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!


GFF--It's All About the Candy

Halloween is a made up "holiday" designed to train children to become democrats.

We don't let our kids participate in it.  Our church does a family fun night, and our town does an event called "Treat Street".  The treat street event is a big fund raiser for the council of community services.  What they do is have tons of candy donated by local businesses and individuals.  The kids dress up and go around to booths sponsored by these businesses and get more candy than kid could every hope for by "normal" trick or treating.  There is a cost associated with this.  The kids must bring canned food donations that are used at the soup kitchen.

As a kid, I loved Halloween.  Everyone in our neighborhood passed out candy.  We had one of the best places in town to trick or treat and kids from other parts of time.  The costumes were cheesy.  We had homemade ones or blue light specials from last years K-Mart clearance.  Sometimes they even fit.

Call me a hypocrite, it was fun.  I liked it.

In Midlothian Virginia there are adults that still remember what it is like to be a kid.  By golly, they know what to do about it too!

Branden Witt is four years old.  Branden has Chiari I.  I had never heard of it before and had to look it up too.  The way they try to "fix" this is with brain surgery that involves removing part of the skull.  That's way more scary than any Halloween story I could think up. 

Branden as we mentioned is four years old and just getting into the Halloween candy begging spirit. Because of when the surgery had to be scheduled, he wasn't going to be able to Trick or Treat this year.  Forty of his neighbors found this situation to be utterly unacceptable.

They've got some darn good folks in Midlothian Virginia.


Debate Question(s)

The obvious recipient of this question would be Dr. Ben Carson.  It would be enlightening to see how every presidential candidate democrat and republican would answer it.
"Do you believe that Barrack Obama being President will make it easier or harder for another minority to be elected?"
There are a large number of underlying presumptions that could be connected to this question.  Which is why most people and politicians in particular, won't answer in a straight forward way.  "Make it harder" or "make it easier" isn't all they would say.  They will qualify the answer.

Assuming that the question will receive an honest answer, the value will be in learning about the presumptions in the mind of the person answering .  If they answer in a way that is generally positive about the president, we will gain insight into that persons world view. 

If they answer that Obama would make it harder than we know at least two things: 1. The speaker knows B.O. did a bad job, and 2. He thinks voters will remember that an affirmative action president was a bad idea.

The one thing we wouldn't know is if the person answering was a racist.  Unless of course they made an explicit remark to that effect.  The answer its self gives some insight into the presumptions or world view if you will of the person answering.  The interpretation of those answers gives insight into the presumptions of the person asking the question.

Here are some questions from the debate last night.  What do think the underlying presumptions of the people asking them are?
 “what’s your biggest weakness?”
"Is this a comic book version of a presidential campaign?"
"Well, do you hate your job?"
"Does your opposition to it (current budget deal) show that you’re not the kind of problem-solver American voters want?"
Lumping the totality of the questions together there seems to be an assumption that 1. Republicans are bad, 2. The person being asked the question is bad because...  That is why when Cruz was asked that last question he responded:
CRUZ: You know, let me say something at the outset. The questions that have been asked so far in this debate illustrate why the American people don’t trust the media.
This is not a cage match. And, you look at the questions — “Donald Trump, are you a comic-book villain?” “Ben Carson, can you do math?” “John Kasich, will you insult two people over here?” “Marco Rubio, why don’t you resign?” “Jeb Bush, why have your numbers fallen?”
How about talking about the substantive issues the people care about?
QUINTANILLA: (inaudible) do we get credit (inaudible)?
CRUZ: And Carl — Carl, I’m not finished yet.
CRUZ: The contrast with the Democratic debate, where every fawning question from the media was, “Which of you is more handsome and why?”
It's reasonable to ask candidates hard questions.  None of the questions asked were unfair.  Not one.  Asking why HP's stock tanked after Carly Fiorina ran the company was fair game, as were all the other questions.

The monitors had a set of presumptions behind their questions.

The candidates knew it, and did their best to deal with it.

Cruz knew that the audience had their own presumption, or at least a suspicion that they were being fed a scripted exchange.  He capitalized on that assumption.  Smart Americans don't trust the government, or the media or politicians.

It also got him out of answering what he would do about the budget.

Same Objection Different Crook

I thought Ted Cruz's lambasting of the debate monitors and media in general was an excellent point and probably one of the better things he has come up with.  I'm in agreement with him about the media.  He's a generally likeable guy.  If he invited me to  have drinks at his country club, I'd probably go.

That said, he is not constitutionally eligible to hold the office of President of the United States.  He was not born in the US and both his parents were not American citizens at the time of his birth.  HIs father didn't even become a US citizen until 35 years after Cruz was born.  He cannot be President.  Period.  End of discussion.  Let him moderate the debates.  He'll do a better job of it.

Marco Rubio was born on US soil.  Neither of his parents were American citizens at the time of his birth.  The only reason Rubio isn't classified as an "anchor baby" is that the US had a unique policy towards Cubans.  They qualified as "feet dry" when their identity as Cuban nationals was discovered.  Had they been "feet wet" they would have gotten a free boat ride back to Cuba.

We had one Constitutionally unqualified president.  He has reliably served the interests of other countries over our own.  We do not need another.  A natural born citizen is one who has two parents that are American citizens.  That's what the phrase meant when it was penned and we should hold all presidential candidates to that standard regardless of party or the irrational hope that they will appeal to Hispanics more than free cable.


BJW--Love Dress

A mother-in-law stopped by unexpectedly the recently married couple’s house. She knocks on the door, then immediately walks in. She is shocked to see her daughter-in-law lying on the couch, totally naked.

