Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Little old me, has shrunk two inches... but not in the waist... what a waste...

  I have likely  suffered a shrinkage of mental capacity that caused my head to be too heavy for the spine and, and Gravity is winning.  So, if the doctor's office is correct, and I am paying him, I am a little old five ten now. I did go in for a cough, very persistent one, and have been treated, now one more day of lolling around and I should be able to re-engage life as I knew it.

   I did some playing with old photos, and posted most to Face Book, and my brother says if they won't give him a way to opt out of interruptions for commercial value to Mark and Company, he will be leaving FB. A real guy. He hardly has time for FB, none of us do. I like to think I am there for the family and friend contact and pictures.

Warren, Ohio, baptism day. Picture taken by my grandfather, Rev. Earl Martin Smith, who would also baptize us. He was up from his church in Uruguay.

This picture is of the Loyalhanna Creek, Ligonier, PA, it ran right behind our home, and often ran into it when Spring floods came. I spent lots of time on the rocks, swimming in the pool below the falls at the top of the picture, and a little trying to fish. My father, built me a tree platform to hide and read in, since the one I started wasn't going to hold. He also built a canoe to ride the water with. Fishing was possible, but it never took with me.

The last picture is of my brother and I on the porch of the farm house we lived in.
West Mifflin, PA. It was like many old farmhouses, surrounded by the development built up when the farmers sold out and highways, shopping centers and sprawl made a modern world we still don't understand. We are wearing matching Robin Hood shirts from Richard Greene's program.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

This time I got to fish... and I don't as a rule...

Went to Twin Harbors State Park and found our Fish Camp group. Slept in the Caravan, amazing how much room there is without the back seats. Started to take pictures and found that I had not re-charged the battery the night before, nor that day either. So I paid more attention and saw and talked than just took pictures. Thursday, some of our party fished from the pier, and we all checked into the charter service. The rain clouds were rolling in so fishing was cut a bit short, but by the time we returned to the camp the weather was fine and steak dinners for everyone were prepared on the grill above the glowing embers. I was going to weigh twenty pounds more by the end of the camp on Saturday. Saturday woke early, dressed for wet weather, cold seas and ate breakfast. Then we took our coolers and lunches and went to meet the Charterboat Slammer.

We got a polished inbriefing and rules of the boat speech by the Captain, then we cast off and went to sea.

First stop, fishing for flounder to use as bait for the bigger game which was LingCod, an an uglier fish is difficult to imagine. Being my first time, I was happy to learn how to use the reel and by chance catch two flounder. It was a start.

After enough bait gathered, off we raced (?) to find the LingCod and another class in how to hook the bait fish and the tactics and techniques to catch the LingCod.  Too Many Words but as soon as he was on the fishing site, we dropped hooks and let the sinkers pull the bait and line deep. And if we weren't too crowded, salmon didn't strip the bait, or the LingCod decide it didn't want caught and sheared the line - well, if they knew what was going on the Lingcod started coming up and cluttering the deck as the hands pinned them and tossed into the catch hold.  When there were enough LingCod for two per fishermen - they stopped fishing and got ready to work on Rock Fish.  New rods and reels (just when I had the old set working), lighter line for bottom fishing, still using sinkers.

Rock Fish and Salmon jumped on the bait and we reeled them in, over a hundred in the Skippers report. I only caught two bait fish, one LingCod, and one Rock fish. Not that I wasn't trying, I was. I had tangled line, I had caught gulls and others - the gulls stayed in my mind when they cried upon being caught, so human...

We tried a couple of Rock Fish areas and then finally went back in happy in the day, the weather and the opportunity. I tipped the boat boy, he had cleaned all the fish for required customers. Smooth operation all around, departed at seven am, came back at 6:12 pm. I had spent most of it rolling with the waves and helping a bit all around.

Back to the camp ground where we were warmly welcomed, some of our wives couldn't help but thinking that something had to have been wrong with our trip.

