...but I am pretty sure that none of you really need to read what amounts to my moaning and groaning, so I'll stifle my keyboard for now. As a matter of fact no blogging from me tonight because If I start writing about anything, I will write about what has pissed me off all day today, and it would not be pretty. I am not in the mood to write, let alone to proofread my own crap to correct it. Enough said.
Okay, enough of the blogging every post about donations for the the Soldiers' Christmas/Holiday Package, well at least after this one post.
The generous donation by STREAMLIGHT far surpassed the expectations I had, so I can give it a break, and my next few posts (at least) will be about other topics. Of course, I'll keep giving weekly updates on the donations. So starting later tonight or tomorrow, I'll start posting about other things near and dear to the hearts of my readers (or that are at least near and dear to my heart), such as: Firearms, Current Domestic and World Affairs and News, Politics, Daily Life, Herpetology, Today In History and so forth.
Of course, one of the things I'll still be sure to post about will still be the Soldiers' Christmas/Holiday Package, and the things I will be buying for inclusion inside of it. Because the lights have been donated by STREAMLIGHT - I will start shopping for other things this weekend. On that subject I need you input, as to what should be put into the package.
One suggestion on which I intend to follow up is that of including cigars. I will be out looking for them this weekend. So if you know of a decent cigar, that comes in a box of 24 or so, and that can be had at about $50 to $75 per box, please let me know. I may even spend up to $100 on a box of them, but I do not want to go overboard. I am hopeful I can get a decent smoke for that price, but I have no clue. Tell me brands, name of the particular type of cigar, wrapper color (dark or light) and so on.
...is what I think I just received from a certain flashlight manufacturer. I am trying to confirm an offer I just received, and which I believe I read correctly but am still quite shocked by it if I did read it right, in which they will send me 12 tactical flashlights for the Soldiers' Holiday Package absolutely free of charge!!! I do not want to mention the name of the company yet, or say which product they offered until I have actually confirmed this great offer........
Hold the presses, I just received an email from the company as I was writing this post. I guess I can now name the company: STREAMLIGHT, and tell you the light that will be sent will be the Streamlight Night Fighter 2. Here is what the email to me says:
You read it correctly! I will send you the 12 lights with a pack of extra batteries per light "No Charge". This is just a small token of our appreciation for these soldiers dedication especially at a time which our troops are in harms way each and every day. Please send them our Thanks and Best Wishes on the upcoming Holidays and let them know we do appreciate what they do for us and are thinking about them each day.
I will ship them UPS ground to your home address as noted below!
All the best to you and happy holidays!
Angel DelliGatti Inside Sales Manager My sincere thanks go to STREAMLIGHT and to Angel DelliGatti whom I am sure had to pull some strings to get this done, and who is taking a chance on me because Angel does not know me. I will not disappoint, and I will also recommend their products to others in the future.
So folks, this means because of their great generosity at STREAMLIGHT, the money I have received in donations to date, and any more to come, can and will be used for other items to be included in the care package. This is going to be one heck of a nice package for these soldiers, and maybe, just maybe, we will all have made a bit of a difference for them this holiday season (a truly nice difference) while they are on foreign sands defending freedom, and helping to keep us safe from terrorists. It is truly a wonderful thing that we are not forgetting these soldiers during a time when we will be celebrating, and they will be far from home and loved ones.
With the discount from SureFire, that would make the cost of these lights $27.00 each, the most affordable ones I have found so far in this type of light. The only thing that I do not like about it is that it has a polymer body instead of Aluminum. That is not the worst thing in a flashlight. I do like the Streamlight Night Con that I mentioned in my previous post much more because of its Xenon and red LED bulbs that make it more versatile, and its aluminum body that makes it stronger; but if I cannot get a better or matching price on that one then it will likely be this Surefire G2 Nitrolon.
As I figure it, a dozen of these lights would cost: $324, and two boxes of extra lithium batteries would go for: $31.50, with shipping free on orders over $99. So the total for the lights and batteries would be: $355.50. That is very doable as to price because the donations already amount to: $325.00, and I was told another check is in the mail (could be a dollar, could be more, but the amount keeps going up) thanks to you.
I also received a reply to my price inquiry from Optics Planet. The best price they offered was not close to the offer from Surefire.
The Streamlight company itself has not yet replied to my inquiry. I will give them until the weekend to send me a reply. If they do not, then the above mentioned Surefire G2 Nitrolon light will most likely be the one. That way I will be able to include some other goodies in the package besides just lights, and batteries.
... for the Soldiers' Christmas/Holiday Package. It is called a Twin-Task 2L Night Com, and it is basically a combination LED/Xenon Flashlight. It sounds like a winner for use by military personnel in the field. It is available at sites like: Optics Planet and Botach Tactical. The military and tactical aspects of this light seem right on to me. A fairly high intensity Xenon bulb for bright light, and red LEDs for night work to protect night vision, and to be less visible to the enemy. It is made of an aluminum body, with polycarbonate lens.
I am hopeful that I could get a dozen of these at a discount; but once again I have to say that all depends on how much we can raise for these guys. By the way, I got another $25 from someone tonight, this was cash delivered to me in person. So the total so far is: $290 including my own donation. That would buy 7.43 of these lights at the best price I have found so far with shipping included; and bear in mind there are a dozen soldiers in this unit. Twelve of these flashlights would go for about: $468 shipped. After that I am hoping to add some snacks, some cigars, some personal toiletries to the package.
I will make a pledge to you that if we raise another $100 within the next 24 hours, I will blog about something else in my rant on Wednesday other than this package thing. Otherwise, I make no promises about my blog, I may just have to stick to straight fund raising for this project even at the risk I will lose readers. There is no conundrum here for me, doing this is a good thing.
I am shooting for a total of at least $750, only you guys can make it happen. Once again I am hoping you will find it in your hearts to help support our troops even if only in this very small scale manner.
Five donations to the Soldiers' Christmas/Holiday Fund have been made to date via PayPal. The total donated via PayPal has been: $185.00, subtract the PayPal transaction fee charged to my account by PayPal and that leaves $178.13. Of course I will make up the money that PayPal charged for the transaction fees, so the troops will be getting gifts on which every penny of your donations will have been spent, that amounts to $185 so far donated through PayPal.
I have another pledge of $30.00, and one of $50.00 (my own donation plus shipping fees and transaction fees). That makes the total, for the actual donations right now, $265.00 - just above the half way mark of $500 for the low end of what I hope to put together, and just above one quarter of the high end of how much I hope we can gather. I have a few other folks whom I know who have made inquiries, so I expect the total will keep going up. You all have until 7th December to make a donation to the fund. On that day or the next I'll report on the total received, and on what I plan to purchase with the donated funds (depends upon how much is donated). I implore you to give your best effort for this cause, be a dollar or more, it will be appreciated and go to good use.
Bob has asked for consumables and nothing special. He did say he wants something he does not need to carry back home. I am still dead set on buying those tactical flashlights for him and the troops though. They are small, very small, only a few inches long; yet if they do not want to carry them home, I will suggest to them that they pass them onto other US soldiers before they leave. They, or at least Bob, has about another 6 months to go over there. I am pretty certain they would be amenable to leaving those lights behind to shine on for other soldiers, but that will be their choices to make.
Other than the lights, I guess most of what we will send will be consumables of one type or another. Batteries for the lights, body wipes, glow sticks, some snacks for the holidays, and so on, are all consumables. Oh, and there was another suggestion for something to send: Cigars. If I can send them legally to the troops, they will be included too.
