Thursday, October 30, 2014

Some things about choices never change...

 My cousin, long time resident in the South, probably had it with the hate groups holding up the Confederate Battle Flag, and the 'the South was all racists and slave holders' folks attacking the Confederate Battle flag for the twisted logic that symbols mean whatever we say they do - so there! He calmly suggested if one wanted to fly a real rebel flag one should raise the circle of thirteen five pointed stars on a field of blue with thirteen red and white alternating stripes, Betsy Ross's best, for that was the original 'rebel' flag. Well, I have bought into that, I will fly that flag at Appleseeds, and from my home periodically in celebration, likely will on the 4th and 5h of November. But from Lexington to Yorktown, the rebels had lots of different flags flying to say they were there, and that they were different and very independent. John Paul Jones flew a few.

  Do you remember the effort to remove the Confederate Battle flag from the Georgia State Flag?
Well, I congratulated two Georgia boys on returning the state flag to its Confederate roots in the last rendition. But the simple folks that don't study History have no idea what the Confederate Flag looked like during the Civil War. They only focus on the battle flag, for it represented what they felt - fear of or pride in.
I have always been sure that it should fly proudly above every Confederate soldier's grave, and for the Confederate Veterans that would rejoin the Union they could have it also, along with Old Glory. You do know that one of the commanders in the Spanish American War was a former Confederate Officer? He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

  Symbolism abounds, at 12 Eastern, we are supposed to fire a round or two or three in opposition to the NEW YORK SAFE act. On Saturday, 1 November. Sound like a good idea to me. Like I need an excuse to fire a round or many on a Saturday. They will be on target.

   So I did my avatar yesterday, posted it on Facebook and the Revolutionary War Veterans Association forum and have had lots of comments, and on Facebook 'likes'. I am famous(?), but that avatar is a personal one, not the official trade marked one of the re-branding effort. Did I mention I am getting a new shooting jacket for my personal shooting? On the way as I type. Looking for a proper working vest to load up with the embroidery and patches of the Appleseed Project, has to have big pockets, a belt for my slim figure (?) and ammunition loops like the Cossack coats for Sharpie markers for adjusting sights and scoring AQTs

   During the second strike of the match, I like to point out that the alerted militia of Concord all had a voice in what they wanted to do to protect the town from the wrath of the Regulars that were out. The young feisty Minutemen were for marching down the road to meet the regulars before they got to Concord. The older more responsible Militia, (mostly husbands with families, shop keepers, and settled down men) wanted to stay in town and meet them here to protect what was most important. The oldest, many veterans of past warfare against the French or the Indians wanted to go back to the hills where everyone trained and look over the North Bridge at what the regulars were doing in Concord. So after discussion, they all did what they supported - yep, they did all three. In the end the Minutemen got much better ideas after noticing they were outnumbered by the bayonet carrying redcoats, about six to one, so they marched quickly back into Concord like they were leading the parade - joining the regular militia units near the Liberty pole, then all deciding that the old men had spoken wisely.. and they marched out to join everyone on the hills above the North Bridge.  The official record doesn't tell it my way, but then History is now written by Wikipedia.

  So when Congress can't agree, nor fifteen people get the same answer for each problem - we end up compromising, or so I am told. Or, we can just go our own way, we only have to compromise when we need to join together to make something happen, like build a bridge - if we are talking about hunting, it can be done alone, but bridge building is better by group effort.

   So, The Poet, the fella in charge of the rebranding effort has the official unveiling of the new logo - striking but very simple. Lends itself to embroidery on polo shirts and stuff. Having watched Japanese logos for years, simplicity wins when it is unique - it becomes immediately a power projection. Where European heraldry failed was making everything part of the picture - cross of Saint George simple, add Saint Andrew, then add Saint Patrick and you have the Union Jack?

   When you look at the symbolism of the quartered and quartered again coat of arms, you realize that the instant hero commander recognition of the simple signs has been taken over by the clerks and bean counters, folks that aren't on the front lines in the massive hack and slash fests of the middle ages.

So the RWVA oval is:
and the newer improved RWVA over musket and powder horn over will continue to change to the final version of something that says it all.