“What are you doing?” she asked.

“I’m waiting for Jeff to come home from work,” the daughter-in-law answered.

“But you’re naked!” the mother-in-law exclaimed.

“This is my love dress,” the daughter-in-law explained.

“Love dress? But you’re naked!”

“Jeff loves me to wear this dress! It makes him happy and it makes me happy.”

The mother-in-law on the way home thought about the love dress. When she got home she got undressed, showered, put on her best perfume and expectantly waited for her husband, lying provocatively on the couch.

Finally her husband came home. He walked in and saw her naked on the couch.

“What are you doing?” he asked.

“This is my love dress,” she replied.

“Needs ironing,” he says” “What’s for dinner?”


Sympathy for the Dobson

About the time I went to work in the gas fields I started listening to Christian radio.  Locally we have a station that rebroadcasts sermons and other half hour shows that have Christian themes.  The most famous of the themed broadcasts was James Dobson's Focus on the Family. 

I don't know much about Focus on the Family beyond what I've seen in other media outlets over the years.  I'm not a close follower.  I doubt I've heard that many complete broadcasts.  Dr. Dobson seems like a nice guy who is concerned about America's traditional Christian morals and values. 

Today I saw a link.  I was bored.  I followed the link.  That decision led me to discover some very disturbing information.  It seems that Focus on the Family has gone full blown wacko-feminist-anti-marriage.  They don't call it that.  Doing that would be counter productive.  Some of the sheep might recognize the wolf if they did.

I did some more research trying to see if I could get to the bottom of what was going on.  I didn't.  I learned some things about the organization and found some disgruntled employees who were reframing their dissatisfaction in terms of biblical language.  No one seems to want to address what is abundantly clear.  Focus on the Family has embraced the culture over the Creator.

They are working to evangelize and convert Christians to the world.

What about Dr. Dobson?  It seems that he had a plan in place to transition out of leadership.  That is a function of a responsible leader.  I don't fault him for that.  As far as I can tell from available information Dr. Dobson is taking the high road and not airing anyone's laundry.  In turn Focus gave him a million bucks to go start a new radio show and leave them alone.

I wonder, would it have been better if Dobson stayed and fought them?

As things stand now Focus on the Family is an organization with over $100,000,000 in annual income, a large presence in the Christian community and a degree of creditability and respectability created by Dr. Dobson.  They are using those assets to promote the transformation of the Christian family into the culture. 

I wonder if John Daly walks around Colorado Springs singing:

Let me please introduce myself
I'm a man of wealth and taste
But what's confusing you
Is just the nature of my game
So if you meet me
Have some courtesy
Have some sympathy, and some taste
Use all your well-learned politesse
Or I'll lay your soul to waste, um yeah
Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name
Had Dobson fought them he may have torn down the very organization he built with his own hands.  In the finial analysis that may have been the best course of action.


Good Question Paula

Paula Cole did a song back in the 90's.

I didn't care for the song when it came out.  Still don't.  The chorus:

Where is my John Wayne
Where is my prairie song
Where is my happy ending
Where have all the cowboys gone 
The song is about a women longing for the men of yesteryear.  Where is the man smoking a cigarette with his shiny gun?  Where is the guy in his cool car that she fell in love with because it got her motor running?
Paula partially answered her own question.  He sold the car when he needed money for the family.  Unsaid is the fact that she lost a little affection for him as he surrendered part of his masculine mystique, even though he did it for her.  Perhaps because he did it for her.
The song captures a longing for real men.  As a women she has no idea what it takes to be a real man.  She thinks she does.  She wants what she wants, when she wants it.  In her mind that is what a real man should be.
A real man isn't a figment of the female imperative, to be conjured up at a whim and remade in a moment.  Men are what they are.  They do not stay where they are not wanted.  When they do stay physically, they check out mentally.  That's why her man goes to the bar every day.  He has checked out. 
Ms. Cole ends her video with her cowboy killing her and hiding the body.  This is a great slander against real men.  Real men have been systematically removed from society.
Where have all the cowboys gone?
They are preached against in the pulpits of popular opinion.
They are preached against in the pulpits of the schools.
They are preached against in the pulpits of the media.
They are preached against in the pulpits of government policy.
They are preached against in the pulpits of the family court.
They are preached against in the pulpits of the formerly Christian church.
Throughout western civilization real men have been, harangued, harassed, nagged, belittled, ignored and marginalized.  They are rallied against.  The courts hold them responsible for everything but grant them authority over nothing.
Where have all the cowboys gone?
Honey, they were legislated out of existence, and faded away.


Tis Herself, and Himself Proper

Maureen O'Hara died yesterday.  I hate to omit it, but I had no idea she was still alive.  She was one of Hollywood's leading ladies from the Golden Age.  She was also my personal favorite actress to pair up with John Wayne.  Forget Marlene Dietrich, she may have been the Duke's long-term sperm receptacle, she wasn't half the actress or nearly as good of an on screen match.

Wayne and O'Hara in McLintock!:
George Washington McLintock: I saw your picture in the paper at the Governor's Ball. You were dancing with the governor.
Katherine McClintock: At least he's a gentleman.
George Washington McLintock: I doubt that. You have to be a man first before you're a gentleman. He misses on both counts.
"You have to be a man first before you're a gentleman."

That's something our modern world has forgotten.  A gentleman is a man who embodies all the strength, raw courage, commitment and personal power of the Terminator and emulates the suave sophistication of Cary Grant.  Being genteel without red-blooded gallantry and courage is, effeminate. 

You have to be a man, first.  Period.