I took a hot shower, changed and went to sleep - such is a great day on the water on wearing this one out. The pictures posted were all lifted from the Facebook pages, and only the second one is of some of our fishermen that did very well. I know now more about filleting a fish, sharp knife and practice with get it all cleaned and bagged on the way back from the fishing holes in the sea.

Cleaned up the camp today, still telling tales of what we did and how great it was, and packed and drove back home into normal every day, not much happening. When I got here checked the email and found three alarming emails about my brother being admitted to the hospital in Spokane on Wednesday but he was released by Friday to continue his adventures. My sister had finally made it to Sherry's home (our niece) in South Dakota - and she is already talking about the long drive back to Winston-Salem, NC. The price of fuel hasn't stopped my family from moving on. May they all have safe return trips.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Riding off into the mist.. misty memory of a great visit...

He paid his bet off, convinced me to ride around the Olympic Peninsula on our bikes, and we had a great time.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

So he is here, what to do now... well, get him off his bike...

   There are a couple of motorcycles on this street beside my own, which has a low to dead battery now, but they all rumble since they stir testosterone up, my brother's bike shows up quietly and politely. And he is wearing this glaring reflective yellow motorcycle jacket. I won't ask but that makes me believe he doesn't want to pass un-noticed as he rides to survive the folks not watching out for him. He rides much more, and has longer than I so what ever he is doing works.

   He got off the bike, we hung the jacket in the closet to brighten the world of the waiting not totally forgotten clothes that make us men.  A glass of water, quick discussion of plans for the evening, and we start talking. It is catchup time.. last time we saw each other was last Summer in Rochester Minnesota, for Dungeys and especially our aunt Velva. Which was my last long motorcycle trip, and pre-Borg pacemaker planting.  When I drop a note on Facebook about we are talking like two Dungey men will (non-stop) it got immediate likes from my cousins and family that know about trying to get a word in edgewise.. oh, how our ladies suffer (or laugh about that).

   We go off to the Men's Bible Study, where I lightly introduce him around, somehow he figures out we are all retired military, friendly and familiar. We discuss the lesson, reading Bible passages and pray, after singing three of the good old hymns. By final prayer time, any requests come out for others. Then we go to gather at the feasting table - which I am sure is more of a hook to a couple of the men than the Bible study, the food is always various, and good and seconds are encouraged, and still our wives will take the excess home. I got two apple pie servings with softening vanilla ice cream - perfect Summer night. More talking over food, more solving the world's problems while checking out how we have been since the last study, yes we do meet in church, but talking is difficult there, too much doing and going on. Say good-bye, back home and Wynn moves the bike to the street for parking overnight. Takes his stuff off and brings it inside. Another hour of talking when he announces that he is done at 11:03 Mountain time zone (home court time), He goes to bed and I go to the internet and then go off to sleep, too.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

My brother called from Spokane, only about five hours away...

 He is on his way, on his own trusty motorcycle - what a young fool is he... he had just finished Yellowstone with his son and daughter-in-law and is whirlwind touring. With good winds and smooth sailing he should be able to see both his sisters in Box Elder, SD. Folks from New York have no idea of the distances around the Great NorthWest and great plains... it is all flyover country to them. His home base is Aurora, Colorado.

  The weather is fine so only construction and traffic and tired will slow him on the way here.  I am having fun watching years of stuff, being unstuffed and marching to other storage spots in the home... always have needed motivation to move procrastination piles.  Two major thoughts emerge, I think I am watching an episode of Hoarders and my wife and I are really just two little old folks. When she was searching for the best linen to put on the guest bed I was sure we could have filled some more donation boxes for charity - I am always sure, she is always sure she can't let things go, we might need it.

  I find myself posting on Face book that I thank the LORD for my KNOWING that a soft answer turns away wrath, and amazed that I was so long married when I was still stupid. She is better than I.

Have burned enough hours and still he isn't here, but he is getting closer..

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Ghosts of RWVA Appleseeds in the future, in the great NW...

