic, benedictine).  I used to really get off on arguing the finer points of doctrine with others both my own age and my instructors.  I've even done that on the internet.  Now that I'm older, and hopefully wiser, I realize that arguing on the internet is a waste of time and energy. 

    My post before this one was an attempt to gain some understanding about the Jewish practice of mikveh and how that relates to christian baptism, not to engage the topic of how Christians see baptism today. My understanding of Christianity is far from perfect.  I am very much aware of how different denominational schools of thought have developed over the years, most of which have come about as a reaction against some other school of thought.  I'm not interested in being a Coptic, Syriac, Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant, Anabaptist, Calvinist, Armenian,  Messianic or any other denomination or division or whatever your particular special branch and belief system is called.  I am interested in being as much like Jesus as I can and learning about how He wants me to see things and practice His religion.  Thats why I'm taking another look at the topic of baptism, this time from the point of view, at least as close as I can get to the point of view, of a 1st century Jewish Christian.

    What I've learned so far is that "baptism" as I've understood it, is probably not the same rite as what the hearers of Peters sermon in Acts chapter 2 understood it to be. Despite what the catholic church teaches, they are not doing the same thing that Peter did and taught. I think its reasonable to disregard the opinions of BOTH the RCC and those that have based their doctrine on a reaction to the RCC.  What I want to know is what did "baptism" mean to these people?  Its only recently that I learned that Jews had a word and a practice for the Greek word "baptisim".  That word is "mikveh". 

    I can't prove it, (the NT is written in Greek) but I suspect the word Peter actual said in Acts 2 was "mikveh".  I'm becoming convinced that "mikveh" was what John the Baptist was doing and that it was what Jesus was teaching and his disciples were doing as well.  "Mikveh" had a whole connotation to them that "baptism" doesn't seem to have to us today. 

    Jesus (and the 12) taught people to do what we call "baptism".  To them baptism was neither a work that required God to grant salvation (sacrament), nor a mere outward sign of an inward belief (outdated, inconvenient, and totally optional non requirement). It was rather an appeal to God for forgiveness.  The complete Jewish Bible words 1 Peter 3:21 this way, "This also prefigures what delivers us now, the water of immersion, which is not the removal of dirt from the body, but one’s pledge to keep a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Yeshua the Messiah.".

    My current understanding of the topic is this:
    Baptism is not a work as expressed typically in the Catholic/Protestant sacramental debate.
    Nor is Baptism a non issue as understood from the Calvinist irresistible grace tradition.
    Baptism meant something more to Jesus, the 12 and those who responded by doing it than what we think of today.  It meant something closer to "mikveh" and they "mikevhed" without ever considering  any of the points we get hung up on.  They did it to be "right with God", to "be clean" to be able to worship and draw close to the creator, not to be able to divide believers into camps along purely academic and nonsensical lines.
    Mark 16:16 quotes Jesus as saying: "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned."

    Cruft, my short answer is, "what Jesus said, taught and did".


    Research Help

    I know that a couple of my readers tend to use what I call Jewish/Christian terminology and have some Jewish idiosyncrasies such as spelling God "G_d".  I am doing a little research for my own benefit and would like to ask you some questions about how/why you arrived at these practices.  Of course if your Messianic Jews, so much the better, because I'm particularly interested in learning about a Jewish practice that is carried over from Judaism to Christianity. 

    Don't worry I'm not looking for an "expert" theological point of view, although I hope you can point me in the right direction.  So far my Googling hasn't paid off like I'd hoped and I'm looking for some help.  You can post in the comments if you like or send me an email.  The link is on the right sidebar. 

    First Time

    There was a gun show this weekend. So I took Res Jr. The little guy loved it.  He got to see guns and every table had a new favorite. It was an above average show for our neck of the woods and there was a lot more there than just guns.  We saw several large racks including a find were a whitetail and a mule deer broke each others necks fighting for dominance.  There were several big horn sheep as well as a grizzly and of course lots of buffalo hides.  To my surprise there was a number of African game examples as well, including a giraffe skull, water buffalo, rhinoceros horns, and elephant feet.  All in all a good show.  On the gun front there were a couple of class 3 tables as well as an excellent example of a broom-handled Mauser.  Of course we had a great number of western arms some of which were from the 1870's.  I didn't buy anything but we had a great time just looking at stuff.  When Res Jr spotted a table with pink and purple handguns he thought of his mom and sister.  He's considerate like that.  He wanted me to buy one of each for them so they could have some guns too. 