Our culture has forgotten this truism.  Limp-wristed metro-sexuals aren't gentlemen.  Pandering to the SJW imperative isn't accommodating and gracious.  It's suicide.  Political correctness and "safe speech" zones are self imposed gulags.  Being nice and smiling and agreeable in the face of falsehood isn't gentlemanly, its cowardly week and vaginal.

“I won't be wronged. I won't be insulted. I won't be laid a-hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them.”

A man must have a code.  I will not lie, cheat or steel, or tolerate those who do.  That's a man's code.  Here's another one: I will do as I say and say as I do.  A man rides, shoots straight and tells the truth. 

Frederick the Great was once asked why it was that he chose his officer corps only from the Junkers of Prussia, rather than other groups. Why not a clever baker’s son from Dresden? What’s wrong with a solid farmer from Pomerania?

“Nein,” he replied, explaining his preference for the Junkers, “Because they will not lie and cannot be bought.”

That is what a man looks like.  Men recognize what is honorable, true and just.  If a man is to be a gentleman, he must be a man first and foremost.  All the fancy manners, waltzes, polished shoes and tailored suites mean nothing without a distinctively masculine honor code.


GFF--Street Medicine

Doctor Practicing 'Street Medicine' Named Top Hero Of 2015
Two to three nights a week, Dr. Jim Withers rubbed dirt in his hair and muddied up his clothes before walking the streets of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, searching for the very people he was trying to emulate.
For 23 years, Withers has been searching for the homeless - under bridges, in alleys and along riverbanks - to bring them free, quality medical care.
He calls it "street medicine.
What started as a one-man mission has blossomed into a citywide program called Operation Safety Net. The organization provides a mobile medical van, walk-in clinics, a computerized database of homeless patients, and the ability to track and assist patients with health care and recovery.
In addition, Withers started a non profit called the Street Medicine Institute, which supports communities in starting their own medical outreach programs for the homeless.
Good on you Dr. Withers!  Taking the exam room to the patient but not the billing office.  Way to go! 


Open Letter to Ben Carson

Dear Dr. Carson,

You aren't a strong anti-establishment Republican. 

Your campaign cry is "we can do it better".  That's it.  Republicans can govern, by which you mean manage the bureaucracy more efficiently.  Oh, you want to get rid of waste, and duplicate programs and all sorts of other similar sound bites that the consultants claim will play well to "the base" of so called "moderates". 

Remember that Planned Parenthood dead baby parts for profit scandal?  I do.  You are one of the guys buying aborted baby parts to experiment on.  I see you claim to be against abortion, but not against creating a market for fetal tissue.  Whatever. 

Your grasp of economics boarders on the Obama-esque, big government socialism with a touch of compassionate conservative.  You are little more than a FDR Republican whose skin color is the right hue to draw some needed inner city demographics.

I can't get excited about you as a candidate.  Sure you'll probably beat Hillary.  Not being Hillary is going to turn out the votes come next fall.  It's just not a reason to vote for you Dr. Carson.  Plus whose to say you'll get a chance to run against her?  The Donald is still at the top of the pack.

Dr. Carson you hit pay dirt this last week.  You said that America's biggest threat is the debt and deficit spending. 

I don't know why you chose this topic.  One of your handlers put it on the teleprompter and you went with it.  My advice is to: beat this drum, over and over and over again.  Carson make this issue stick and stick in the front of peoples minds.

Carson, if you're smart then, harp on the debt the way Trump harps on illegals.

This is the only truly anti-establishment position in the bag of tricks.  It also happens to be the only point that Trump hasn't made more effectively that traditional Republicans care about.  Federal spending is also one of those elephants in the room that everyone knows is a problem but nobody knows how to solve.

Ben, you've gotta beat the debt drum!  You've gotta make the budget and spending into a great big bandwagon and get everyone chasing it.  That is, you gotta do it, if you want to win the White House.  Hillary is going to be the business as usual candidate.  With H we're going to get more welfare and more warfare.  She's got more of the same Clinton/Bush B.S. that folks are sick of.

If you want to win Ben, you need to get radical on budget, spending and debt; really, totally, unprecedented, radical.  I'm talking Ron Paul and Gary North walk into a bar, get plastered and fanaticize about all the crap they would cut, radical.  You gotta tell the voters about it.  Tell them how bad of shape America is in.  Tell them how we can only fix it by drastically cutting spending and ending government policies that are hurting our economy.

Of course you don't have to do it.  I'm sure Trump is watching to see how much of bump you get from this.  He has said basically the same thing.  I suspect we will see more about fixing the economy out of the Big Haired One. 

Right now you have the spotlight and control of an issue of true importance to America.  Do as thou wilt with it.


BJW- So I'm Stuck for Ideas

Ten common fishing terms explained

Catch and Release - A conservation motion that happens most often right before the local Fish and Game officer pulls over a boat that has caught over it's limit.

Hook - (1) A curved piece of metal used to catch fish. (2) A clever advertisement to entice a fisherman to spend his life savings on a new rod and reel. (3) The punch administered by said fisherman's wife after he spends their life savings (see also, Right Hook, Left Hook).

Line - Something you give your co-workers when they ask on Monday how your fishing went the past weekend.

Lure - An object that is semi-enticing to fish, but will drive an angler into such a frenzy that he will charge his credit card to the limit before exiting the tackle shop.

Reel - A weighted object that causes a rod to sink quickly when dropped overboard.

Rod - An attractively painted length of fiberglass that keeps an angler from ever getting too close to a fish.

School - A grouping in which fish are taught to avoid your $29.99 lures and hold out for spam instead.

Tackle - What your last catch did to you as you reeled him in, but just before he wrestled free and jumped back overboard.

