Sunday, April 27, 2014

Listening to the Blues, falling asleep at the wheel...

Sunday evening and I listen to the Blues from KPLU while I drive back from Whidbey Island and the Coupeville Appleseed. I must talk too much, because I was tired enough to fall asleep again while waiting to load on the ferry in Clinton. Someone ran out and beat on my window to wake me up. I knew it couldn't happen twice, but it has.

I think back over the two days, and remember the good and bad stuff, I have to write a report and file it. Good that it was a safe shoot, bad that our only riflemen were only repeat riflemen (they had made rifleman before), but there was real improvement in everyone's performance. There were six youth, and they did the very best they could and shared in their families' experiencing the marksmanship and the heritage of the Revolutionary War. I made sure we had an opportunity to shoot a peppermint. That made a very young lady and her father very happy.

Of course the joy of bursting the peppermint could also be shared by the experienced Riflemen on the line, even to the point of offering to do another's candy. Two full AQTs on day one, and six on day two, four Redcoat targets, three sighting square, ball and dummy drill and all the Three Strikes and the basic three Dangerous Old Men stories. Did not shoot any Known Distance and this is a great range for a quick hundred meters demonstration shoot and practical application of Rifleman's Trajectory and bullet drop and rise. The shooters need better grounding in the basics, more study and dry fire and position practice.

I started Friday evening with the first day of a Revival at my church, and the speaker was great, subject was about being a good steward. And how the Lord will give you what you need for the call that He sends you, and you will not be wanting. I thanked the speaker and shook his hand, telling him I was going on my own mission in the morning, the Appleseed. My wife's pastor wanted me to bring another to the Revival during this weekend, but I was going to be where I could do the most good.

Drive and ferry ride were exactly as I expected, met Tracey at the gate and she told me she had ordered better weather (looked a lot like rain), but then she and I knew the Appleseed would happen anyway. So we starting setting up, Ralph came and added to the effort, Bob brought some breakfast and more help. We were on time and on schedule, only two No Shows.

I did too much talking, but I was very happy that Matthew took over nine hundred pictures on the first day, and an unknown but probably enormous amount on the second day. I am in so many more than if I had been the only photographer. He was also on top of handing out targets and assisting in anyway asked, he is still too young to be an Instructor in Training (IIT) but he has shot Rifleman. I think he will have to be my replacement one day in the future.

So as my medical tech asks, as she monitors my pacemaker's performance, have you done anything fun? the only answer is yes - I showed up and excelled. Who is telling this story anyway?

Friday, April 25, 2014

Every day, starts again, and I am still in wonder...

Picked up some flowers, looked at the new greens growths in the evergreens, dogs barked, a black Caravan honked at me and stuck an arm out the driver's window to wave as I walked along.

I think about changing back to the regular fifty star flag and taking the First Rebel Flag with me (Betsy's best) to Coupeville. I do have to pack out this afternoon after I refuel. I was about to exit for the YMCA, but my wife asked if I could wait and take some food to one of her friends for Korean social/hospitality reasons.

The answer is 'Yes, dear.' with a smile. I could sneak off and read some more adventures in the kindle. Or print out the shoot roster for the Appleseed (done!). Family groups, only six of twenty have done an Appleseed before, six are youngsters. No one is as old as I am, so I get the honors of age.

I was thinking about what could I do that would be a good thing when the world falls apart, what value would I have for society that could get me fed. In primitive societies everyone has a part. There were a lot of people doing the things I laughed about when I went to the University of Miami in 1967 - Basket Weaving. Or braiding, or knitting, or net making and mending, or goose herding. Everyone had something.

I would probably want to be the librarian/story teller. I don't eat too much now and have a great attitude to questions about how come we do it this way. Rick Santorem just called me about how to Take Back America. But America hasn't gone anywhere, I don't own it, and we will get what we work for and what we give away proudly. I recommend Love, always love.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The kitchen is closed tonight... did you hear me, yobo?

Ah, just more sweet nothings, yes, dear, I heard you. The kitchen is closed. I had a fine lunch at two, and have been nibbling and will knock out two Korean pancakes and I will stop eating long enough to nap, soon.

The rain has finally stopped a bit, the Sun is shining and I get to tell you how the Concealed Carry Permit renewal went. So smooth. First park and go to the Country Courthouse, where one gets the permit, or did ten years ago, and five years ago renewed at same. Go in the West doorway, where you may check your weapons and get a tag for pick upon your departure. No problem, metal items in that basket, weapons in this basket, walk through the metal detector. Easy, no conflict no problem. Then wander and find out that it isn't here any longer. Across the street in the 911 building. Okay, go back through gate, turn in check tag and get handed my weapons outside the metal detector. No questions, they do this daily.

Get a number for renewal of permit, fill out all the paperwork again, wait for call to show permit, photo ID, and pay 32 dollars for renewal and 3 dollars for lamination. I wash my wallet enough to believe in lamination. It will be coming to me in the mail in a few weeks - as soon as they check to see I am a fine fellow. Until then the current one hasn't expired. Civilization, is folks that use please and thank you. One customer was late on renewal, and the cost is more, but he was worried about keeping the same number. I never memorized mine but it is cool with lots of sevens and a pair of eights.

