Sunday, November 28, 2010

True Grit - A Remake!

Heaven help us that Hollywood is so devoid of people with good original ideas they have to try to remake a classic like True Grit. I fear it is doomed to failure for several reasons, I suppose the most important being they cannot find anyone to stand as tall as did John Wayne in the original. In other words, I see problems with the casting, first just look at the arsehat who is playing Marshal Rooster Cogburn, second take a look at the trailers and check out the piss poor acting of the child actress who is just that and who is trying to play the part of Mattie Ross (originally played by Kim Darby) and look at the, in my opinion, lame metro-sexual actor playing the Texas Ranger. Need I say more. Oh well, then let me add, how in hell do they expect to improve on John Wayne? Had they wanted a current actor to try to fill his shoes, maybe there was one who could have done it but they picked the wrong guy with Jeff Bridges as far as I am concerned. I mean, are they kidding or delirious to think he could play the role and do it well. About the only guy I think would fit that part today might be Robert Duvall but I imagine him too old for the part but bet he could do it justice. Matt Damon as Le Boeuf - give it a break. Who knows, maybe I'll see it and be surprised but if this one turns out to be any good, I'll not only be surprised, I'll be amazed. Of course, this one plans to be more true to the book on which the movies were based, that means some big script changes from the one with John Wayne and while Wayne would still do it best, it may be interesting to see the film truer to the book.

All the best,
Glenn B

Soldiers' Christmas Care Packages Update

The last two packages we sent out to the soldier, Mike ____, assigned, to me by Soldiers' Angels, have been delivered. I received tracking notification from the post office about the deliveries because this time around I paid extra for delivery confirmation. The reason I paid extra is because I got no feedback from Mike ____ on the first package we sent. (Sorry, by the rules, I cannot give his last name without his consent and he has not contacted me at all.) I still have no way of knowing if package one was delivered. Apparently the second set of packages at least made it to the APO.

I am a bit concerned about this situation. In the past, all of the soldiers, to whom I sent care packages, with your help, replied to me to say thanks and to let me know they received everything. They were quite grateful. This time around, Mike has not sent me one bit of communication. He has not replied to a few emails I sent to him, has not answered a couple of letters, and has not contacted me in any way to say thanks for the care packages or even just to say he got them. I have to wonder: Is he actually receiving them? I have half a mind to hold off on sending anything else until I get some kind of email or letter from him letting me know he has received all that was sent to him.

For now, I am gong to contact Soldiers' Angels and ask their advice on this. First of all I do not want to be wasting your and my money by sending out packages that we do not know were received. Second, I am wondering if I should ask for another soldier, to be assigned by Soldiers' Angels, to whom we can send future packages since I am not sure these are being received. Hopefully, Soldiers' Angels can help with some insight on this type of situation. I certainly do not want to screw a guy who may not be able to answer me because he cannot, for some reason, get email or regular mail out to us. They may know if this is a thing that happens or not. If not, then I am going to assume it is just a soldier being ungrateful, bashful, shy or just plain unresponsive. If that seems to be the case, then I will find another who will either appreciate the packages with some thanks or at least let us know he received them. Otherwise, I will cancel sending out further packages this year and give you the refunds. Of course, I am hoping my current assigned soldier is alive and well and have been searching his name on casualty lists (because of his unresponsiveness) and thankfully I have not found his name on one of those. With luck he is receiving the packages but just cannot get back to us right now but will do so soon.

I will keep you apprised, but for right now, at least until I get some advice from Soldiers' Angels, I am putting additional packages on hold. If it comes down to it, I will refund your money right after the holidays if this is not straightened out by then. I will eat whatever I have already paid for packages that went out and will refund 100 percent of your money to you if I cannot get a reasonable solution from Soldiers' Angels. If anyone who has already given a donation may have insight on this type of a thing, let me know. If you are ansty about this and want a refund right away, let me know; since I have been paying for the items on my credit card, except for one I may have used PayPal for, I have most of the money still in the PayPal account and what little I used already will be easy to make up. I am hopeful though this will be worked out by this weekend.

For your information here are copies delivery tracking I got off of the the post office website (please note the numbers of each delivery confirmation have been deleted)


Label/Receipt Number: 0309 2880 0002 0283 XXXX
Class: Priority Mail®
Service(s): Delivery Confirmation™InsuredDelivered-->
Status: Delivered
Your item was delivered at 3:31 pm on November 20, 2010 in APO, AE 09338.

Label/Receipt Number: 0309 2880 0002 0283 XXXX
Class: Priority Mail®
Service(s): Delivery Confirmation™ InsuredDelivered-->
Status: Delivered
Your item was delivered at 3:31 pm on November 20, 2010 in APO, AE 09338.

If any of you, who has already made a contribution, wants to see the actual tracking on the USPS site, please send me an email requesting the tracking numbers. I will gladly make them available so you can see 100% of the info on the packages to include from which post office they were mailed but I will not post that info here on my blog.