...has had a few contributions made to it. So far I have received $150 into my PayPal account (only 3 donations) for the fund; add to that $30 cash that I was promised by my brother-in-law, and $50 that I will contribute and the total to date is $230.00 (5 donations in total so far). That is a nice amount so far, but I am hopeful that more will come in by the December 7, 2007 deadline for contributions. A few folks whom I know personally asked me for my mailing address and will send me checks so I am pretty certain the amount will grow.
What surprises me is that none of the readers of my blog have made a contribution. So far every contribution I have received, or every inquiry I have received about the fund drive, has come from someone who is a personal friend such as folks I know from work, folks I know from the LIHS or a relative. This has had me wondering why none of my blog readers seem interested. I guess it could be several things: maybe you folks are doing your own things regarding such a good cause and planning to send your own holiday package, maybe you do not think it a good cause, maybe you are waiting for some extra cash (please don't wait beyond the deadline), maybe you just cannot afford this with the holidays coming (please think of what our troops allow us to enjoy at the cost of their own sacrifices), maybe you do not know me enough to trust me (see my feedback at eBay.com and at GunBroker.com - use gbarthgwt for my user name at each to check the feedback), maybe you thought it a good idea but have forgotten about fund drive, maybe you are just a procrastinator like me, maybe you do not trust PayPal (I have used them for years now without problems). I am hopeful though that some of my blog readers will help out for this cause. As I said earlier, and I'll say again, you do not have to send much - send a dollar if you can, but if you can afford more then send whatever you can afford.
If for some reason you think this effort is not worthy of a contribution then please leave me feedback to let me know why. You do not have to do so by logging on, do it anonymously. If you do think it a worthy effort, please make a contribution before the deadline, but the sooner the better so I ca start making contacts to purchase the flashlights and other gear hopefully at a discount.
...not by a real skunk, but by bad luck. Went hunting on Friday and yesterday with Brendan and all we saw were a few deer rubs, deer droppings, deer tracks, and a few squirrels. I may have caught the glimpse of a fleeing white tail as we left the woods but Brendan did not see it. Maybe more on this in a later post.
...wishes to all of you were not forgotten by me today. The thought has been there within one of the front corners of my mind to get this done today but I just did not find the time. My apologies for sending out this wish to all of you until this evening.
As you enjoy the rest of your Thanksgiving try to remember that the celebration is one that can and should go across all boundaries of: religion, race, ethnicity, citizenship, nationality, and all economic levels. Today is not, as some asshole liberal jerks malcontents would have us believe, a national day of mourning. Nor is it a day for the Native Americans to think of how they were displaced by Europeans and later by non-native Americans. It is a day to put all of that nastiness aside, a day to be thankful for what we have had in our lives, for what we do have in the moment, and for what we will have tomorrow. That is what was done on the earliest of Thanksgivings, and that is what should be done today. There is no reason for any of us not to wish anyone a Happy Thanksgiving, that is unless of course we just do not want to do so because of blackness in our own hearts. My wish that you enjoy a Happy Thanksgiving goes out to each and every person who reads this. If we were all more thankful for what we had we would be better off, myself included.
Well it was only a quick stop for Brendan, his girlfriend Julia, and myself this afternoon. I had Brendan shoot the scoped Marlin 336, and the Remington 870 with iron rifle sights. At 25 yards the shotgun was shooting a bit high for Brendan, yet we had it sighted for 50 yards. I would have thought it would be shooting a bit low. Still it was good enough for deer from 25 to 50 yards away Besides that I was getting it pretty much right in there at 25 yards unsupported. The rifle was shooting a bit low for both of us, and that was as it should have been because it was sighted for 50 yards and we were shooting at 25 yards. It was about 1 to 2 inches low, good enough for government work if we see a deer that close, and I am sure it will be right on at 50 yards. That fairly inexpensive Tasco scope on the Marlin has taken some quite bumpy rides in the trunk and always remains zeroed. By the way, it is a Tasco from a few years back before the business name was sold to the present company, so I am happy it works well as the lifetime warranty on it is no longer in effect since the old company went under.
Julia, Brendan's girlfriend, came along, and since they do not allow spectators at this range, I paid the range fee for her. She had never fired a gun before, but we gave her some fairly basic instruction (especially safety stuff) and allowed her to shoot he Marlin if she wanted to do so. She was very hesitant, worried it would hurt, worried she would drop the rifle, and I guess just afraid because it was a gun. She did take one shot, and as far as I could tell it was right in there with all the rest of the holes on target. Next time she comes along we should have more time to shoot, and will probably have a .22 rifle for her to shoot. She said the Marlin kicked and hurt somewhat, but she figured what she did wrong, which was not holding the stock against her shoulder correctly. To me it sounds like she would like to shoot again if she uses a 22, and I think I can make that happen. I guess Brendan and I are in the process of developing a NEW SHOOTER and that is a very good thing.
...with Brendan, so we can make sure that the scoped Marlin 336 is still sighted in. I would like to have had a chance to do this at an outdoor range at 50 yards but all we will get to do is go to an indoor 25 yard range. I guess it will not make much difference from 25 to 50 yards, just aim a bit higher for 50, about an inch or two. By the way, yes we usually only sight it in for 50 yards because where we hunt it can be truly said: 'The woods are wonderful, dark and deep'; or in other words thick and full of young trees, bushes and the like - so shots have to be fairly close in. Time to go, later for all of you.
...was the answer I would have given to my wife had she asked me if I had gotten a deer last weekend. When I told her I struck out she was ecstatic. Of course, Brendan was disappointed, but he gets his chance to strike out like his old man bag a buck this weekend. Whether or not either one of us gets a deer on this trip, the good thing about it is that we are going on a hunt together. The camaraderie developed on hunting trip is hard to match to that developed in other ways. Yes strong bonds can be, and are often are, developed in other situations, but none usually as strong, as rewarding, and as satisfactory as on a good hunting trip; and that includes even when the game gets away.
My solo trip over the past few days was a winner even though did not even see a deer while afield, and despite the fact that a normal person would have thought there were more setbacks along the way than was worth it all both while hunting and before the hunt. I started off my trip all packed and ready to go. The only thing I needed to do was stop at my bank to use their ATM. Of course as I drove right on by the bank I did not even think of cash because all I could think about was a monster buck. Oh well, I had enough in y pocket anyhow, and ATMs are all over the place. Instead of heading straight toward upstate NY, I made a detour to Glendale, my old neighborhood in NYC. I stopped at a local gin mill and had a beer while I talked to some old friends and dropped off some Forensic Psychology books for one of the barmaids. Small world, she goes to the same graduate school as did I, and takes the same subjects. After that I was off. It was a dark and cloudy night when at about 1200 AM I got onto the highway. I drove along in relative bliss, and I was making pretty good time. I figured I would be up near the hunting grounds by 0300AM. Then Murphy struck. You know Murphy don't you, the guy who wrote that silly thing called Murphy's Law. The rains started to come down in sheets. Driving slowed at least 15mph for me, although some nuts kept going at 65mph (the speed limit on this stretch of the road) or faster. I kept it between 50 and 55, it was really hard to see. I didn't think it could get much worse, and then Murphy showed his ugly face again. Fog blanketed the road. I don't recall ever having seen a really thick fog covering everything at the same time that it was raining down in buckets. Then the rain slacked off and the fog got worse, so I guess Murphy prefers fog. Not me though, I hate it, and this was bad. I could barely see 100 yards. I pulled off of route 17 and pulled over to the shoulder on a side road, far over on the shoulder, put on my flashers, and promptly fell asleep. That was about 0130 or 0200. When I awoke at about 0700, the rain had all but stopped and there was no fog, so I drove on. I stopped off at Roscoe NY for a nice breakfast, and I also stopped by The Little Store, sort of a general store wherein they sell rifles, and hunting goods. I got to the hunting grounds at about 1100AM. Oh well, I just kept driving because by that time it had started to pour again and I did not need to hunt that badly that I needed to get soaked and miserable. I drove right to my motel in Binghamton, NY, good old reliable Motel 6. Yes this was to be a cut rate trip as usual because I don't like it when my venison works out to more than about $40 per pound.