The comments are from the RWVA and Facebook observers with opinions. In the end, history is written by the clerks and bean counters that survive. My challenge to AMERICANS! is to KNOW VERY WELL WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT.

"Looking at the art in Earl's post and at the logo, it seems to me there was something about Isaac Davis that was lost in the translation. In the grayscale on Earl's post we see Davis, square-jawed and resolute, in a position of reluctant determination. In the logo I see an unidentifiable figure leaning back in a casual way, like a modern hipster striking a pose of nonchalance. We see the plow of the citizen-soldier. I know logos are supposed to be simple but to me there is much meaning in the details that is lost in this rendering."

" Great concept. Wording seems a bit off. Who knows "very well what you are about"? Can't be Americans because of the exclamation mark. And whom is the "you" referring to? Is the message supposed to be "Americans know very well what they are about"?" ---
"Maybe the "you" is referring to Americans knowing very well what Isaac Davis is about."

In my mind, it is a call to 'Americans' to know very well what they (you) are about. Ask the youth, they can't understand honor - can they think of themselves as 'Americans' without it? I am concerned enough to go and make the statement and talk in public. I don't have to apologize for being an American, if I am humble it is because I know my weaknesses and am certain that I am not as great as my heroes, but for sure I am still proud to be an American Rifleman.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I did promise to clean off the walks and lawn...

  But I had vertigo after I finished mowing the backyard and cleaning the mower. Wow! That is scary.

  Sit down, till the spinning stops.

  Then since you can, have lovely lunch with wife.

  Then go out and start the clean up. Until two, when you get to watch The Five on FOXNews... so she starts the vacuum and makes more noise than the five can get over. I turn off the television and leave to finish a project on making myself a new improved Face Book avatar... seems that many of the RWVA folks are hoping on the new re-branded logo - which is just fine, but I am only a volunteer and I have a better idea for my personal avatar.

That does sing to me, took me all of the Five's time, and I even used it to post on the RWVA forum when they were discussing the new logo - left a copy so they could see what I did.

  None of the effort beats the time on the line in all my Appleseeds and all the fine folks I have met along the way.  Next April 19th, in 2015 (which is really closer than you think). I suggest that all my family and friends and readers of this fine blog (LOL!!!!!) sign up and attend a Libertyseed (where the stories are told and no guns are fired) or an Appleseed event where the Marksmanship, History and Heritage can come together in a personal experience for you and your friends and neighbors.

  Now, I will go back to my cleaning up the yard and the walks.

Monday, October 27, 2014

So my weekend was great! how was yours?

 There is a real world outside of what Earl sees from his viewpoint. When I returned home to homemade bean soup and toast with coffee yesterday evening, I noted my wife had slept in the TV room, on the floor with her alarm makers to frighten the badmen off, if they rattled the door. The thought of them already had her rattled. Of course, she is working on the Korean fantasy that making the burglar aware you are awake and alert will make them go away quietly, which has often worked traditionally (in Korea)

- more modern monsters influenced by Hollywood movies are not as quiet nor nice.

  I had gotten up at 3am on Saturday, to drive to the MukilteoClinton ferry, hoping to catch the first run of the morning. Success! First car in line. I had been held up by having to stop at the ATM to transfer some more money into my account. Seems when getting cash I found that I only had $46.79 in my draw account and I had a restless night worried about why it was so low and how to fix it quick (without resorting to Clyde Barrow). So I transferred the money, then looked at the receipt and total amount. So it was $666.79, and I only transferred $120.00 - looking at the yesterday slip I realized that I should only read with reading glasses.  $              546.79 is not what I saw ---       S46.79 was, tiny print doesn't fall into Earl's view.

   So, I am third in line awaiting the gate key keeper to open at the Central Whidbey Sportsmen Association, and she shows up as I am greeting the other instuctors and organizing my thoughts in line with the shoot.   Drive to the range, unload and start set up. Being the fourth Appleseed event on this range in two years, and having a majority of the crew well trained in the Appleseed and the range and POI - I had little to wonder or worry over - and seldom had to say anything except 'thank you' and 'good idea'.