  So in August:  Stevenson, WA 2-3 August 2014 space for 14 to 24
                        Medical Lake, WA 9-10 August 2014 space for 20
                        Nampa, ID         23-24 August 2014 space for 25

        in Sept     Ariel, WA  6-7 September 2014 space for 26
                        Lewiston, ID 6-7 September 2014 space for 28
                        Port Townsend 13-14 September space for 25
                        Custer, WA    20-21 September space for 25
                        CdA. ID 20-21 September space for 24
                        Eagle Creek, OR  20-21 September space for 35
                        Blackfoot, ID 20-21 September space for 30

      in Oct        CdA, ID 18-19 October space for 24
                       Rexburg, ID? 18-19 space for 25
                       Coupeville, WA 25-26 space for 20
                       Springfield, OR 25-26 space for 30
                       Nampa, ID 25-26 space for 25

     in Nov       Port Townsend, WA 8-9 November space for 25
                      Eagle Creek, OR   15-16 November space for 35
                      Ariel, WA  22-23 November space for 26

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The last of the cool for today...

 It is morning just before 9:15 here, and the last of the cool is being burned off by the Sun. I have been in hotter places - Vietnam and Saudi Arabia come immediately to mind, and I have never been to Death Valley although because of Twenty Mule Team Borax I always knew how hot it was there.

  I am recommending reading of American Spring, by Walter R. Borneman. The kindle edition is in my library, and I find more than I had from Paul Reveres Ride. Of course, I would say the point of this book isn't the same as Paul Reveres Ride unless you count wanting to have a best seller as the point. But it gives a better idea of the English and characters.  Always seek for more information, and wisdom to know what might be too much to tell.

  I am preparing a 'Ghosts of the RWVA' blog post. But don't hold your breath. It is Summertime and everything is on the procrastination pile.

Monday, July 14, 2014

My last Appleseed at Port Townsend, WA....

  I had perception problems before I ever showed up. Only two instructors signed up for the Appleseed until just a couple days before it happened. So I had my thought process in only two of us, only two of us -- and paulw and I would have made it happen, safely and to standard, but that was where my mind locked. I had heard Jay would be there, home court for him, but he hadn't signed up. Kimber Custom mentioned he was coming if given permission - luckily he got it. So we had three fully qualified, and one still learning IIT1, all eager to have a great Appleseed and my mind was still locked into lack of instructors...

  I want to blame the decided lack of Shoot Bosses and instructors on the trail in the state of Washington. I am sure that Rizzin could describe the feeling better, being often the only Shoot Boss and instructor at the little ranges and venues. But when I look at the list of Shoot Bosses, Instructors and IITs I try to think about where I saw some of them last... have they dropped out? moved to California? just having some scheduling issues or whatever.... as I told a shooter as he told me his problem with his performance, don't start off by practicing your excuses, and neither should I. I hadn't adjusted and wasn't going to overcome my mental block until I was slapped up side of the head by hearing Ben tell me that he hadn't driven four hours to watch a two and a half hour Earl show with a shooter as a bad demonstrator, use what I had or he was going home. BAM! That helps unlock my mind.

  So we settled into total participation, paulw and Kimber Custom adjusting and loaning equipment, all the instructors going down to teach talking targets, shrinking groups, and Jay monitoring the line while we were down on the target line or instructing the shooters. Lots of raw talent on the shooters side, and some completely new to what we instruct. I did not get two scored AQTs on the first day, but one was enough and the heat and sun were taking it out of the shooters. All three strikes told, paulw had provided the Battle Road banners, Kimber Custom demonstrated the Brown Bess with bayonet, and described the loading and functions, paulw had his flintlock rifle. We got the last Red Coat target of the day shot, cased rifles and cleaned up told everyone how to prepare for the morning. Said goodbye to the father son team that had another engagement on Sunday (until their next Appleseed).