The motel experience was okay. They checked me in promptly when I arrived. Not bad because I was there ahead of usual check-in time. They were courteous and helpful as usual, and i even got a room in the section of the motel where I had requested one. Murphy does not always stick his nasty nose into my business! After settling in, I went to a few stores to stock up on food (I would eat in the field or in my room), and I also picked up some hunting needs at Dick's Sporting Goods. What I picked up was not really a need, it was more of a luxury. I purchased a ladder treestand. I lugged that up into my motel room, and thankfully had an old timer hold open the entry doors for me. This was a small one, only 45 pounds in weight, though it seemed heavier while walking up the stairs. Thank goodness it was only one flight. I put the whole thing together in my room to make sure it was all there. No I could not stand a 15 foot tall treestand up in y room, but I put the platform section together with all the nuts and bolts, and I made sure all the other parts were there, which they were not, but I did not notice right away. All the parts to put it together were there so it looked good to me. Then I assembled my day pack with what I would need while afield. After that I watched some TV, and had dinner. The I fell asleep by about 8. Thank goodness for a good night's sleep.
I was up at about 0300 the next morning, Friday. I had a quick breakfast, and loaded up my car with my gear. Actually I had already loaded the tree stand back into the car the night before before it got too late so as to disturb the other motel guests. It seemed lighter going down the stairs, thank goodness for the laws of gravity.
Once out in the field I looked for a good place to hunt deer and turkey at Quaga Creek State Park. I had previously scoped out this area, but actually found a totally new spot to hunt on this particular day. It was a good spot with some nearby deer rubs, a deer scrape, and three trails converging near a choke point by an old stone wall in the forest. It was also just off of a forest clearing. Prime deer country. It took me several hours of hiking around before I found this spot. I had lunch there; then tried calling in some turkeys to no avail. I had seen a flock when I had driven up to the park, and hoped they were still nearby, but it appeared I was the only turkey in the nearby woods at that moment. After a couple of hours at the stand site, I went back to my car, offloaded my shotgun and backpack, and took a rest. After about a half hour or so, I took half of the treestand out to the site I had found. Then back to the car for the other half. Amazingly I had remembered to bring along the two wrenches and directions for assembly. Yes I had assembled it the night before, but it had to be partly taken down to fit into the car. Not wanting to make any Murphy's that could result in a 15 foot fall for me, I was happy to have the instructions. I guess retrieving the ladder treestand and putting it together, and then actually getting securely against a tree took me about 2 hours. It was not easy getting that thing up against the tree by myself but I did it. I do not recommend it though since the instructions tell you to do it with two other people for a total of three. Alas there was only on knucklehead available and that was me. after it was just about altogether, I realized it was actually missing some parts. It was missing some pins that pinned the ladder sections to one another. Really though these were not necessary, except for safety (safety that the manufacturer would not be sued), and I figured what the heck. Really in my opinion they are not even necessary for safety, but that is just my uninformed opinion. They seem a redundant measure since the leg sections fit into one another when assembled, and the 5 or so inches of male sections that fits snuggle into female section is not coming apart when your weight is on it. I guess though if it starts to fall it will not come apart if pinned together as it should be, so it is probably much safer to use them; the thing was I did not have them.
Well once I had it up against the tree, sans pins, I had to climb it to secure it to the tree with a ratchet strap. That was scary, but I got it done, and it was secure after about the third or fourth attempt. This was the first time I had ever erected a portable treestand, and I think 3 or 4 attempts at securing it fast was a good number, not in excess. Did I say how heavy it was trying to lift it to place it against the tree; very top heavy with the platform sections up at the top. Oh my aching back. It was done though by about 1600 (4PM). I tested it a few times, and it was snugly secured to the tree, and that was good. I would pick up a set of pins at Dick's that night, or so I planned (I later forgot to do so). Being 15 feet up there, on ladder treestand with no side rails (this was just a seat platform and foot platform deal atop the ladder, was scary, but man oh man could you see better than on the ground. I imagined yes you could, but would later find out that was not always the case. These woods were thick with young new growth, under the mature tree to which the stand was attached, and that would come to be important the next day, the first day of rifle/deer season. Oh well, I was happy, tired, and ready to head back to town, so that is just what I did.
I made a stop at Dick's again, but somehow forgot about the pins. Oh well, that is muddled middle aged memory for you. Back to the motel where I had dinner. Then I rearranged the stuff in my backpack, taking out some items and adding others, this time for deer hunting. The next day would be the rifle season opener for deer. Again some television and off to slumber land for me at an unusually early hour. I was then up at at it at about 0300 the next morning. Sunrise would be about 0655, and I wanted to be out in the woods at least a couple of hours before that. A quick breakfast and I was off. The treestand, by the way, had been left out in the woods still up against the tree. I secured it with three cable locks so that all of the parts would be more difficult to steal - one never knows now does one.
I got to the parking area by about 0430, and I was at my stand by 0500. I put on my safety harness (did I forget to mention that - never use a treestand without a safety harness even if you are foolish as me me to use one without the pins) and was up on the platform in no time. Man it was chilly but I was pretty much dressed for it. At about 0630 or so, I am guessing at the time, I heard footsteps in the crunchy leaves. Amazing how dry leaves can become after having been soaked just a day and a half before. I thought maybe I was imagining things, but soon enough realized that yes what I was hearing were the methodical footfalls of something getting closer to me with each step. Whatever it was it was coming from my left, or from the direction of the parking area. Could it be another hunter, or was it a deer. After a few minutes I knew it was an animal, likely a buck because it was dragging its feet, then crunching down as it completed its steps. Typical behavior for a feisty buck during the rut when looking for a fight or a female. I had left a scent trail of doe and buck urine as I walked into my stand, and it soon it was evident that this deer was following that trail. When he got really close to me he veered off a little and kept about 15 yards from my stand. I had not seen him yet, but I could tell because of how much noise he was making, and I could see the top of the bushes and small trees shake as he walked beneath them. Remember how I said treestands are supposed to let you see a whole lot more, and I also said there was a lot of new growth in this forest; well thanks again Mr. Murphy because I could not see the darned thing (except for one grayish blur for about a second or two) since I was above and trying to look down through the tops of all those bushes and young trees. That really did not matter much, it had to be a good half hour before legal shooting time. I figured I would keep this guy in the area and gave a grunt on my deer call. He, or she, or whatever, stopped, then he started to move again a couple of minutes later. He just kept going and never looked back as far as I know. Gray ghost that he was I never got more than a look at a blur in the trees and bushes. I think now I should have used a doe bleat call instead of a buck grunt. My guess is that he was a smaller buck, and that he knew a larger buck had made scrapes in the area. He probably thought I was that larger buck. of course I could well have that wrong, he may have been the larger buck, but then I think he would have come in to challenge whatever buck he thought was there because I had grunted. Oh well, whatever the case, that is as close to getting a deer that I came. About 20 minutes later, still before legal shooting time by a few minutes, I heard a shot that I figure came from no more than a 1/2 mile to my right (probably closer like a 1/4 mile), the same direction in which my mystery deer had gone. My guess was that whoever took that shot got the same deer that had walked passed me.