Tackle Box - A box shaped alarmingly like your comprehensive first aid kit. Only a tackle box contains many sharp objects, so that when you reach in the wrong box blindly to get a Band Aid, you soon find that you need more than one.

Test - (1) The amount of strength a fishing line affords an angler when fighting fish in a specific weight range. (2) A measure of your creativity in blaming "that darn line" for once again losing the fish.

A man was on the water for his weekly fishing trip.  He began his day with an 8-pound bass on the first cast and a 7-pounder on the second.  On the third cast he had just caught his first ever bass over 11 pounds when his cell phone rang.

It was a doctor notifying him that his wife had just been in a terrible accident and was in critical condition and in the ICU.  The man told the doctor to inform his wife where he was, and that he'd be there as soon as possible.  As he hung up he realized he was leaving what was shaping up to be his best day ever on the water.

He decided to get in a couple of more casts before heading to the hospital. He ended up fishing the rest of the morning, finishing his trip with a stringer like he'd never seen, with 3 bass over 10 pounds.   He was jubilant.

Then he remembered his wife.  Feeling guilty, he dashed to the hospital. He saw the doctor in the corridor and asked about his wife's condition.

The doctor glared at him and shouted, "You went ahead and finished your fishing trip didn't you!  I hope you're proud of yourself!  While you were out for the past four hours enjoying yourself on the pond, your wife has been anguishing in the ICU!  It's just as well you went ahead and finished, because it will be more than likely the last fishing trip you ever take! For the rest of her life she will require 'round the clock care.  And you'll be her care giver forever!"

The man was feeling so guilty he broke down and sobbed.

The doctor then chuckled and said, "I'm just pulling your leg.  She's dead. What'd you catch?"

Mrs Baker wanted to go ice fishing. She had read several books on the subject, and finally, after getting all the necessary equipment together, she made her way out onto the ice.

After positioning her comfy stool, she started to make a circular cut in the ice.

Frighteningly, from up above, a voice boomed, 'There are no fish under the ice.' Startled, Mrs Baker moved farther down the ice, poured herself a large coffee, and began to cut yet another hole.

Again, from the heavens, the voice bellowed, 'There are no fish under the ice.' Mrs Baker, now became very concerned so she moved way down to the opposite end of the ice, set up her stool, and began again to cut her ice-hole.

The voice rang out once more, 'There are no fish under the ice.' Mrs Baker, stopped, looked upwards and said, 'Is that you, Lord?'
The voice replied, 'No, this is the Ice-Rink Manager.'


Back At It

A long time ago...
In fat farm gym far, far away,
Ok not so far away and conveniently located near work,
I used to work out.

Then back towards the middle of August I reached one of my major strength goals and was supposed to start focusing on cardio to prep for hunting season.  Thank goodness that I didn't draw a sheep tag this year, as I'm sure the prepping would have killed me before the hunt.

I really hate cardio.  All kinds.  Casual walking, HIT, machines at the gym, you name it, I'd rather not do it.  Because doing an activity with no purpose beyond burning off fat that I worked hard shoveling unnecessary and unhealthy calories into my pie hole, just isn't fun.  It's needed.  It just isn't fun, or a priority.

So I let a couple of short term excuses break my gym habit for most of August.  On Sept 27 I made it back to the gym and had only gained a couple of pounds back.  Good for me.  Then it was hunting season.  Then I was so out of the habit of going I didn't manage to make it back into the gym until tonight.

While I'm talking about hunting season; I walked my tail off.  That should have helped drop some pounds.  At very least I should have lost the 2 lbs I gained over September, but Noooooo.  I gained back 12 lbs and lost tons of strength and endurance. 

The new goal is to lose that 12 lbs by the first of the year and then drop another 25 lbs by mid March.  That works out to 37 lbs in 21 weeks or just under 2 lbs per week.  I really love the eating holidays and I hate cardio.  Did I mention how much I hate cardio?

For the record I still technically have a 405 lb squat, but it was only 1 set of 5 reps and it was hard even with a good ladder warm up.  There is no way I could have gotten 25 reps in sets of 5 tonight, even if my life depended on it.


Flaw or Feature

This idea has been bouncing around in my head.  What do you think about it?

Male/female interaction, mate selection, marriage, child rearing, game etc all boils down to a fundamental understanding of human sexuality. 

On one hand it is possible to view human sexuality as a very flawed process; on the other, human sexuality could be a design feature.

If human sexuality is a flawed process based in conflicting evolutionary instincts, would we see the number of problems that have become apparent in the last 50 years of western civilization?  If indeed h/s is an evolutionary process, shouldn’t we see an overall improvement in mate selection and procreation in general?

The traditional churchish view that sex is dirty or shameful and only tolerated for procreation would address the sociological problems in modern society.  It falls short in other areas of investigation such as pair bonding and child rearing.

A third view seems more rational.  Human sexuality is a design feature built into the species homo sapiens.  This view, while potentially more rational, is also more troubling and challenging theologically for modern church goer. Because if its true that h/s is a design feature the question becomes, “why aren’t we teaching about it from that perspective?  .


GFF-Old Marine Edition

This story happened last Friday, but I wasn't able to get it typed up for you.  As I've mentioned my folks made a visit out for a couple of weeks.  Last Friday they were getting ready to head back home.

I had gotten a screw in the front tire of the truck and had run it to town to get the flat repaired.  Dad took me back to pick up the truck and went to get the bugs washed off his car and gas up so they could leave the next morning.

My dad drove around town till he found a tunnel style car wash that he could drive through.  He pulled up and paid the guy running it.  Dad said that the car wash guy was a ragged hippy looking sort with lots of tats and piercings.  I'm sure dad was thrilled to make his acquaintance.  Anyway dad paid.