  I went out with the crew to eat at Doc's on the end of the road in Port Townsend, good food, remember it is tourist season and you will pay, but it is good food.  Talked about the good and bad, needs improvement while we guzzled ice water and appetizers, then dropped the paperwork into the wind and ate heartily.  Table cleared and shadows lengthening with the cooling breeze sat and talked some more. Then I took Jay up on his offer of sleeping on his boat, where Kimber Custom had spent Friday evening. I don't recommend watching All is Lost by Robert Redford before sleeping on a moving boat, but really this one was solidly moored and after talking with Kimber Custom I fell deep into sleep for three to four hours before getting up to see the moon over the marina. There are also hot showers available on the shore and they take the kinks out.

  Day two, I was the Shoot Boss, allowing (encouraging?) the other instructors to take over. They did all the Dangerous Old Men stories, Kimber Custom had his one round drills for sharpening the transitions and reloading the second magazine - I think that it made a difference to most of the shooters and their AQTs, The shooters with the most problems were trying to fix everything each shot or forgetting important steps variously and not consistently.  More dry practice and study is called for. I will have to recommend not using aiming point devises, not for marksmanship.

  One of the RSOs that has been observing our Appleseeds made sure there are now dry camp grounds for shooters and instructors with the clubhouse bathroom facility. So the club is supportive, kind of, I am still mift about no photographs without written permission. But really, they do want shooters and events and like that we haven't been a real burden.

  Had one jammed case that got caught by the locking lugs on the AR bolt, had to take the rifle off the line to get it cleared and functioning again. Didn't know there was a Safety Table, went to what looked like one, was directed by an excited Club RSO to the proper one. Then I disassembled the AR, cleared the case, and reassembled, check the bore, ran a function check and put the rifle in a range safe condition and got it back to the line where if functioned just fine the remainder of the day. What I was amused about was how certain and quick my hands were on the AR, I will never buy one nor own one, but I was carrying one and teaching about it too many years to have anything but sure comfortable familiarity with it.

  We ended up with a repeat Rifleman with a few higher than 240 scores.  And a totally new Rifleman with a 235 and a 210 score. As hot as it was we still had many shooters with very high scores (knocking on the door) and with some practice and study will be earning that patch at another Appleseed.  Of remarkable note, or notable enough to remark about this Appleseed had the best final Red Coat target of the four shot. Usually everyone is too tired and wanting to get home, but this time they really settled into it and performed as well regulated shooters should.

  Pack up, say good-bye and drive on home - finding the other instructors chiming in on Facebook posts that they made it also.... Facebook has arrived.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

I came to the realization, weeks ago, that I can enjoy a story again, and again, and again...

because I get older and what I look for in the story changes in my reading of it. Which is very helpful with something like the Bible, for the stories from my childhood in the Bible were much too simple for this complicated old man. I see all the shades of gray, only blackening my sights for ease of focus.

  I have also decide they don't make them like that anymore. Political thought, reason, logic, science - it does seem to change mightily with time. I watched Drums along the Mohawk, Unconquered, and Revolution:Revisited. First I found out that the first two were made in color - although I had only seen them in black and white on our family television. Then I found that Revolution was a 1985 film which didn't play well, they added narration in about 2005 and re-released it (Revisited). I highly recommend the only battle scene as it was done very well.

  There were lots of movies from the thirties and forties and fifties that were portraying honor, over coming evil and living independently on sound faith and trust in fellow man. I truly wonder if Daniel Boone had been a government project instead of a man taking his family and friends into Kentucky against the unknown - if there would have been anything but hidden hollows of escaped indentured servants west of the Alleghenies. Luckily the only government project, the Crown keeping expansion from creeping over the mountains, was already too late and the people were flowing - no borders until the Pacific Ocean would stand up to the pulse of people.

  When there are supposed to be families investing in the dangerous route across Mexico to flee the drug havens and cartel wars in Central America - I keep thinking all we need to do is publish Chicago crime stories - drug haven and cartel wars in Chicago - have to publish them in Spanish.