I had done my homework, picked a good spot, set up my stand there, but had not considered that being in a treestand would have made it harder to see what had been making all the noise. Later on when on the ground again, I looked in the direction where the supposed deer had been. I could clearly see the trail it had taken while under the canopy, but had been blinded to it while in the standby the canopy of smaller trees and bushes. I went over to the trail and checked it and there were fresh deer tracks there. Then I saw why the buck which probably had been making all that noise had not stopped. There were two sets of tracks, so my bet is that he was tending to a doe, and following her with high hopes. I stayed on my stand for the rest of the day, but not in my treestand. While up there a couple of hours later, I heard a repeated clicking noise. It had sounded to be right behind me and at first I had no clue as to what it had been. I turned around to look, and the tree stand wobbled. Holy shoot, I knew what it was then, and I got nervous. The ratchet strap was coming loose because the ratchet was slipping. I adjusted it and a few minutes later or so, it came loose again. I tightened it again, and while tightening it it was slipping - just note holding. That was it for me in the treestand. Pins or no pins in the ladder sections, I am not staying up in one when its ratchet strap is not holding it to the tree.
I hunted from the ground until about 1500 (3PM), even though I think sundown (the limit of legal shooting time in NY) was not until about 1630 (4:30PM). I decided to take apart the stand and get it to my car while I still had light. After that I hunted a bit more, I still had at least a half hour of hunting time when I had completed the task. Nothing though., just 'No DEER' for me. After I left the area, I went back to the motel, showered up, put on fresh clothes and headed to Dick's Sporting Goods to return the treestand. Of course, that meant I had to sort of re-box it which I did in my room (after I cleaned it, which took at least 1/2 hour). I got almost all the parts back into the box. only the harness and the small box with the nuts and bolts did not fit. I arrived outside of Dicks and put the stand, and an armrest kit I had bought but not unpacked, into - or I should say onto - a cart. I was a bit apprehensive about them accepting a return since I had used the stand, but i figured what the heck I may as well try. Once inside the store I went to the Customer Service desk. The lady there asked me why I was returning it, and I told her about the missing pins and bad ratchet. She asked for my receipt, circled some numbers, and sent me to the register - all with a pretty smile on her face. In less than 5 minutes I had my money back. I have to admit that was just about the best part of my day, except of course for the exciting part when those deer had walked by my stand, and my confirmation when I saw the tracks that indeed it had been a couple of deer.
No I did not get a deer, but I had come close and that was fine by me even if I had not actually seen them. I may have even caught a glimpse of those gray/brown ghosts, I did see some sort of grayish blur through the trees, and even saw the tops of the saplings moving as the deer made through the bushes that were thick up against the trees. I have to tell you, a hunt does not get much better than that, except of course if you bag your game. Then again, bagging your prey is not the whole of the hunt, not by a long shot. The only way this could have been more satisfying without getting a deer, would have been if Brendan could have been there with me. As for that, that is his being there with me, we are leaving tomorrow night after Thanksgiving dinner to head up to the same spot. Maybe somebody else got one of those deer, and maybe not. Even if they did, it was a well used trail, and if does are using it, then bucks are sure to follow. Time, and our next hunt, will tell.
THE LINK FOR DONATIONS IS OVER AT THE TOP RIGHT OF MY BLOG'S HOME PAGE. LET'S MAKE THIS WORK, LET'S SHOW OUR RESPECT FOR AND THANKS TO THE TROOPS DURING THIS SEASON OF GIVING. MY GOAL IS AT LEAST $500 BUT $1,000 WOULD SURE BE NICE, SO IF YOU ARE GOING TO DONATE PLEASE BE AS GENEROUS AS POSSIBLE. I WILL SHOW AN ACCOUNTING OF ALL FUNDS RECEIVED, AND PICTURES OF THE ITEMS I PURCHASE TO GO INTO THE HOLIDAY PACKAGE. I AM DONATING $50.00 PLUS THE COST OF POSTAGE AND SHIPPING MATERIALS. NOTE I CANNOT DONATE TO MY OWN ACCOUNT IN PAYPAL SO I WILL ADD MY $50 IN CASH TO THE AMOUNT I GET IN DONATIONS.
I WILL ACCEPT DONATIONS FOR THE SOLDIER'S HOLIDAY PACKAGE UP UNTIL AND THROUGH DECEMBER 7, 2007; PLEASE MAKE ANY DONATIONS ON OR BEFORE THAT DATE. I WILL POST AT LEAST WEEKLY NOTICES ABOUT HOW MUCH HAS BEEN RAISED.
See my below post for more info on the holiday package for our troops, and how the donations will be spent. All donations go to gifts to be included in the package. Those flashlights I mentioned go for about at least $37 apiece. Note those are the least expensive of the Stream-Lights (Stinger flashlights) and Surefire lights; they are quality tactical lights that our guys and gals could certainly use. The wool socks go for about $12 a pair they are apparently good stuff. Other things are not quite as expensive, but are not cheap.
Anything you can give is appreciated; but as I said I hope to raise $1,000 toward this effort to show these guys we truly give a damn about them, so I am hoping for at least $10 from each of my readers, or more if you can do it. A big request, sure it is, especially at this time of year, but I think these guys and gals in our military are well worth it - I hope you do too.
NOTE: You do not have to be a registered member of PayPal in order to make a donation. Click on the donate link, then look near the bottom of the linked page to see how to donate using a credit card without being a PayPal account holder.
...is something I have not yet done, but I plan to do so this year. Being sort of a traditionalist when it comes to any sort of Christmas shopping, I usually do not do so until after Thanksgiving. This year will follow suit, and beginning this weekend I will be on the lookout for items I can buy to send to my Soldiers' Angels adopted soldier. The soldier I was appointed when I signed up for Soldiers' Angels is Bob S. (I do not think I am allowed to give out his whole name due to Soldiers' Angels regulations, but if I find I can do so, I will). He is assigned to a FOB in Afghanistan (if I remember right this means forward operating base so he and his fellow troops are in the thick of things over there). I am supposed to write to him frequently, and now and again send him some sort of care package. I must admit that I have been lax in contacting him as of late, last time has to be over a month ago, but I will make up for that.
What I am planning to do this year is to make up a really nice care package for him and his companion troops for this holiday season. Call it a Christmas package, a Hanuka package, a holiday package or a care package, it does not matter all that much to me, but this one for the Christmas season will be nicer than the other two I already sent to him. I plan to include some quality gear in this one; things like Stinger or Surefire flashlights, a lot of batteries for them (and these are expensive lithium batteries not your typical alkaline junk), some wool blend socks (yes it gets cold over there, and I want to put at least a dozen pairs of these into the box), some hand warmers (as used by hunters), a few folding knives (maybe not the best quality ones but certainly something that will stand up to good hard use though I have to check to see if this is legal), some disposable body wipes (always appreciated from what I understand), light sticks (the glow sticks that last up to 12 hours), anything else I can think of that will help our young men and women survive their time in their godforsaken assignments.
