Wednesday, November 23, 2011


There is something about coming home.  To the home you grew up in.  It's true you can never go back.  It's just not quite the same as when you were younger.  But still it's home.  It holds so many memories, good and bad of growing up.

Yet, it's comfortable and safe and warm.  It's an old sweater that has seen better days, but it feels good.

That's what it is, safety and comfort.  A place of refuge from the rest of the world, and going home to the place you grew up even moreso.

And soon, family and friends will gather for a day of Food, Fun, and Thanks.  We will laugh, argue, annoy, perhaps cry, and laugh more.  In the end, it will be all good.

Then it will be over.  Too soon.. And we will disperse and go back to our own homes.  The places we live, the places we call home. 

But still there is but one Home.

And it's good to be here.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Deer Season 2012 - Final Report

Well another Deer Camp goes into the books, and as usually happens the new guy goes home with the Trophy.   Yes, since 1989 our Deer Camp has awarded "The Big Buck Award".  There are certain criteria that have to be met to win however.  Your deer must be taken between opening time of Firearm Season on Friday morning to 12 Noon on Sunday.  The deer must be the first one you take.  In other words, if you take a doe first, then you are out of the running for the trophy.  The deer must be back in camp by noon Sunday. You pull in at 12:01 with the buck of a lifetime, and you lose. Size is determined first by points then by Boone and Crockett scoring, yes, we'll break out a tape measure if need be. Decision of the Camp Director is final and shall not be questioned.  the trophy is officially awarded at 12:01 on Sunday afternoon.   The winner must display the trophy either in their home or office for the next year and bring it back to deer camp the following year.  You also must pay for getting your own engraving done. If you win that year and there is no more room for names, then you must create/expand the award. 

The magic of the interwebz and Facebook has also netted us at least two and maybe three new people for next year.  John has a friend from Practical Rifle, and there's a mutual friend from the Aurora Sportsmen's Club that has called me and wants to join us next year.   Plus Pierre Khoury has stated he'll be back next year, and I truly look forward to that.  And if there's anyone reading that would like to join us.  Let me, your humble host and Camp Director, know and we'll get you what you need to hunt down here, and put you on some deer. 

So this afternoon John and Roger will pick up their deer from the processor, Pat, had to leave early this morning, so he already has one of his in nice white packages from the processor, but he's bringing the other home to butcher himself.  I prefer to bring home the white packages, as opposed to doing all that work.  

I'm glad that I had this time with several great friends.  I'm pretty sure that they've had as much fun this year as I've had.   And I'm really looking forward and planning for next year's camp.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Deer Season-2012

This has been one of the best year's I've had Deer Hunting.  In fact, I'll go ahead and say that it has been the best ever.  Why?

I've been down here 3 weeks, the longest time I've spent hunting ever.  Yet, I haven't gotten a deer.  In fact I haven't even seen as many as I have in years past.  My two favorite Honey Holes have seem to have dried up.  The usual scrapes and rubs aren't there and I haven't seen much of any other sign either.

However what has made this year truly special is that a long time friend and former solider that I served with drove all the way from Pittsburgh, on a whim, to hunt with me for 3 days.  I was humbled, honored and reduced to tears.  Khoury, you have no idea what that meant and means to me.  I can't wait for you to come back next year and every year after that.

Then my friend and former ASC Board of Director John Kopecky is down here for his first Deer Hunt. I've got him outfitted with a shotgun, stand and fall arrest system.   I'm setting him up along the pipeline where he have a really god chance of seeing deer along with being able to watch in the woods.  Especially, if he goes up in the tree as high as I go, about 30 ft.  You can see a whole lot more of the woods the higher you go.  Whether or not he gets one, I hope he he has a good time, and becomes part of our Deer Camp.   And John has friend that want's to come, but couldn't make it this year. 

Then my friend Pat is also down here.  This is his third year, and he's as excited this year as he was his first.  He got two deer last year.  Both firsts for him a doe with bow and buck with his shotgun.

Even if I take nothing*, this is the best year of deer hunting ever.    

*Even though as of this post I haven't taken anything with my bow,  I still have this afternoon, and then Firearm Season opens tomorrow and runs through Sunday.  Hope Spring Eternal !!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Occupy, My Ass.

I've avoided all the idiodcracy of the latest news simply by not having TV.   However, despite my best efforts I still keep reading about the "Occupy" morons.   Here's what it boils down to very simply.

They want to rob you. And they want the .gov to hold the gun.

Yep, that's it.  They want to do to you what the Nazi's did to the Jews.  What Stalin did to the kulaks

That's all it is.  They want free stuff, from you, and they want the government to take it from you and give it to  them.  It's a short putt from taxing wealth to confiscating wealth to "elimination of the wealthy".  We've seen it several times in the 20th century.  Which is why many of us who are the producers also own guns.  We're not going to let it happen again.  So to those who want to come and take what I have, simply because I have more than you, through the sweat of my brow, I say "Bring it".