Dad has taken to decorating everything with USMC paraphilia.  This had made gift buying for him much easier.  We are preferred customers now with Sgt. Grit. Among dad's Marine accoutrements is a Vietnam Vets ball cap with his ribbons sewn into it and a USMC license plate holder.  The car wash hippie asked him about the cap.  Dad replied that yes, it was his.

I don't think he thought too much about the exchange.  When the car came out the other side of the wash, the car wash guy had him roll down his window.  Then he counted back dad's money to him.  Dad was told that his car wash was free and thanked for his service to his country.  Then the lady who was drying cars stuck her head in the window and thanked him for his service too.

When my father came back from Vietnam they were advising service men to change out of their uniforms into civilian cloths because people were spitting on them and calling them baby killers at the airports.  Dad said that since he got home in 1969 no one had ever randomly thanked him for his service or comp'd him.  Then this hippie went and gave him a free car wash and thanked him for his service.

GFF, even a long haired, tattoo freak with face and body piercings can be a first rate human being.  My dad never had a random thank you for Vietnam.  One day, 46 years latter, he got it form the last person he expected, a hippie.  Good on you car wash guy!


Bullwinkle Burger, Part 3

It's eight o'clock in the evening as I drive off the mountain.  I've located a moose.  I haven't actually seen a moose.  What I have is some great evidence of recent moose activity.  Still I'm pretty happy.  Who knew a handful of warm poop pellets some fresh tracks and a single Yhaawp could be such a thrill.

I swerve to miss a deer.  Deer season is on.  It occurs to me that if I was hunting deer I wouldn't see a single one but that there would be moose all over the place. 

The above picture is what's left of an old beaver dam.  Every location like this one that I checked had held moose prior to the beginning of season.

Moose poop on a stick.  The fallen log in the picture is about 2 feet off the ground.  Moose have such long legs that they don't even notice small hurdles like this.  The pellets in this photo are soft and pliable an indication that they are relatively fresh, perhaps a week or less old.

The Yhaawp occupies my thoughts.  You can't tell if a moose is a bull from tracks or droppings.  Since I hadn't see it, I had no idea if I located a bull or a cow.  My tag is good for bulls only.  The Yhaawp response I received seemed a little soft.  Soft as in cow like.  I've not hunted moose, or spent much time trying to call them.  I have no way of guessing if I found a bull or a cow.

Still I'm happy; cold, wet, tired and just a little sore from days of hiking but happy.  I have a plan for tomorrow's hunt.  I'm going back to see if I can spot this moose.  Even if it's a cow, there's a chance that a bull will be near by.

Somewhere along the road home I wander back into cell phone range.  I wonder if the first native hunters were required to send their squaws daily activity reports.  One smoke signal, no game, two puffs of smoke, still hunting.  Three fast puffs, shave your legs baby! I'm coming home.

I call in.  Mrs. Ipsa informs me she is praying for my hunt.  I recount my day, and my frustration with my father.  I give her a list of things to pack for me and send with my mother if she comes for dad.

Day six.  I've been hunting little pockets in the mountains, like this one.  My camera spent a day in my hunting vest turned on and filming a video until the power died.  I didn't know it and I didn't have a spare set of batteries in my pack.  Dad has decided to stay in the cabin all day and rest up.  He informs me that he will have mom make an 8 hour one way drive to pick him up if his blood pressure and other health issue don't clear up.

All the photos in this post came from my pocket camera before it died.  Dad did a much better job.  His staying behind is why I don't have any pictures from my last day hunting.

I return to where I parked the truck yesterday.  As I pull in, I say to myself, "show some faith, back in with the tail gate facing the trail, it'll make loading the moose easier". So I do.

I like hunting alone.  It's quiet.  My plan for the hunt is to work the outside of the creek bottom and meadow first, then go through it, after that take the trail up the mountain to the east to investigate the ponds higher up. 

As I start out I remember what my wife said yesterday.  She's praying for me.   I've been praying to. 

"Dear God, gimmie..." I start out.  No that's not right.  I've said I'd shoot the first legal moose I get a chance at.  What I want is for that chance to be about 90 inches wide with 45 inch palms on each side and about 22 points on a palm.  Basically moosezilla. 

I slip silently into the chest high grass, skirting my way among clumps of 9 foot tall willows intermixed with pines.  I'm partially following yesterdays elk path.  Partially I'm working the edges of the meadow and forest to the west of the creek going south towards the Utah line.  My anticipation increasing as fast as the elevation.

"Dear Father, I've got a lot more important issues in my life that I need to be praying about than nailing moosezilla", that's true.  "I'm grateful that I'm being privileged to go on this hunt for one of your moose", I say.  That is very true.  I am very thankful to be allowed to do something I've been dreaming of off and on for 30 years.

I take a step, or two, pause, listen, look and move forward again.  When I'm hunting I may cover several miles a day, but I do it slowly.  I don't bother calling this morning.  It's still early.  I expect the moose to still be feeding or starting to work their way to a bed to rest for the first part of the day.  The sky is light but the sun has yet to crest over the mountain ridge just to my east.

"Heavenly Father", I go on, "My dad isn't doing to good and he is going to have to leave early".  "I don't know why he wanted to come" for that matter he doesn't seem to be overly enjoying himself, "Lord I know he won't be happy if he leaves before I get a moose", I say.

Just a side note here.  I hope you all realize that I'm "saying" this stuff in my head.  I don't wander around the hills and woodlands toting a gun and talking to myself like a crazy person.