   Because of the rain and the wind, the soaked paper targets melting off their staples or map pins, the shooting only had one scored Appleseed Qualification Test for the first day (and one Rifleman made on that, Logan with a score of 212), two Redcoat targets, two sighting squares used to shrink groups and adjust sights upon. One unscored AQT to train positions, magazine changes, and transitions with, as well as the Ball and Dummy drill of five rounds and many false shots for skill improvement. I would tell two of the Strikes of the Match, and PaulW would get the second strike.  A final call to action, volunteering and commitment to the Revolutionary War Veterans Association seventh stepping - was given, might not have been immediately effective because no one jumped up and hollered for a hat, but they might mull it over in their minds.  T-shirts and homework study packages were handed out and clean up of all equipment - strong gusts of up to sixty miles per hour expected during the night. I would sleep through them and the excitement - but they did happen.

  Second day begins gentler, working on only one large mug of coffee we reviewed everything, shot sighting squares for group shrinkage and new rifles and sights and then knocked out three AQTs before breaking for lunch, only light rains, very brief - like the gusts of wind.  Dangerous Old Men stories told, morning Riflemen honored with grip and grin shots and LOUD HUZZAHS! Grant and Logan repeat their past performance, and Mike has stepped up, not only helping the line boss and the shoot boss, but making his Rifleman with a 210, which calls for christening with the waters of the Charles River. Yes, three more LOUD HUZZAHS!

  Two more AQTs after lunch, the scores are shivering along with their shooters. Break to Known Distance instruction then back to the line for two round mags and a peppermink candy to burst (or not and know why), one final AQT then Redcoat, final summation and clean up.  Hand shaking and good wishes passed out along with targets and materials requested to spread the word and work of Appleseed.  Four fine Canadians had crossed the border to shoot with us, and by the end of the weekend I had figured out which one had labeled himself on the forum as 'Cheekyredcoat'.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Have Gun Will Travel reads the card of a man...

and for those growing up in the 1950-60 television era, the man's name was Paladin, a knight without armor in a savage land. Modern young listeners would have heard a night without honor but they wouldn't be well read and know what a Paladin was... you do, right? Oh, role playing games, D&D, I get it. Well, I needed a business card for memory stirring - give to people that want to know what Appleseed and I do on weekends. So I decided to make me one, you can do it so easy on the software, with proper Avery sheets. So I wanted a Minuteman, a soldier in campaign hat with rifle and a modern shooter with rifle and ball cap.

But it wouldn't be official, so I checked and got with one of the designers of the RWVA, and he made me a business card like they used for the NRA convention. It got to me, exactly as I was finishing the run of my design, so I only added my Facebook Avatar to the back of the official card and ran off a bunch. Now I am almost prepared for this weekend's Appleseed in Coupeville, Washington. Gosh the grass is going to be high when I get back after the rains.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

as soon as Facebook stops scrolling through my mind...

  Giving travel advice to a man going to Korea for a two week tour, don't take your cellphone, take the digital camera. Look, touch, taste and smell - listen and build memories in your mind. Enjoy the people. For sure don't spend time looking at your cellphone or the internet, you can get those back here in the USA.

  It was pointed out on Facebook that no one blogs anymore, at least not for number of hits. Well, I am happy about that, since I am my most frequent reader of this blog. I had the weekly letter to my mother, and when she was ready for it, we put it into email and she could enjoy it, then I sent copies to my brother and sisters, and since it was a rambling mess, they could glance at it and then delete or respond. Someone reading it from outside the family suggested I write a blog. And I did, more or less, I got the words out, and had a home base to link to other places on the internet to wander and mostly to read about the things and people that interested me. But my come back when the statement about no one blogs anymore, was as soon as Facebook stops scrolling I will go and write my next post... and everyone knows that Facebook never stops scrolling, and if you have your speakers on, you get a signal sound to return and see who liked or commented on a photo or comment you have been interested in... it never ceases - the call to arms, come back, look at this, isn't this amazing?

  Clever designers, they didn't put a hate button on, just a like button, a comment and a share button and various privacy settings so only your friends may see how brilliant your posts are. And the current everyone knows wisdom is 'don't read the comments' seems that trolls moved to the Facebook as soon as they could jump in from Bloggerdom. So Facebook still wins attention and that means we have to wait for ads, and write smaller and think less - going for that touch of humor, that will last just until the next kitten picture comes up.