And bring a whole bunch of friends, because I'll have no problem piling up your bodies at my door.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Finding my Muse

Yeah, you.  Get over here.  Sit down and start typing and don't get up until you have something good.  I'll handcuff you and tie you up if need be.

That's what it feels like.  Only at gunpoint.  A very large gun.

Tam has her snarky take on the days events.   

With  Brigid it just seems to flow.  She has a natural ability to write prose that grabs you and holds you.

Roberta gets right to the point..

Mary is a dear and long time friend.

Were I twenty years younger, I'd be chasing Nicki

Then Tony and folks at The Weekly Nitpick, take one subject and do it to death.  Rightly and funny.*

But they all make it look effortless.  With me it's like a term paper due everyday.  That big project the boss assigned to be completed or the company is doomed.   And it's all self imposed pressure.  I feel like I owe it to you, my reader(s).  And in a sense I do, but this is for me and for my son.  It's supposed to be about what I've learned and want to pass on to him.  In case you didn't read  the liner notes.  It's called "The Cancer Ward", not only because I grew up reading Solzhenitsyn, but because I have a terminal case of it.  And an 11 Year Old son.

So I apologize if I'm not as meticulous in writing and posting as I should be.  I'm also out grabbing as much as I can from life in the time I have left.  But do know that I feel guilty when I neglect my blog for more than a day or two.  And I do pretty good when I can get two or three stories ahead and have them in the queue and ready to go.   I can then drop in topical stories and posts without the dreaded "I HAVE NOTHING TO WRITE ABOUT,  ARRRGGHHHH!!!!"  pounding my head against the wall. So enjoy these.  Written in advance as they were.

*I just noticed that 5 out of 6 of my favorite bloggers are women.  Although the Weekly Nitpick has female contributors the vast majority of the articles are written by men, and 3 of the 5 are primarily Gun Blogs.  Women and Guns, *sigh*......

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Tab Clearing

When they finished tearing up my street and left these pipes, my first thought was "These will make one helluva potato gun."

Southport, Indy.  Ride it like you stole it, Dude

I wanted to follow this truck to wherever it was going, just hoping that it might really contain a Firefly.

Why in G-d's name does the Dept of Environment and Natural Resources have the responsibility for Food Service Sanitation?  Shouldn't there be a county Board of Health?   One more of example of why .gov is stupid.

My buddy Andrew Graves.  I love this shirt.  The front has a small badge imprinted (South Carolina Citizen's Militia)  under which reads "Constitutional Enforcement Division".  And yes, we were open carrying. 

In addition to the giant pink peace symbol on the hood, it has every liberal bumper sticker ever printed on it.  I'm glad that Hippy-dipshits like this can freely express their stupidity in this great country and that there are brave men and women standing guard around the clock to keep their Hippy-ass from being stoned to death by the practitioners o the "religion of peace". They have the right to express their opinion and so do I.
You are a Moronic Fuck-tard.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day

Those that served with me will recognize the patch.  I'm told that this solider was in the 92nd MP Co. 

And this is a few years old, but still just as poignant.

    And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
    Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
    And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
    That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Robert's 11th Birthday Party.

Okay, it got changed from Friday night to Saturday, I'm sure because she found out I was planning to leave town to go hunting for 3 weeks right after his party, on Friday.  Regardless, I go to the his school because the first half of the party is running RC cars all over the schoolyard.  Hey wait, where are all the other parents going?  What? It's just going to be me and her alone with 8 boys.  Oh sweet and fluffy L-rd, spare me.  Well, I'll just do my best to avoid her and concentrate on the boys and the cars.  

Which goes pretty well until the batteries die and it's time to head to Gino's East for Pizza and Cake.  Presents, I'm informed will be opened at her place.  Yep, I'm going to have to go into the belly of the beast.  Better get uparmored, as this going to suck.  But, for my son, I'll pay any price including playing nice with the  WINO*.  So we divide up the boys between the two cars, and naturally I manage to find a parking space close to Gino's East, while the WINO, of course, passed several perfectly good spots and parked half a town away.  So me and 4 boys get to Gino's East first.  Now, it being Halloween, we're greeted by these two.  The Valkyrie and the Referee.

Okay, I tell the Valkyrie that I'm here with (last name) party of 10 or so.   I'm informed that because we're 5 minutes late they "gave away our reservation".  Now, in front of the podium in the picture is a bench and on this bench is a woman about my age with her young son, waiting to be seated.

So, I ask the Valkyrie "Does that costume come with a shield and a sword?"
"What?!? ...... No.

"To bad.  Because in about 5 minutes my ex-wife is going to come through that door, and you'll get to walk through the gates of hell and tell her that you gave away her reservation.   It won't be pretty, once she's done with you.  I've dealt with her for years, so I'm just going to sit over here and watch the carnage.  May G-d have pity on your soul."

All said with a smile and final laugh. 

The lady on the bench was "surprised" , yeah, that's a good way to describe the look on her face. Both the Valkyrie and Referee blanched.   The boys were over by the video games and I went and sat down with a view out the door and on the boys. Smiling.