The elk trail is going towards the creek bottom.  I leave it and move into some transitional cover that is trying to encroach on the meadow grass.  There are lots of old water courses where the creek has eroded little mini stream beds in the meadow.  I have to be careful or I'll break a leg.

An example of transitional cover.  Try walking through this stuff quietly.  It can be done, if you move carefully.

"Lord I want you to bless me", I say.  It sounds better than "God gimmie". 

"Lord I want you to bless me in some things that I know from reading scripture are in your will for my life".  There are some things in my life, one which my blog friends know about, the rest are too personal to me to post publicly, that I've been praying about for some time.  These are Godly things, things that scripturally speaking are good and proper for me to have, use and enjoy.  Unfortunately they have been lacking.

Every direction I want to walk this morning turns out to be a dead end or leads me into tangley underbrush that no moose could go through.  It's like I'm being walled in and pushed further along the creek bed and directed up stream.

"Heavenly Father, I know you love me and care about me.  I know you are concerned about the direction of my life and that you hold my days in your hand.  I know that you hear my prayers.  I also know that giving me moosezilla would bring me honor and glory".  I'm deeply in prayer while working the trail upwards.

"Father all glory and honor is yours.  Don't bring me glory.  Lord please give me a sign that you will take care of my dad, and take care of (list of things including a better way to support my family).  God please give me a sign in the form of a spike moose today.  Let me have a two year-old spike moose as a sign that you are with me and that you have heard my prayer and that you will bless me in these things."

As I said, "In Jesus name, Amen".  In the same very second "Amen" came out, a moose jumped up in front of me.

The moose's rear end was towards me.  He turned his head and looked back along his body towards where I was standing.  It was dark under the pines among the shadows of the willows.  I couldn't see more than his nose and ears.  Then he turned.  I caught a glimpse of two spike antlers coming off his head.  Then his body was obscured by a small tree. 

I thought, "he's going to run".  So I gave a little improvised cow call with my hands over my mouth and nose.  It worked.  One step and his front shoulder was visible to me.  I put the cross hairs behind the shoulder and squeeze the trigger.

He jumps and takes a few steps.  Then he falls over backwards, belly up.  I don't even have to move him to field dress him.  I do have to cross the creek, twice and get wet up to my knees.  I don't notice the cold.  I am praising God.  I get to where the moose is and fall to my knees giving thanks.

The next eight hours are occupied with skinning, quartering and packing the animal off the mountain.  Every so often I have to set and catch my breath.   There is an animal circling me and my kill as I butcher.  I can't see it.  It isn't yapping like a coyote and its not aggressive or stealthy like a wolf.  The big clumps of willow move when it brushes against them.  I assume its a bear.

I load up my meat and hide into game bags.  In all I have six.  I move all of it over to the far side of the creeks to get it away from the animal that has been waiting for me to finish so he can have his dinner. 

Post mortem examination shows that I placed my shot directly behind the left shoulder missing all the meat on that quarter.  The bullet traveled through the rib cage entering both lungs and the heart.  It exited out the right shoulder area ruining some meat.  I assume this happened because in the excitement of the moment I didn't consider the animals body position before shooting.  Since I did not process the animal myself I do not know how much meat was lost.

I was using a hand-loaded 180 grain Hornady Interbond bullets, propelled with Norma MRP at 2,750 fps from a 1898 Mauser action 30-06. The range of the shot was between 30 and 35 yards.  According to the charts, the energy at impact exceeded 2,400 foot pounds.

The moose traveled approximately eight yards after I shot him till he died.

The entry wound was approximately .40 inches in diameter against the rib cage, measured after removing the skin.  The exit wound was about 1.25 inches at the rib cage after removing the front quarter and over 2 inches on the outside of the shoulder, with extensive wound channel trauma.  Needless to say the bullet was not recovered.

After action on my prayer.  Two of my concerns were taken care of immediately, as in with in an hour of getting off the mountain.  One of them significantly improved and is getting better daily.  The others, I don't know about yet.  I do know that they're going to work out just fine, no matter what the time table.  As part of my prayer I made a vow.  I've completed part of that, and will finish another part tonight.  I should have the rest of it wrapped up by next week. 

I got my moose.

The Creator of heaven and earth hears and answers my prayers!  Truly more than I hoped or imagined.


Eph. 3:20

This year I decided I wanted to experience God, or experience Him more fully.

Earlier this year, I started studying רוח הקודש (thanks Rabbi B) and I taught a 13 week bible class on it.  I also started fasting.  Around the time I was doing the study I started praying that God fill me to greatest extent possible in this dispensation with the Holy Spirit. 

I was brought up in a church where God and especially the Holy Spirit were taught on in terms of what they do not, can not and will not do.  In short, if the Holy Roller, speaking in tongues and swinging from the chandler crowd go for it, God ain't doing it.

This point of view has a great deal of intellectual merit.  There are a number of fakers and false faith healers.  Still I wondered if there might be something I was missing out on. 

I wasn't looking to become one of those "spooky" Christians.  I cringe when I hear people say things like, "God gave me a message for you".  Oh really?  Did He now?  How do I know?  I've never done it, but I want to ask them if they are familiar with Deut. 18:20.

I'm unhappy to report, that there is nothing spooky going on in my life.  No gibbering incoherently, no rolling around on the floor and I'm not laying hands on sick people and having them see or walk or anything.  I can't even walk on water.  Think how much fishing I would get in if I could.  I don't have a boat and being able to walk out to a good spot would be awesome.

What does any of that have to do with Eph. 3:20?

Nothing.  It's all background. 