    Sunshine Up My Butt

    I wrote my congress women a letter explaining that I believe her to be a total sell out based on her "compromise" on the budget.  This is what she had to say:

    Thank you for taking the time to contact me regarding the federal budget and your federal spending priorities.  It is good to hear from you.  I appreciate your views on specific federal spending levels and will keep them in mind as Congress works to complete the budget.

    Under the new Republican Majority in the House of Representatives, my Republican colleagues have selected me to serve on the House Committee on Appropriations.  This committee sets specific federal expenditures for government agencies and departments.  When I am home in Wyoming, the top concern I hear about is out-of-control federal spending.

    Over the last two years, President Obama and the Democrat-led Congress increased non-defense discretionary spending by 84 percent.  Before adjourning the 2010 session of Congress, Democrat leaders extended 2010's already bloated spending levels through March 4, 2011.  One of the first orders of business for House Republicans has been completing the 2011 budget and I believe we ultimately need to return to the pre-Obama, pre-stimulus spending levels of 2008.

    I am proud to say that on February 19, 2011, House Republicans passed H.R. 1, the Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Resolution (CR).  The CR reduces spending for the rest of the fiscal year to 2008 levels. In addition, the legislation takes first steps towards dismantling the new health care law and blocking Environmental Protection Agency actions that hurt Wyoming's economy and hamper job creation.

    The CR was considered under an open process, allowing Members of both parties to offer more than 580 amendments.  The House spent over 60 hours in public debate, amending the bill to include an additional $620 million in spending cuts.  The Senate rejected this long term CR on an up and down vote, along with the Democrat alternative which would only have cut $6.5 billion for the rest of the fiscal year.

    I ultimately ended up supporting bipartisan House passage of H.R. 1473, a FY 2011 budget deal, which funds the nation's military and keeps the government running for the remainder of the fiscal year. Although not perfect, this bill represents the beginnings of positive change to Washington's reckless spending culture. Congress is moving in the right direction with the near $40 billion in cuts, the largest single discretionary spending cut in history. 

    These cuts required tough decisions and will mean less hard-earned taxpayer dollars for federal programs across America.  But I am ready to tackle these decisions because Wyoming sent me to Washington to restore fiscal discipline.  Our government is broke.  We need to cut up the credit card in order to eliminate the threat America's debt poses to the future of our country. But a lot of heavy lifting remains. I'm eager to continue the momentum into FY2012 with the GOP budget blueprint, 'The Path to Prosperity,' a serious plan that saves trillions of dollars and gets to the business of paying down America's unsustainable debt.

    For the well-being of our country, I intend to fight for a new culture in Washington of saving more and spending less.  To this end, I have not requested a single earmark since taking office.  My Republican colleagues in the House have decided to follow suit by banning earmarks.  House Republicans have also cut the operating budget for Members of Congress by five percent.  These steps do not save a large amount of money in the grand scheme of things, but they are important first steps towards curing Washington's addiction to spending.

    Not all federal spending is bad and I know there are federal programs of importance to the State of Wyoming.  I will continue to rely heavily on the input and insight of Wyoming citizens to help me understand the impact of specific federal programs in our State.   Moreover, I am committed to adequately funding both our veterans and the uniformed men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces.  I will continue to analyze spending according to its costs and benefits for Wyoming's citizens, many of whom have expressed to me their frustration with runaway federal spending that threatens to bankrupt the Treasury for our children and grandchildren. 

    Thank you again for taking the time to write to me.  I value your input.  If you haven't done so already, I would like to encourage you to visit my website at  There you can sign up to receive my newsletter, and have access to a wealth of other information.  I won't flood your email box, but I will provide you with updates once in a while about activities in Washington that affect our lives in Wyoming.  I hope you will sign up so that we can stay in close touch, and I look forward to seeing you in Wyoming.

    Cynthia M. Lummis
    Member of Congress

    In other words shes a sell out that likes to pretend she's doing everything possible to be fiscally responsible.  I'm going to respond to her when I think up an appropriate way to make my point and not be too ungentlemanly about it.  How would you respond?