Suddenly the Valkyrie and Referee huddled up and start scribbling on the podium.  I continued to smile.  I looked over and smiled at the nice lady waiting for a table.  She was still in shock.

Sure enough, about 5 minutes later the WINO walks in with the other boys, looks at me and I point at the two hosts.  She says her name and that she has a reservation for 10 people.  "Oh, right this way."  says the Valkyrie.  The nice lady still waiting for a table starts laughing.  I, again, smile at her, and get a WTF? look from the WINO.

Anyway, we eat pizza, drink soda  and have a piece of birthday cake.
Then it's time to get the boys to the WINO's place.  They are having a sleepover, so I tell the boys to stay up to at least 4am and 5am would be better.  They agree.  Party all night long!!!

So once there, it's time to open presents.  Robert opens all the ones from his friends (his gift from his Mom is the party), and finally he opens mine.
Yeah, I'm big on wrapping paper.  I'm a guy, okay.

What did I get him.?  A framed copy of Rudyard Kipling's Poem "IF" to hang on his wall.  I was surprised and amazed that all the boys sat still and quietly listened as he read aloud.  


IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream - and not make dreams your master; 
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim; 
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster 
And treat those two impostors just the same; 
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken 
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, 
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, 
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, 
And lose, and start again at your beginnings 
And never breathe a word about your loss; 
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew 
To serve your turn long after they are gone, 
And so hold on when there is nothing in you 
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch, 
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, 
If all men count with you, but none too much; 
If you can fill the unforgiving minute 
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run, 
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, 
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

I think he understands.

*For those of you playing along at home:  WINO=Wife In Name Only.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Road Trip Report (Part Twoith.)

Where was I,  Oh yeah.  South Carolina.  Trying to get form Aiken to Ceasar's Head State Park.   And I had decided to take the "scenic" route.  And boy, was it scenic.  It also took me almost 5 hours to go 129 miles.  Every wide spot in the toad had it's own 30 or 35 MPH zone.  Not to mention that it's not a straight shot.  Not just twists and a turns but Hey, I didn't see any signs back at that intersection, and I'm not seeing any signs saying that I'm still on US 25.  Dammit!!!  Turn around again.  Eventually I make to Caesar's Head, and it's only a 45 minute drive up hill on a twisting road, with overhangs that will kill you if you look over, and I'm towing a camper.  In a Saab 9-3.  Fortunately, it's  a stick, so it's second and third gear all the way up (trying to go to fourth gear will HOLY CRAP CURVE!!! send me over the edge.)

Finally at the top and pull into position.   Yep, there's no room to back in.  It's well after dark, and screw it, I'm not driving off this mountain, until it's time to leave.   The car stays in front of the camper.  Andrew and George and whoever else shows up can drive.  But I don't really care to come off this mountain.

But we must, for food and to go shooting.  We go to a practical rifle match and I out shoot our host.  With his rifle.   I'm not sure if that's a faux pas or not.   Wait? What?!?!  There's no bacon?  How can you not have bacon!!   But despite that we had a lot of fun.  We talked and laughed and told our stories to each other.  Hopefully, they learned something from my mistakes and errors.  They are really nice and good guys.  I'm proud to call them my Friends.

But like all good things, they must come to an end.  We managed to get the camper out and headed down the mountain.  2nd gear all the way so the brakes wouldn't catch fire and/or I go over the side to a fiery death.  I get to the main road and onto finally onto the interstate (screw scenery, I've seen enough). The view from Ceasar's Head.

So after 140,000 miles, trying to push a camper uphill and then coming downhill in 2nd, the clutch decides to give up the ghost.  Right on the SC/GA border.  88 miles from Atlanta and the nearest Saab dealer.  Did I mention that it's 2am and I'm in the WE:COME TO GEORGIA! rest stop.  So I call the nearest towing firm (I now love my Blackberry), and agree to pay whatever amount to get to the Saab dealer in Atlanta, and let the driver sleep in until morning (the dealership opens at 9am).   So I settle in with the rest of the truckers and grab some sleep.  I wake up at 7am and begin my wait for the tow truck.  I forgot I'm on "Southern time" in which 7am means "When I git thar", which is 9am.  Okay.  I call the dealership and let them know I'm coming.  They can't guarantee that they'll get it done today, but they'll do there best.  Chad finally delivers, me, my car and the camper at around 10:30.   And the dealership has the parts, a mechanic and a bay open.  Things are looking up.  So I begin my sitting and waiting.  The service manager is nice and gives me a car to go grab lunch and tells me to keep the key, just in case I need to grab a room for the night.  
Which it turns out I won't.  The mechanic gets it done right around 4pm.  $1700 less rich and I'm  back on the road.  Which I drive all the way to another rest stop in Kentucky, and I again spend a night with the truckers.  Morning breaks and once more on the road and hey, Jim Beam Distillery tours.   What the heck.  Oh there's free samples (max three).  And the Red Stag is not cheaper in the company store.  Back to my folks by noon, and spend a couple of days there.  Then back home to Chicago.   Aside from the clutch, a good trip, only wish I had budgeted more time to see more folks I know in that part of the US.