I still have all the problems I did back in the spring.  Money is still tight.  I'm still working a dead end job because it has health insurance and my wife is still working part time because I can't earn enough for her to stay home.  I still have worries and anxiety.  I very much needed a break and a change for a better in my life or at least a vacation.

That's where Eph. 3:20 comes in.
"Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or imagine,"
Eph. 3:20 can facilitate a crisis of faith.  At least with me it can.  I can imagine a lot.  I'm not above asking God for it either.  Not overly spiritual of me, I know.  What can I say?  Sometimes I get in a good prayer, or at least a good phrase into a prayer.  Like when I started praying for God's best for my life.  That phrase has some merit to it.  Most of the time my prayer life is a to do list for God.

"God gimme...."

I've gotten a little more spiritual.  At least some times.

"God gimme...." I've been known to add an, "If it's your will".  See. I'm getting more devout.  Every once in a great while I rise up to the exalted heights, the pinnacle of supplication, and say:

"God gimme....", PLUS "If it's your will", PLUS this is the clincher word, "please".  I always say, "In Jesus name, Amen", because I'm a good Christian and that's the magic phrase.  Oh, I almost forgot, I always promise to at least tithe back.  If God gives me a billion bucks, the least I can do is spread around a $100 million to the less fortunate.

How could the Creator of the universe not open the flood gates of heaven when He hears prayers like those?

Forget a new job.  With that kind of piety and sure thing praying; Publishers Clearing House, the Lottery and Bill Gates should be showing up to hand over all the cash they can find.
"able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or imagine,"
It says "able".  Not ready willing and egger to by my personal cosmic ATM.  OK, I get that.  Yet "exceeding abundantly beyond" is still in there.  It's gotta mean something and have some application beyond Sunday school.

BJW End of Season

What ancient land is known as the "Cradle of Moose Civilaization?"

A big-game hunter went on safari with his wife and mother-in-law. One evening, while still deep in the jungle, the Mrs awoke to find her mother gone. Rushing to her husband, she insisted on them both trying to find her mother. The hunter picked up his rifle, took a swig of whiskey, and started to look for her. In a clearing not far from the camp, they came upon a hilling sight: the mother-in-law was backed up against a thick, impenetrable bush, and a large male lion stood facing her. The wife cried, “What are we going to do?” “Nothing,” said the hunter husband. “The lion got himself into this mess, let him get himself out of it.”

What did the turkey say to the turkey hunter? “Quack! Quack! Quack!”

What is the best way to hunt bear? With your clothes off

The Wednesday-night church service coincided with the last day of hunting season. Our pastor asked who had bagged a deer. No one raised a hand. Puzzled, the pastor said, “I don’t get it. Last Sunday many of you said you were unable to make service because of hunting season. I had the whole congregation pray for your deer.” One hunter groaned, “Well, it worked. They re all safe.”

Two Canadian hunters were driving through the country to go bear hunting. They came upon a fork in the road where a sign read “BEAR LEFT” so they went home.

Two men went bear hunting. While one stayed in the cabin, the other went out looking for a bear. He soon found a huge bear, shot at it but only wounded it. The enraged bear charged toward him, he dropped his rifle and started running for the cabin as fast as he could. He ran pretty fast but the bear was just a little faster and gained on him with every step. Just as he reached the open cabin door, he tripped and fell flat. Too close behind to stop, the bear tripped over him and went rolling into the cabin. The man jumped up, closed the cabin door and yelled to his friend inside, “You skin this one while I go and get another!”

Two guys were out hunting, but they weren’t getting any ducks. “What do you think the problem is?” one man asked his companion. “I dunno,” came the reply, “Maybe we aren’t throwing the dog up high enough.”

If you take an infinite number of hillbillies, and put each in a pickup truck.  Next give them each a shotgun and an infinite number of rounds.  Tell them to go out and shoot at any highway sign that they see, eventually they will produce all the world's great literary works in Braille.


Bullwinkle Part 2, Where is Bullwinkle?

When I learned I drew a much coveted moose tag I immediately asked for every minute of time off I could get for hunting season.  I promised to return to work early if I shot my moose early as I didn't expect to use all of my vacation time to hunt.
The brown bushes in the middle of the picture are willows.  There should be moose here.  There weren't. 
Preseason scouting reveled lots of good moosey areas.  The first morning I spent scouting it took me less than 2 minutes to find my first moose.  The area was simply full of moose.  Mostly cow moose, but come rutting season, if you can find the girls, you can bet the boys won't be far behind.
The first day of hunting season I headed right to the area where I observed the highest concentration of moose earlier in the year.  There were tons of moose tracks and droppings as well as rubs.  What there was, was a rancher who was in the process of driving his cows off his forest service grazing lease.  He had started moving cows a day or so before and was still bunching and moving bovines 4 days into the hunting season.
The place where the above photo was taken had been full of moose just a day or so before season started.

So we relocated to a different spot and tried again.  The next day we did the same.  As we did the next day and the day after that.  Again and again I was encountering areas that had held moose all summer long but they had moved on.  My biggest fear was that the moose were bunched onto bottom land along the major river drainages.  These areas had a mixture of public and private land, none of which was marked.
I met the game warden, Allen at the gas station one night.  I wanted to ask him about some Access Yes land that I had seen that had a species restriction on it.  Access Yes land is private land that is enrolled in a state program that allows hunters to hunt or fish the land as long as they abide by some basic rules.  He recommended that I hunt the bottom lands mixed in with the private ranches.  I asked about access.  He told me I'd be ok with a good GPS.  I told him I was using maps and that I didn't want to trespass, even accidently. 
These are buffalo, while interesting, still aren't moose.