In this regard I am going to do something I have not done before, something that I shun when done for personal gain, but to which I have often in the past contributed when done for a good cause. I am going to ask my readers to make donations to a Holiday Care Package Fund that I will set up through my PayPal account. While I have an account, I still need to figure out how to direct payments only to this cause, and get an icon to place on my blog for those payments. I should have that done within the next week or so, and the link to the Care Package fund will appear at the top right of my blog home page. Any donations that are made to the fund will go toward the purchase of items to be included within the care package. I will spend every penny donated to the fund on such items, and this means I will pay for the PayPal fee out of my own pocket (yes they charge for someone to receive funds, but not for someone to send funds, so while you get to send them with no fee, I have to pay a percentage to accept them). Postage for the package will be paid by me, as will the cost of the packaging supplies. I also will make a decent donation to the care package fund myself, probably to the tune of about $50. I am hoping that I can raise a minimum of $500, but I would hope for more than that, closer to $1,000. I do not have a really large readership, but if you think this to be a good cause, and if you think you can spare some cash towards it, I would ask that you each try to donate at least $10 to it through PayPal, then again even a dollar would be nice. (By the way, PayPal is pretty easy to join, and I do not think there is any fee involved since when I signed up there was not.) The more my readers can donate, the more I can purchase to send to Bob S. and his comrades in arms. So I can send one flashlight and one pair of socks and maybe a box of wipes with my own contribution; or with generous contributions from each of you I will be able to send a dozen flashlights, a case of wipes, a box or three of glow sticks, and so on.
I plan to send the package out about 2 to 3 weeks before Christmas, and hope that means it will arrive there in time for the holidays. I will include a note to Bob about how the package was funded, and I will sign it from all of us who will have made donations. I will also ask Bob to make sure that the package is divided out to his fellow soldiers, so as many as possible in his unit receive at least one gift regardless of their religious beliefs or lack of them. It's a season of giving, and we are giving not based upon the faith of the recipients, but rather upon their service to us as United States Military Service Personnel. Remember too that you do not have to be a member of any particular faith to make a donation, you are doing it for the troops. I just picked the season because in my Catholic upbringing it was the tradition to give at Christmas; and even though I no longer practice any religion, I keep up the tradition of giving gifts at this time of year because it is a good tradition no matter your faith or lack of it. Giving to our service people during the holiday season, when they are thousands of miles from home and loved ones is certainly an excellent way to thank them for their service, don't you think? If you agree with me, please help me out on this one so we can show them we truly care while they are stuck on foreign soil, doing battle to keep us free, during what should be a time of year spent with family and other loved ones.
By the way, if Bob S., by some miracle, winds up on home leave at that time, I will ask him for another soldier in his unit to whom to direct the package, or I will ask Soliders' Angels for another solider to whom I can send the package.
...but that is not as bad as it sounds because it is also National Ammo Week! National Ammo Day was a concept thought up by my arch nemesis fellow gun enthusiast and blogger Kim duToit. While I do not see eye to eye with Mr. duToit over some personal flap we had, yes there is apparently bad blood between us, I do agree with him on a number of patriotic, political, and moral issues. One of the things we have most in common, despite a heated personal dislike for each other some rather petty personal disagreements, is our love for the Right To Keep And Bear Arms, and all that goes with it. In that regard he had a brainchild some years back, I think 5 or 6 years ago now, for National Ammo Day. Basically this day, or I should say November 19th of each year, was set aside for gun owners, or anyone who supports our right to keep and bear arms (RKBA), to go out to buy at least 100 rounds of ammunition, preferably from a local gun shop, but a sporting goods store, or hardware shop will do. Within a couple or few years of its conception, National Ammo Day was expanded to National Ammo Week, I guess to give forgetful slugs like me a chance to buy some ammo and support my local gun merchants. The idea is to show support for our RKBA, and for our local gun shops, through your purchases. The day has blossomed in a huge success from what I can gather, and it can only become even more successful if we get more folks to participate. If you are reading this, and you believe our RKBA should be supported, then please do your part this week (if you have not already done so); and go out to buy at least 100 rounds of ammo. In addition, if you have not done so already, please spread the word on your own website. Thanks.
It was the Battle of Gettysburg, and was one of the most noteworthy battles of the American Civil War. It was notable because of how much blood was spilt being that it was the battle with the highest number of casualties throughout the whole war. It was notable because it was the furthest north that the Confederate troops took any of their battles. It was notable because of the many feats of heroism performed by soldiers on both sides, one example of such being the bayonet charge ordered by Chamberlain at Little Round Top when attacked by overwhelming Confederate forces, another being the bravery and dedication of Confederate cavalry in Pickett's charge this time against overwhelming Union forces. It was notable because it is believed to have been the turning point or most decisive battle toward the outcome of the war.
It was and remains notable because of the attention it was paid by one man who, on November 19, 1863, gave a short speech in reference to it and to the soldiers who fought and died there, and to the reasons for the battle. After waiting through a dedication speech for a military cemetary at Gettysburg, a speech that took almost two hours to be fully orated by Edward Everett, a popular spokesman of the time, it was time for another person to make a speech. That person was the president of the United States of America, Abraham Lincoln. He stood up and spoke words to dedicate the place - not as hallowed ground, but in memory of those who had hallowed it with their blood. He made a speech that lasted all of two minutes and a few seconds if that long; a speech that he thought would certainly be forgotten.
Yet it remains a speech the words of which have not been forgotten through history to this day, and which will not be forgotten tomorrow. The words of the speech can be found inscribed within the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. Those words, some of the most important words ever spoken about war, can also be seen below. Note that there are at least 5 drafts, all differing somewhat from one another, of this speech. There were also several contemporaneous reports of this speech made by news reporters. Those reports indicated that the words: "under God" were in fact spoken by Lincoln during the address despite written drafts that do not show those words. Lincoln was not known to divert from his written draft of a speech while actually making a speech, so it is quite possible that there was yet another earlier draft, the actual from which Lincoln read, that has been lost to us:
"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate - we can not consecrate - we can not hallow - this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain - that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
I have read those powerful words many times throughout my lifetime; I have read them from the walls of the Lincoln Memorial, from textbooks, from websites, and from memorial plaques. I have visited several Civil War battlefields, and I think of those words each time I have been to such hallowed places. The straightforward meaning of those few words, and the eloquence with which they flow, have always evoked strong feelings of patriotism within my bosom, and I imagine they will everlastingly do so within the hearts of the multitude. If you desire to discover more about the Gettysburg Address, or about the Battle of Gettysburg or the Civil War, that information can be found at:
Well, only in about 3 small areas that had to be done a third time and one new crack that opened up overnight - go figure. I am pretty sure that this crack is a new 9one and I did not miss it because I had Brendan check for any I missed. Oh well, it is filled in now, the walls are washed, and once I apply one more layer of spackle to that last crack, I will begin painting, at least with primer-sealer. That should all get done by tonight, then paint whenever I have time next week.
Hopefully I will have the time to get my hunting gear together this afternoon. I'll only be gone about 3 days, but that does not mean I don't usually bring enough gear for double the time6 I plan to be away. I'll keep it to a minimum for this trip though. My back pack with its regular hunting gear, my camo clothing and hunter orange coat, rain gear, gun and ammo, and some food. I may bring along a tree stand too. hopefully I'll get a turkey tomorrow or the next day, and a deer on Saturday - opening day for deer.
...I sit here at my keyboard with almost nothing on my mind. That is a good thing for a change; nothing on one's mind equals very little stress. So what is there about which to write. Nothing of importance.
I spackled my son's future room last night, and when I went to check it today I saw it needed more spackling because the spackle had shrunken in the deeper cracks. My son got a taste of sanding, and plastering today, and if it dries enough by tonight he will help with more sanding and maybe a coat of primer sealer. I can only hope that no spots need a third layer of spackling, I hate that part of painting. As it is now the upstairs is already messy with white powder, and it promises to get worse after another bout of sanding tonight. Even with the bedroom door closed that fine powder gets everywhere. No big deal though, that is why they make vacuum cleaners, and why I have kids (LOL).