 Discussing it with another man, he doesn't buy doing it for the children the route is too dangerous for a child, if you worried about them you would take the whole family and leave the place of danger. I suggested that if your child would end up sponsored by an Anglo and live without Spanish, no possibility of bringing the family to the USA - that also might be a reminder that bad things can happen to children as refugees.

  Should the United States welcome these refugees? Sure, then immediately ship them to Syrian refugee camps in Turkey and Palestinian refugee camps in Gaza. They know how to keep a refugee population under control and under desired. Or since they are children, send them to one of those Southeast Asian countries known for providing sexual slavery of the very young.  Or assign them to Presidential Libraries for their education in America and see which ones prosper fastest.

Monday, July 7, 2014

I have eleven years left on this battery...

not really sure about the body surrounding it, but the pacemaker tech says I show eleven years worth of battery, as long as I don't change radically under it. So off to the YMCA, to knock out more bicycle-like miles up and down hills. I did three routes for the current competition (I am only doing it for the emblem on my trophy case) for my team I am ahead of all, but by the time everyone finishes they will have spent less time on the bike and be ahead of me - which is why I have to go early - slower but doing two to three routes to stay ahead.

In the mailbox, mail for my neighbors, one credit union statement for me and four DVDs and one lock blade knife from China with an interesting spring action. The DVDs I picked up Drums along the Mohawk, Unconquered, Revolution Revisited, and 2016. The first of which I will watch tonight after I have finished making my lawn civilized. My wife has such patience.

I woke to a dream of my wife calling for me from outside the bedroom, but as I woke I checked the bed and she was still there, so I went back to sleep. I told her about it in the morning, she was sure it was a bad sign - she has all her country girl superstitions. She told me that her dream was about me and a girl friend - I ignore those entirely. What I wanted to know but didn't ask - don't dare ask - wasn't if my girl friend was beautiful in her dreams - what I wanted to know was I still the old toothless balding fat man she was having breakfast beside. Nah, it is difficult enough without Joseph or Daniel to know the importance of a dream, but never ask questions you don't want others to ponder, nope.  All my girl friends have always been better than I deserve, and there are rules about living with other humans in peace that one never violates.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

As I finish the blueberry pancakes my wife made me yesterday...

   ... I have time to think about where I was before she realized I was among the missing.

I had gotten up early, loaded my Marlin LTR into the caravan and driven a hundred and thirty-four miles to Ariel Appleseed. I was early, it was locked up and quiet in green stillness, only a rabbit and I walked the morning on the quiet range. Kenjo would show up to unlock but by then the rabbit and I were ignoring each other. Janer and Shadowman came and everyone started unloading and setting up. Mostly I stayed out of the crew's way. It was their shoot, and I was a shooter.

  The shoot rolled right along, the Shoot Boss loves people, Appleseeds and spreading the word. So as a last comment for the day I told him  "Too many words."  I haven't trimmed my Historic stories enough, unless I am under the time gun - but I have gotten to the point of presenting enough stuff quickly, that they will have to check their research notes, our flyers, and another Appleseed to see it settle into the fabric of their shooting life. KenJo sent (an email) advice and important preparations to the shooters before this Appleseed. And still they come unprepared. Which is the way we meet life, totally unprepared, and we have to adapt and overcome.

  I shouldn't write about others' preparations, my Liberty Training Rifle has hated rear sights since I picked it up at the gunshop missing a set. I bought and replaced them, and found the Loctite works for a little while, and then the evil imp makes life loose and out of sorts. My sights kept moving, although 75% of my first morning shots were not exactly as they should have been, but I could see the sights sliding back. After a ball and dummy drill with Jeff as my coach I was walking my self through the steps of making the shot, in rifleman's cadence on the NPOA, which brought me back to making better shots by the AQT, only one for record for me. I did fire the final Redcoat, but sure enough as I got out of the sling, the rear sight was on the matt saying, Liberty or death.