Day five.  My father, aka Dad, USMC 3rd Mar Div.; the man who told my mother that despite 2 failing kidneys (cause unknown) diabetes and a bad ticker, was in better shape than me, had to head back to the cabin in town after the morning hunt/hike.  Apparently the combination of altitude an occasional stroll in the mountains and bouncing around in a pickup is causing him problems with his blood pressure, his kidneys are hurting and he is experiencing headaches and light headedness.  He is considering having mom evac him to a lower elevation.

Disgusted I gas up the truck and head back up the mountain to locate an area that I've seen on the map but haven't set eyes on yet.  I had wanted to check this area the second day of the hunt, but my father thought the truck ride over would be too painful for him to endure. 
Heading out to check 9 ponds and a creek drainage.

As the afternoon wears on I park the truck at a USFS trail head that is closed to motorized traffic.  I get out and start up the trail.  A beaver dam is blocking up a small creek and flooding the old trailhead.  I decide not to get wet and follow the stream bed into a small meadow. 

The grass here is chest high.  There is no sign that cows have been pastured in the area this year.  I discover a freshly beaten down trail through the high grass.  Elk will do that sometimes when moving as a herd.  As the trail approaches the creek bed I notice elk droppings.  That would seem to confirm my theory.  Then I notice moose tracks in the mud.  They seem newer.  A little while on the moose tracks are on top of elk droppings. 

I had suspected that the elk trail was very recent, given the rain we had the last couple of days.  I thought the trail was less than a day old at best.  Having moose tracks over top of the elk scat was encouraging.  I did my best to imitate a cow moose call.  I stood still for several minutes.  Nothing.

The elk trail crossed the creek.  Despite the cold and wet I decided to wade over to the other side and work my way up the USFS trail.  I sense rather than see some movement in the willows to my left.  since I want to go up the trail anyway I head that direction.  When I get out of the brush I head to where I think the trail should be.  I start walking east towards the mountain.

On the trail there are moose tracks.  Fresh moose tracks with little clumps of dirt flung along the path.  These can't be more than a few hours old.  I follow with my head down, focused on the trail.  Is that a slight mist rising off the trail?  It could be, its been wet.  Maybe its the start of an evening fog.  That would be rare but not unheard of.  I see old wolf scat on the trail.  It's very old having turned white with age.  The hair of some long digested kill plainly visible.  Wolf sign and its well past 7:00 pm.  I should start thinking about calling it a day.  It will be past dark soon.

What is the source of the little wisps of vapor ahead?  I move forward and drop to my knee.  Moose droppings on top of the moose tracks.  Steaming moose droppings!  Fresh tracks!  These tracks aren't hours old, they're minutes old! 

I stand up and start scanning the willows and creek bottom.  Nothing.  Not. A. Darned. Thing.  I give a lonely cow moose call.  I hear it.  The first response to my calls all week.  It's just a short, Yhaawp but its a response to my call.  I can't be sure but it seems to be coming from the far side of the creek bottom along the far side near the timber going up the mountain.

I quit.  There is still enough light to make it back to the creek bed.  I find a shallow place to cross below the beaver dam.  I can't be sure the call was a moose so I drive the road looking for other hunters.  I see no other trucks or ATV's.  There is no one hunting between me and Utah, or along this entire road for at least 8 miles.

It has been six days.  Although I have not seen it, I have located my first moose.


Bullwinkle Part 1

My first hunting trip was with my granddad when I was a small boy.  There were some hunters running a dog on pheasant on his farm.  We tagged along behind them.  I remember them getting a rooster.  They may have got more than that.  I don't remember, it was long ago.  I had caught my first fish earlier that summer in his pond behind the barn.  I had landed it by myself.  He was proud beyond belief.

Granddad died the next spring.  I had one fishing and one hunting trip each with him, but I was hooked for life.  My father would sometimes take us fishing but he was never big on it.  I was allowed to go to hunters safety as a boy.  Dad took me out hunting a few times.  He was never into it so it wasn't a priority for him.  I dreamed of hunting and fishing but had to satisfy myself with reading Boy's Life and Field and Stream.
I was surprised when dad invited himself to go moose hunting with me.  Surprised doesn't quite cover it.  I never expected my father to do anything outdoors related again in his life.  Ever.  Him and mom have discovered cruising.  Floating hotels with little touristy shore excursions are a prefect fit for his white tennis shoe, black socks and Bermuda shorts style.
Dad said he had this great new camera and had taken a class on photography and I shouldn't hunt alone etc, etc.  I have to admit that his photo's are pretty good.


Hunting Update

Bullwinkle is in the bag.  More details to follow.

I'll be headed to the front range (Englewood) to have the hide tanned into leather.  My plan is to come down either Thursday or Friday.  Anyone want to get together for lunch or dinner?  Drop me an email with your cell phone # and I'll call back tonight.


Sign seen on a Taxidermist's window: "We really know our stuff."

 A 110-year-old man is having his annual checkup. The doctor asks him how he's feeling.

"I've never felt better," he replies. I've got an eighteen-year-old bride who's pregnant with my child.  What do you think about that?"

The doctor thinks for a moment and says, "Let me tell you a story.  I know a guy who's an avid hunter.  He never misses a season but one day he's in a bit of a hurry and accidentally grabs his umbrella instead of his gun. So, he's walking in the woods near a creek and suddenly spots a beaver in some brush in front of him.  He raises his umbrella, points it at the beaver, squeezes the handle, and BAM! the beaver drops dead in front of him."

That's impossible," said the old man in disbelief, "someone else must have shot that beaver!"

"Exactly", said the doctor.