If I am lucky, and if I stick with this, his new room will be fully painted by Wednesday, and then I can leave for my hunting trip on Wednesday night or in the wee hours of Thursday morning. I am looking forward to a few days of turkey hunting, followed by one day of deer hunting on the opening day of rifle season for deer on Saturday. I have to be back on Sunday, then may go again early next week. Thanksgiving night, Brendan and I will both go for a couple of days together. That will be fun, even if we do not bag a deer.
Well time to check on the spackle to see if it has dried enough for sanding. Later for all of you.
...or as we now call it, Veterans' Day was born. The event that brought about this day as a holiday was the end of the war between Germany and the rest of the world; and yes I do mean the end of World War I. The date was celebrated as Armistice Day between World Wars I and II . After WWII, it became a remembrance of the veterans of both wars. It was not until 1954 that this day became known as Veteran's Day in the U.S.A.; a holiday to honor the veterans of all wars in which the U.S.A. was a combatant.
...may blessings be upon each and everyone of you who has served our nation honorably and faithfully in the military service during time of war. This is a day to honor all U.S. veterans of War whether they have fallen on the battlefield, returned home and fallen to old age or other malady, or are still among us having returned home suffering injury or illness, returned home in good health, or are still on foreign shores whether it be in battle or not. You are in my thoughts and well wishes; and I hope beyond hope that all of you who are far from home return to your homes healthy and in good spirits. you are the defenders of America and her people and for that you deserve our thanks.
...was not what I had expected when I awakened yesterday to a cool, almost cold, Fall morning. What I had expected was that I would go out and buy a new rifle - most likely either a Savage 111 or a Mossberg 100 ATR. I had the cash in pocket, although I was going to use Amex, and then put the cash into the checking account to make sure it was there when the card account came due. I kind of like the warranty American Express gives you when you buy with their card. I digress, back to gun hunting.
It was a pretty fine Saturday morning, crisp air, clearing skies, and a good day to drive around to look for the rifle I wanted to buy. I set out in the trusty Toyota because I knew I would be covering a few more miles than I had at first expected to during my search, and the little Corolla sure sips the gas as compared to our Ford Taurus. I was figuring on going to Walmart and then to Dick's Sporting Goods if I could not find the right deal at Walmart. I took the time to go Walmart's website, and then call all the stores fairly close to me to see if they sold firearms. Not one within a reasonable distance sold firearms. They did, I was told, sell them at the Wally World in Middle Island, New York. The Walmart at that location is 41.87 miles from my house according to Map Quest, the closest Wally World to my home on Long Island that sells firearms. Now that distance may not seem like all that much to drive to someone who lives in a less populated area than just outside of NYC. I mean what would it take with a 65mph or 70mph speed limit and open roads; probably less than 41.87 minutes. Around here that drive would probably take over an hour, and as it turned out with yesterday's traffic it would have taken me closer to two hours. Lots of Veterans' Day sale seekers on the roads is all I can imagine as the mall parking lots were full to capacity.
I started out en route to the furthest destination first, the Middle Island Walmart. Almost as soon as I got on a large road I hit traffic. I quickly surmised that it would take forever to get to Walmart so I decided to first stop at Dicks which is only about 1.5 miles from my house. This Dick's is in with the Roosevelt Field Mall. It is a pretty big mall with lots of parking, yet I had to park about 1/6 to 1/4 of a mile away from the entrance due to the number of cars there. I guess there had to be Veterans' Day sales going on and folks were shopping for Christmas already - me sure I get some done early too, but I get a lot, if not most of it, of it done on Christmas Eve. Well anyway, I made for the firearm's counter in Dicks up in their Hunting area. There were a couple of people being helped and only one other guy waiting to be helped besides me. In about 5 minutes or so, I was looking at a Savage Model 11FCXP3 in .30-06. It was an okay rifle, but it did not have the Accu-Trigger, and I had been told by a store clerk, over the phone, that it had said trigger. Oh well, off to Walmart.
As I began to drive east toward Walmart, I remembered a Sports Authority nearby, maybe just another 1/2 mile or so from Dick's. Of course, I stopped there before going to Walmart. That short drive about 1/2 of a mile took me about 20 minutes. The amount of traffic was mind boggling, but not as mind boggling as were the number of assholes poor drivers who did not know there right from left or how to stop at a light before blocking an intersection. My daily commute in rush hour traffic is usually never even close to as bad as was this. Well once in the Sport's Authority lot I parked and spied the local Walmart. I figured why not stop there and double check to see if maybe somehow they sold firearms. Heck they did not even sell hunting supplies, and they used to in the past. A clerk got uppity when i asked why not, so I just left and walked over a store or two to the Sports Authority.
Well off to Sports Authority where I headed right to their firearms counter hidden away in the back of the store. It used to be in the center left side of the store, but I guess political correctness mandates they hide it. Lo and behold they had a small numbers of, yet decent variety of rifles, most on sale. I saw a Remington 700 (or something close to that), a couple of Winchester bolties (I could not read the model number), a few savages with scope combo (some with wood, others with synthetic stocks), and a Ruger 77 (unknown caliber). The Savages were all about $420 with the scope. I imagine they had the accu-triggers, since the price was so much higher than at Dick's. The Remington and Winchesters were priced close to those. The Ruger was a mere $440, about $200 off the regular price. I was intrigued. I guess that about 10 minutes went by of my looking at guns over the counter. Not a sales person in sight during that time.
I went to the customer service desk at Sports Authority and asked for help in the firearms department. They paged a sales clerk. I waited at the firearms' counter, 1 minute, 2, then 5, then 10, then about 15. No one showed up to assist me. I caught a passing sales manager and asked for assistance. Again I soon heard a page for a sales clerk to go to firearms. No one showed up, and after about another 5 or 10 minutes, I saw a clerk in a nearby section. I asked him for help. He told me he will not assist in firearms. He did not tell me=it is not his department, or that he is not authorized behind the firearms counter, but that he "will not" help me with firearms. Since my blood pressure medicine was never meat to control a nuclear blast of blood rushing to one's brain, I quickly left the store before I imploded then exploded in a rage of red tinged rhetoric and invective aimed at the clerk.
What was left except for Walmart in Middle Island. Well there was Costco, and I had to do some shopping there for household stuff. I stopped there next and put up with the other maniacs customers who dare to shop there on a weekend. It was a mob scene though i must admit, by some quirk of luck I got to the checkout and had only one guy on line in front of me. great timing. I was in and out of there in about 1/2 hour, a new speed record for me at Costcos. Then I made a quick stop at Home Depot, close to Costco. I am plastering and painting my daughter's old room (my son's new room), so I had to pick up several things there. That was another quick stop, and Home depot was all but empty. I guess those Veteran's Day sales at the malls were just to alluring to most to have them do any work over the three day weekend.
When I left Home depot, I was not looking forward to the drive through lots of traffic to get to Walmart. I figured it would take me well over an hour to get there with the roads as congested as they were. Then I had a momentary attack of my brain working to its near best. I decided to call the middle Island Walmart to see if they actually had the rifles in which I was interested. I was told, nope, none of them in stock, only Remingtons right now in .30-06 or .308. I asked if I could order them. The sales clerk said sure, and it would only take a few days for them to arrive. He would order one of each of the savage and Mossberg and then I could see them and decide. Great, I was making progress or so I thought. I told him which I wanted and said I would be there next Saturday. The clerk hesitated, hemmed, hawed, and then blurted out that Saturday was not good. He then explained to me that they only sell firearms Monday through Friday. Furthermore he said I would have to be there by 6PM, so that the paperwork and sale could be completed by 7PM. When I asked why the store closed that early, he said the store did not close so early, but that management required the sale to be completed by 7PM. I guess that sort of means that if you work in NYC like me, you have little chance of getting to Walmart in middle Island to buy a firearm unless you can get a weekday off. I wondered, hmm, is that due to some political chicanery by NYC's Mayor Bloomberg. Nah, couldn't be could it! That blood in my arteries was beginning to percolate, and I sensed it would soon erupt into a massively over pressured flow to my brain, so I politely said forget about it and hung up.