  I was very pleased with my magazine switch, and picking up NPOA, and getting all ten rounds off on stage 2 and 3, and most were where I needed them. My standing was adequate, all ten rounds in the dark 4 and 5 areas. So I need more dry practice on positions and rifleman's cadence. I did very well on the stove pipes and one attempted double feed. If you are paying attention clearing them and settling back into NPOA and rifleman's cadence comes quickly and you will be done in plenty of time. I did shoot Jeff's target once, but caught myself after the shot and went back to my target.

  I got hit by Jeff's brass many times but it didn't stick, when in the standing position one of my 22lr brass ejections hit my relaxed support fingers, bounced and settled in my palm to cool. I continued my shot after I turned my support hand up ninety degrees to allow the brass to drop free and returned to cadence.
Two minutes is a long time, plenty of time for great shots and adjustments.

   I really enjoyed the time spent practicing what I preach and proving to myself that it all works and it is the way. I still get a kick out of listening to others tell the three strikes, to meeting the shooters and seeing what they are shooting, and how well it is working for them. Families sharing their skills and just doing stuff together in the great weather, it is all good stuff.

This day is ending well, I have mounted and am sure that the rear sight is no longer going to slip off, I will keep watching it. Another day I will zero it again and make sure it is hitting where I have set it. IMC the only way to make proper corrections.

Friday, July 4, 2014

I was right, sitting here on a beautiful day, a holiday...

  I heard the rumble and lift and dump of the garbage truck coming down the street. It is the day the nation celebrates Independence. But we are still going about our business, cause we can. Happy Fourth of July! comes from Facebook friends and family... but England has a fourth of July, and if my memory were better I could tell you Germany has a fourth of July, they just spell it better. No, today is not about the date - today is about the idea that was written commented upon, edited and finally approved. So we could hang together as men with unalienable rights? You have to be prepared to die for your beliefs - you don't want to but you know the price of tyranny thwarted.

  Or do you? Do you really know what the words meant then, what the words mean now, or are you content to allow others to tell you what equal means? The Declaration of Independence

  Well, I have to go to the YMCA, trim and cut the grass, clean my rifles and get ready for shooting at an Appleseed tomorrow in Ariel, Washington. So you can see I won't have time to fire off rockets, although I will watch the fireworks from home on the cable with a glass of onion wine. I do believe in those ideas expressed on 2 July, 1776 in Philadelphia long ago and so far away. Hope you do, too. Liberty is so much more than just freedom.

  Maybe the English do celebrate our Independence Day, after all, we aren't dependent on their bounty nor the crumbs from their table, I have to believe that Abraham Lincoln's father was pleased when his son got his majority, at twenty-one, but would always miss the income Abraham gave him from his work. He was still family and a father has pride in the children's accomplishments. Maybe England does celebrate.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

I am about done with Facebook but I have to wish a cousin a happy birthday...

No, I won't quit Facebook, but I stopped my gaming on it, and got someone upset that I thought the government shouldn't be telling people what they have to do. I am in such a minority.

I did get to see all the pictures that Matthew took of the Appleseed, they were great.  So I grabbed about five to decide what my new avatar on Facebook would be, allowing all my FB friends and family to chose the one.

 Just coolin' out watching the line.
                                                    About to demonstrate the Hasty Hasty sling.  This is the one that many thought was most like they remembered me. Notice the fine gun control, as I talk to the shooters behind me following AS first safety rule. Always keep the muzzle in a safe direction, and the third, keep your finger off the trigger until the sights are on the target.

My sister liked this one, I thought it was a bit preachy, but she said it was most like our father. I was honored.

This one talking targets with Jasmine, represents what I think is greatest about Appleseed, and I really like this picture. Smiling, all my reward in their faces, especially since I remember how hesitant she was before the first shot. She showed steady improvement both days.

The one for places they don't know my face. I have an idea they have all the pictures for photo recognition they need, and since I do so little to annoy them I am not concerned when they notice me.