  I like Facebook for the photos from friends and family, for the current comment about things I think are important -- and the fact (I have checked) that the opposition to my happiness is well separated by friends and family fences (there are some real different folks in the world I only skim over in the nightly news). But Facebook scrolls on... and on... and so on.

I have some real reading that I should get back to, a car appointment to make, bills to look over and maybe pay, a resume to write, that deer tag to fill and Appleseed event weekends... and Facebook scrolls on. The rabbit hole in my ground, where my mind goes round and round...

Saturday, October 11, 2014

So little time so much to do... breath don't fail me now...

   So feeling a little better, I jumped into the work for tonight and finishing what I had started days ago... luckily I have a Leatherman Wave on my belt because I had to repair a leaf rake with it. I piled the clippings and leaves on the composting soils. Winterized now. Still I had to stop and contemplate the universe of one so my breathing didn't fall behind. Self diagnosis, congestive heart failure futures sold cheap here.

   As I felt better last night, I found the home to lust after just because... and I could imagine using the Great Hall for fencing, karate or balls (like I am going to ever take up dance?).  It would be totally impractical for folks as old as I and my wife, but my son could use the size with a very large yard, or small pasture/woods. His life and desires aren't mine but I liked the concept until reality sets in and I remember the taxes that size place would demand. There are some old parts of older towns that have lovely homes like that, some that need lots of rebuild and remodel for efficiency in power and heat and cooling.

  In the home department, I watched Secondhand Lions last night, wonderful easy movie, says the audience not the producer or director. Now that old farm is what would be a project and then some, lots of potential. I remember how much I loved attics and basement shops as a child, things were hidden and fixed there. sent me an offer of all the plastic theme war figures for prices I glup at... I had almost all of those sets, modern warfare wasn't one of my father's favorites - but I could go back to King Arthur, Robin Hood, the Revolution, the Alamo and the Civil War easily. My mother was mostly responsible for my thinking that the military was a fine life for a man. I had clipper ships and Old Ironsides, and pirate stories, and not close nor far enough away from water to join the Navy. If India hadn't gained independence before I was old enough, I might have run off to join the Bengal Lancers. Bad enough I knew all the stories and real history of the French Foreign Legion, the US Marine Corps, the paratroopers, and on and on.

It is okay, I received the Gary Cooper/Sergeant York DVD today. I am looking to viewing it after things settle a bit. We are hosting Men's Bible Study here at our home, so the Jehovah Witness missionaries came by and I greeted them and chatted a bit. My wife has changed how she wants the house - so I listen, run off for more BBQ sauce and return to find more chairs coming in the door. From one of the other men, both of us just responding to our wives' perfect universe. I am content, God is in charge. There will be a feast here tonight. Had two interesting emails about Appleseeds and I answered as best I could. Life is full.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Ah, they didn' t catch me doing it, they will never prove it...

   So, since my health or breathing isn't better than sit down and don't move much... I  had to go out to start raking the mess on the front yard. While there the garbage pick up came by and I dragged the container back to the back - which exhausted me, so I went back to slow raking.

To move the stuff from the concrete of the driveway and the sidewalk, I turned the rake upside down so the tines were up... and immediately women in my life started hollering at me in my head. One didn't want the neighbors to see her husband acting like a crazy man. One wanted to tell me the proper way to do it, one wanted me to stop -IMMEDIATELY!- and get the broom. Ah, I smiled inside, and kept right on a raking the wrong way. I could imagine men in my life asking quietly what I was doing it that way for... but none of them would do more than discuss it and watch for the results. Yes, I do know there are wonderful women out there that would just thank me for cleaning up, and give me a cookie and a smile - or even a cup of hot coffee. But I have been programmed to think that doing something different would get loud noise from women... probably from sitcoms.

I  really should one day soon, decide to fix all the coming and current problems with my culture - as it is under attack by all those that know better than I.  Kind of like, we need a new Constitution to really eliminate the professional politician, make the elected representatives only represent their voters, and not have the idea of government as a way to get rich. The Clintons were right, they should all leave broke so they can start fresh in a real career.