I figured I would go to a local gun store today, Sunday, and check their usually over inflated prices hoping for a Veterans' Day sale. As it stands no rifle will be bought this weekend I started my plastering work in the son's room - he is at work today but will help tomorrow since he has the day off from school. Then I will go to visit my mom in the hospital. Seems she may have had a mini stroke, or at least a very high blood pressure incident and had to be hospitalized yesterday. She is okay now, and I wonder if her blood pressure somehow went up in sympathy with my own. She lives with my sister so she is in good care, but I'll have to drive out there this afternoon after I finish more plastering. That drive is about 80 miles each way, but of course I have to, and want to, make that one.
I am taking a break right now from plastering, and getting this piece done. More plastering tomorrow, and hopefully a coat of primer sealer before Monday is over. Then a coat or two of paint during the week or the week after. I had planned to be hunting this week and next, but I guess other things that take priority need to be done. I have to paint, have to visit my mom, and will have to visit my brother next week when he goes into the hospital for a lung operation (probably cancer). I will get some hunting in there, next weekend, and the weekend after Turkey Day. Brendan will join me that second weekend, but I guess he will jot be shooting a brand new bolt action hunting rifle, that is unless I find the time to find one sometime this week. Right now, I may have a drink, since my wife is complaining about plaster dust on the upstairs hall floor. I wonder what she expected since I was, and will be plastering. There goes that blood rush again, maybe a drink is not such a good idea right now. Oh what the heck, cheers.
Verbosity does not an extraordinary or awesome personage make. A person who can utter words with long-windedness beyond the scope of another man, or who can write without ever running the inkwell dry, is not for all intents and purposes the wiser, nobler or better man. Rather, he is quite possibly, through juxtaposition of an outlet for his over usage of vocabulary and his use of another's thoughts, one who can fool the feeble-minded into adoration of his self because of a false perception that he holds a vast wealth of knowledge. Should such a man actually possess an abundance of book knowledge, and at the same time be able to spew forth such with a certain lilt of the tongue, there is no proof therein that such a man has ever in his life, not even once, experienced any practical aspect of that about which he speaks. While the benefit of good vocabulary and a flowing pen is not to be belittled, the pen is mightier than the sword only in the mind of a man who has not experienced what life has to offer.
It is the doer of deeds who knows of what he speaks when he orates or writes based upon his life's experiences rather than basing his words upon knowledge gained only from a book or from second hand sources. This is the man who has lived a life about which it is worth telling tales. This is the man to whom I would lend my ear. This is the man whose words I would read with eagerness. This is the is the man who's opinion I might value so long as it is within the values that I cherish. This is the man with whom I could join in life's daily celebration. This is the man whom I would choose as a friend. This is the man who I would see as an equal, or even as a superior and possibly as a leader. This is a man who has tasted life and its overabundance of gritty soil along with its fleeting moments of joy and worthy accomplishment. This is a man among men, a truly noble being. This is the company I prefer, and this is what I have striven to become. How do you live your life, by word of mouth or by course of action?
Whether or not I have achieved the goal(s) I have set for myself, or whether or not you have achieved yours, will not be determined by mere self examination. Self examination, while of great importance in guiding us throughout our lifetimes is all to often marred by shameless self pity, pomposity, narcissism, and the ambition to reach a certain desired end. Therefore, any lasting and worthy examination of our lives, and any value derived from our living them, must, in the long term, be made given credence by someone other than ourselves. This is true whether or not such comes about within our lifetime, and whether or not we as a particular persons are even remembered for having lived as we did. In the end our names, and our achievements, are usually forgotten over the long term. It matters not that we are either remembered or forgotten, but instead that we have through practical example imparted to another our experience and values so that at least one other person will carry on in our stead upon our having parting from the world. Should that one other person influence just one other soul, who then in turn does likewise, we may well have contributed to a chain that can last throughout eternity. Can you, even for a moment, fathom the import of having done such? Live life as best you can, live it as person who can, and who will, make a difference for the betterment of mankind. Even though your words be important, base your life not merely upon words, but upon the deeds you have performed, the tasks you have completed, the trials you have withstood, the good you have done. While your life's works might not make a noticeable difference during your lifetime, they may make all the difference in the world somewhere far down the road, even if your footfalls have long since been heard by anyone traveling along the same path as did you.
...just see the link to figure it out. I recently posted a poll and a post about my wanting to buy a Savage or Mossberg Rifle, and while I got one comment on my blog, I got a few more from folks over at the High Road in my post there on the same topic. All of them courteous, all of them helpful to one extent or another. The High Road, or THR as to which it is commonly referred, is one of the nicer, cleaner (family style), firearms related websites/forums you will find on the Internet. If you are at all into firearms, shooting, collecting, shooting sports like hunting, sporting clays, trap, skeet, and so forth, why not stop by The High Road and register (its free) and join we other high roaders.
...and I am not even talking about the 8th grader who was suspended for hugging another kid - this is closer to home. Today I stopped in Home Depot to buy a razor knife/window scraper. One of the flat ones where when you push it out, the whole blade of a straight edged razor blade is exposed. I needed it to remove the inspection and registration stickers in my car, and they come in handy around the house. I had to ask a HD clerk to open a locker for me to remove this item. Before she would even open the lock, she looked at me straight faced, and said I had to show her photo identification. You don't need to show identification in order to vote because that could be racist, but you need to show it to buy a piece of junk like this!
I asked why I had to show ID, and she said, still straight faced, that she needed to see that I was 18 or older. I asked if she was kidding, she said no, and told me she could not give me the item if I did not comply. I showed her my driver's license with my finger over my personal info. She got to see my picture, then gave me the item. I guess to her all that mattered is that I showed her something that looked like ID.
As for having to show ID in the first place, I am no youngster so I was flabbergasted. Was it she could not tell that I was older than 18 because she thought I was that good looking, or she was that desperate? I don't think so, and when I suggested that to her she just smirked. Was it that the gray in my beard, and the crows feet around my eyes, were not dead giveaways that I was a tad older than 18. Or was it just that the ultra insane uber leftist control freak laws are out and out ridiculous; or maybe it is just Home Depot management acting like a horse's arse and requiring this policy of customers. Hell, I have not even been to a bar where they have carded me in many a year, not a liquor store either, that I can remember, so this was some surprise.
Oh well life goes on, but I can only hope that stuff like this does not spread and instead lessens to the point where it disappears; and that is one of the reasons I voted as I did today. As for the razor knife/window scraper, I was also amazed, it was marked "Made in the USA". At least someone is still doing something right in this country.
I did mine, or at least part of mine. I went to my local polling place this morning, before work, and I voted. I sort of voted along party lines this year. I am a registered Republican, and I voted straight Republican, for all the candidates listed only as Republicans on the ballot. If they were listed as Conservative and Republican, then I voted for them as a Conservative. I am hoping it sends a message to the Republican party. I also decided not to vote for one candidate because he was listed as the candidate for the Democrats, the Republicans, and the Conservatives. That multiple party stuff, when it goes totally across the lines into another party with totally different values than mine, just does not wash with me. I could vote for, and on rare occasion have voted for, a Democrat or third parity candidate (and each time it turned out to be a mistake even though they seemed right during the election), but I will not vote for one who splits his loyalty among parties that are opposed to one another.