All the best,
Glenn B

Oh Deer - Hunting Again: Ready, Aim...

...but never did fire. I had my sights on a good sized doe, or could have been a spike-horned buck (yes I know they have antlers but that is what they are called) and was about to squeeze off a shot when with two or three steps, at most, it was out of sight completely. I had been making my way north, along the east side of the stream that flows through the Cascade Valley State Forest when I spotted at least one other hunter headed east, maybe 75 yards north of me. I am pretty sure he did not see me, he made no indication even though I tried to get his attention. I figured it was a good time for a break and there right in front of me was a nice sized deadfall. I put my blaze orange foam cushion atop it and plopped my backside down and waited and watched. In about 2 minutes or less, I heard what I figured was a deer walking away, southbound, from the path the other hunter had just taken, and I guessed almost at the exact spot where I had seen him. I figure the hunter had walked right passed this one. The sounds continued south a bit, then turned west, crossed behind me to the west of me, then turned toward the north. It was pulling a classic whitetail deer maneuver, in essence sneakily circling around to elude a possible predator and was headed right back to the path the eastbound hunter had just taken, albeit now behind him to the west. I could hear it now and then and figured it was almost due west of me. I was right because next thing I knew and there it was in full view; this was all of 10 minutes at most after the other hunter had crossed my path and spooked this deer.

It stopped and was looking east, but I am pretty sure it did not see me but was looking for the other guy because it kept moving its head. Had it seen me and been concerned about my presence, it would have zeroed in on me. It took a couple more steps and was then not visible behind some trees and bushes. I waited, and waited, and waited at least 5 to several minutes and then gave a doe bleat. In about another minute or two after that, it reappeared broadside to me and stopped and looked east toward me and then west. It was looking away from me and was broadside to me, oh yeah. I was in like Flint - or so I thought! I stealthily raised my rifle, and had it zeroed in on its heart/lung area and was moving my finger toward the trigger when it bowed its head as if grazing, then took 2 or 3 more steps northwest and it was out of sight. That sucked!

I waited awhile, maybe 15 minutes, then tried a buck grunt and rattling it back into view. Does will come to watch bucks fight and rattling mimics the sounds of a good brawl between two bucks. Bucks will come to watch or to fight. (Last week, I rattled in a doe in that Brendan spotted but Brendan did not take a risky shot after it spooked and was trotting off. I probably spooked that one.) After a bit of waiting, maybe 5 minutes, I heard her again, making her way back toward me but I still could not see her. I was waiting to try rattling again but then I heard it coming back without more effort on my part. I saw movement and barely saw a gray horizontal form of its back. Yet, I had nothing on which to safely set my sights since the woods at that point were too thick and I was not about to shoot at something I could not plainly see. So, I waited again. A little wait would probably have it in my sights. It was all coming together nicely. I could almost taste the venison steaks.

Suddenly, a branch snapped loudly somewhere back over my right shoulder. I did not move but kept scanning the woods to the west of me looking for the deer. Then I heard them talking. The hunter who had just walked into the woods about 35 or 40 minutes before was now leaving and had someone else with him. They probably exited the woods on a trail not more than about 10 yards from where that deer was last standing. I am guessing it took off northbound or west bound since I did not see it again. Of course, it could have stood there watching them leave and not have moved at all. They sometimes do that too. Regardless, I waited another half hour for movement or noise but there was nothing. I am fairly sure she took off, probably north or westbound, when those two other hunters walked out - either way not crossing my line of sight again. What luck!

My guess is one of those hunters went in to get the other and then they both left together. Too bad, I would likely have had another chance at lining up a shot if not for them leaving right when they did. Just a coincidence, not blaming anything on them, such is hunting on public land. Oh well, humbled once again because of my lack of luck, not having the best hunting prowess and because the deer simply seem more woods savvy than me. Humble pie is hard to swallow, a lot harder than good venison, but my hopes have not been smashed yet. There is a chance I will get to go out again next Saturday and if I do maybe I will fare better. The odds will be against me though, you see if you do not bag a deer on opening day of the rifle season the odds multiply exponentially against you as each following day of the season goes by. That will be my last chance during the regular season to bag one and to have bragging rights because the following weekend I'll be on a cruise with my wife. So, if I go next weekend, I am going to try my best not to ruin the chance to be able to be braggadocios all about my success. Of course, I may not get one and once again have to eat that ever so hard to swallow humble pie.

Then again, maybe I just ought to grab a road killed deer, throw it on my car, take it to where I hunt, throw it on the ground, take pictures with it and tell everyone that I got one fair and square out in the woods. Who would know? I won't do it though, I am sure my buddy Al (a loyal reader, coworker and friend) would see right through me and nail me for it! By the way Al, 4:30, heck I only got home at 9PM. (See comments in previous post.) I tell you though, if I don't get one next weekend, I'll take you up on those burgers, but let's make it Hooters! Later for you and hopefully for a deer too - and Al, if I get one, the venison is on me.

All the best,
GB
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