I have been hemming and hawing about buying a new gun for several months now, and as usual I am the great procrastinator; and besides that I have not had the cash. I still do not have the cash, but we paid off our credit card bills in full last month, so maybe she who must be adored will let me put a rifle on plastic. Dick's Sporting goods has a sale on Savage 111 rifle combos, the rifle with a scope for about $320; and Walmart has a sale on Mossberg 100 ATRs with a scope for about $315. I am thinking of really trying to get one of these before the end of the week. I have heard good and bad about both, mostly good about both. What I am asking my readers is to help me out and take my poll over on the right sidebar, at the top. Of course if you want leave your reasoning for your choice here too. Please do this if you know anything plus or minus about either of these rifles. I am hopeful that some of my readers who are dyed in the wool shootists will help out on this one.
By the way, I am kind of leaning toward the Savage in 30/06 right now.
...along with about a ton of leaves. It was pretty warm out today, low 50's, and I had intended on finishing our front door and door frame, then I heard my wife sweeping leaves on our side patio. Oh-oh I thought, I had better get my arse in gear and get the rest of the leaves cleaned up since it had not been done in way too long. I had wanted my son to do it for a few weeks now, but I will admit he works on Sundays, and has been busy at least 4 hours each Saturday in school with SAT preparation and I had let him slide thinking I would do it. Then it was one delay after another. So I figured what the heck, I had better do it, and his turn starts next weekend. So I grabbed my trusty Toro electric leaf blower, and got to ot. I started at 1125, and was gung-ho to get it done, and man oh man after 3 weeks it sure needed it. When I was done, and mind you I only cleaned up the front yard and along the sides of my house, on our very small lot (40x100 I think), I looked at the clock and I had been at it non-stop for 2 hours and 25 minutes. Wow, where did the time go on such a small lot. I guess most of the time went to my using the vacuum function on the leaf blower to pick up virtually all the leaves once I had blown them into 4 nice sized piles. It sort of takes forever using that, and it would have been much quicker just picking them up and putting them in a trash bag, but I like to have them chewed up by the blower/vacuum before I bag em, and the Toro does that pretty well. Uses more electricity, saves on plastic bags - a standoff maybe, then again maybe not. I figure I could have chopped of an hour on my time had I just scooped em up after I had blown em into piles. Oh well. If I decide to use any for my compost pile, and I am pretty sure I'll use at least one of the four 50 gallon bags full of leaf litter for the compost heap, at least it will have been chopped up and start to compost faster because of it. Yep, that was right, I filled four 50 gallon bags with leaves, and a few twigs, today - and out lots is only 40x100 and I did not even touch the back yard. The sad thing is, that the tree out in front of my house still has at least 75% of all its leaves; it usually drops them well after the other trees on the block are bare. I cannot wait, more fun, next time though watching my son do it. As for this time, I did a good enough job to have my wife compliment me on how nice the property looked after I was finished. That made the job worthwhile.
While I have some other odd jobs that need to be done, like the front door and door frame needing finishing, I think they can wait for a later time. Right now I need to clean up, then go out and buy a nice cake for my wife's birthday. It actually falls during this week, but we are having a special dinner today (she is cooking it), so I figured I'd at least buy a nice b'day cake for her. Then I think I'll take some time getting ready for hunting season, cleaning guns, cleaning hunting clothing, packing things so they are ready. Sure hunting season is still two weeks away, but I like to be able to grab and go, without having to pack the night before I leave.
...and the freedom and liberty to use it, and the freedom and liberty to make a stupid, outlandish, or emotional statement now and again without anyone crucifying, classifying, or categorizing you as a racist or other type of bigot:
Kraut, dego, bitch, goat-roper, slut, porker, lib-tard, pig, asshole, chink, Mrs., freak, midget, string bean, beaner, gorilla, jerk, bimbo, gigolo, tard, looney, racist, wuss, nerd, ho, scrooge, rocket scientist, kike, RINO, ass kisser, hunk, tart, donkey, tonk, fuck, jerk-off, cunt, spic, frog, cowboy, honky, pimp, howlie, whitey, hamster, fag, carpet muncher, boy, masser, bastard, chrome dome, fatso, rag-head, gimp, dummy, choir-boy, pecker-wood, animal, wet-back, wop, nazi, polock, slope-head, cracker, fuck-off, dick-head, crazy, cheapo, jap, wasp, coon, queer, lush, alky, doper, scrote, sleaze, Nancy-boy, whore, whoremaster, cannuck, po-po, prick, neo-con, camel-jockey, demoncrat, blimp, are all words that can be used to degrade others. In fact they are all words often used to degrade certain kinds, or groups, of people. Yet when we say them, if we do, we do not always mean them to be derisive of a group, nor do we mean them as anything other than an outlet for anger. The same goes for the word nigger. Yet, I usually do not see a national, even international, furor whenever someone utters any of those other words. So why don't we all grow up, and the next time we hear someone say nigger (no you will not hear me call it the N-word here in this rant) why not just ignore the asshole who said it and get on with our lives. It is not the end of the world to speak it, to write it, to see it, to hear it; and it is ridiculous when some one's use of it in a personal conversation, causes an uproar if that person was out of character when he said it, or if that person's intent through use of the word was misconstrued by the mind police among us, or if that person was just an out and out lout (I mean what would you expect of him, so why get all riled up over the spewing forth of a lout).
Sure if using such a word defines a person's outlook about a group, such as the word nigger could show us a person's perception of a certain race, and that person is in a position of trust, or leadership, or something like celebrity, or even just your neighbor, then slam the person if you must. Remember though, just because someone says an insulting word, such use of a word was not necessarily definitive of what the person believes or practices on a regular basis. Saying a word like that is not necessarily a secret look into their soul, in fact it usually is not even a peek at what they truly believe but is often just an outburst of anger in which they are lashing out and trying to hurt someone whom they believe is trying to hurt them. Unless the person is a friggin saint they may never say something like one of those foul words or phrases, but bear in mind even some saints had their faults. So when a less than complimentary word is barfed out in a fit of anger, or if it comes out in some other way where it is just a momentary emotional thing like blowing off steam or frustration - why not let it ride - and judge the person who said it not just on his having said an offensive word on rare occasion, but rather on his actions and words over the long term. If you cannot respect a person for what he truly is, then how can you expect respect from him in return.
Duane Dog Chapman is a rough guy, yet he can be quite compassionate from what I have heard. So he said a nasty word, boo-hoo. He was not doing it to insult a whole race, he did it in a fit of anger while arguing with his son who then seemingly betrayed him (just pointing that out to show you how nasty a spat it must have been). So stop with all the BS already, and live your lives as you were before you heard about it. As for A&E - the honchos at A&E need to get a life, get real, and put him back on the air instead of suspending his show because of a personal argument he had with his son in which he used bad language. My heavens, what in Hades did you folks at A&E expect this guy to be - a friggin saint? Well it just ain't his way, and you knew that when you hired him on. You took on his show for ratings because he was a bad assed dude, now you want to drop him for the same reasons. In my opinion you are all just a bunch of snivelling, money grubbing hypocrites. As for Reverend Al, and Jesse J., please shut up before you even start on this one. Thanks, and Amen.
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ZOMBIES & ME
As for zombies - bring em on! I am ready to shoot em down or knock down depending on which type are they. The pic is of the shoot em down type but click on it to see the knock em down type.
ME BEYOND ZOMBIES
A Not So Secret Location In The Not So Free World, New York, United States
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