The car maintenance was fine, but they found more things to fix than I think I need this month, but the time is coming. If I win the Lottery I could buy a new car. If the world collapses I can walk when gasoline isn't around, or if the Chinese and Russians nuke us until we glow I don't need to worry.

I got myself a railroader's hat, it is cool. Just call me the brakeman.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Luckily, I don't write professionally, I don't seem to even write to be read...

Just have to get that off my mind and on to the monitor.

The nation is at the crossroads and there isn't a clear direction to go. If I want to dwell on metaphors we are stuck in the mud, and it is still raining. We wanted it all, bought it on credit, loaded it up on the wagon with the fine horses and went off down the road towards Easy Street. But the pot holes weren't fixed, the foundation has been corrupted and swept away, the highwaymen took all the valuables and cash. Leaving us, anything but high and dry, more like low and going lower. Wallowing in the mud and mire, since high and dry is for ships and I was working on station wagons or Conestoga's. (I drive a Caravan, see where I get stuck?).

Sent off the Plan of Instruction for this weekend's Appleseed, I have my shoot box, plus all the stuff I am carrying just in case. Lovely Coupeville, Washington. I catch the ferry at six, drive to the range and unload, set up and have a great two days of marksmanship and heritage. All the slots are filled, I need more instructors, but the pay is in satisfied smiles and that warms my soul, doesn't put potatoes on the plate. Still, it will work out, Lord willing and the creek don't rise.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

When did the NRA become so EVIL?

Ah, the demon Democrats did it. Or those that don't believe in the goodness of men or some other agents of CHAOS. Evil, just say the letters and my brother won't stand with them even when they are right.

Not that the NRA has stopped any murder conviction, nor have they lobbied for crazy tunes when no one wanted to sing. Just because they are the NRA, and they seem to buy government representative better than former Mayor of Madness Bloomberg. Then I do understand that fifty million dollars of fertilizer is going to make grass roots as deep as the Gun Lobby has... except the Gun Lobby has shooters and all kinds of gun lovers that don't put any money into causes, especially political ones. They just vote, demonstrate and expect to make every shot count. Or, and I often think this is the majority of the gun owners, they just go about their lives hoping no one bothers them in their activities with firearms -- but they aren't betting on it.

Kind of like the KKK demonstrating against the Jews, Catholics and other un-American races -- ideas that need to be looked at in the light of day. They weren't true nor worthy.

There are many bad ideas, false teachings, and evidence buried far from the light of day. Troubling times.

I think I will drive my wife to her eye operation, and read while I wait patiently. Wearing my reading glasses by Foster Grant. I did get my Rebel flag up yesterday, but I think I will go for the larger size next time and keep the two by three for a marching or demonstration guidon.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Uncomfort Zone... don't we all live in it?

I noticed the other day,  that I was getting comfortable being an old fat man, can't run, can't ... you name it and there are many things that I can't. What I found interesting was the idea that I wasn't comfortable being an old fat man - acceptance, I should be aware that I am more than what others and I see when I waddle, or limp, or walk down the street, but that I should accept what I am -- shouldn't I?  No, I am Earl, and I am a game changer... from the time my mother heard me breaking the crib slats so I could escape the afternoon nap (which I always thought was her rest time more than mine) to the jumping out of the second story window to escape to go down to see the circus parade... I wanted my way and I was going to reach it.

We work hard to make life good, adventurous and meaningful - and do best when challenged by being uncomfortable. I have been blaming women for civilization for years, men would still be living in caves hunting fishing drinking and swapping lies and brags and periodically paying attention to feminine companions. But no, women wanted more for their little piece of a man's life and the cave was cold and damp, and if they had to stay with the babies all day they wanted running water, fresh air and more of everything. Men are still stuck on hunting, fishing, drinking, swapping lies and brags -- they amount of time they listen to women has increased beyond measure - not that they are paying any more attention to them. Civilization has arrived.

Comfort sells: recliners, mattresses, a good night's sleep, snake oil medicines, pain relievers - words like easy, warm, dry, smooth, simple, and ready. Politicians use them constantly to assure the people they are being sensible, taken care of, and secure. But then politicians lie a lot, almost every time they open their mouths to speak. When the politician needs a vote, the language brings messages of comfort. When the politician needs you obey - the words will all strike fear into those listening.  Normally when trying to make a bad idea work.

So I am watching Helen of Troy on dvd, comparing and contrasting it with Brad Pitt's Troy and Homer's Iliad (in English verse). I am comfortable watching something unreal and still heroic, based on some long ago war between tribes in the bronze age - and Helen is hot and lightly dressed or totally naked periodically. If I could I would have merged the two visions of the war, no real humans nor animals were harmed in the making of this production - although the real story is based on human brutality. I have always told those that want to know what war is like, about and all - I have always told them to study the Iliad, it says it all.

Homer left out the sweating at the oars, the digging in and erecting camps, the wasting of the land the stench of the rotting dead that didn't matter enough to burn in honor, the screams of the wounded animals and men, the despair of the losers - panic, and the calming heroes standing against the discomfort of ruin and rape. He covered the important stuff - but real life and war is full of little problems, irritations and things to drive you to drink or anger or frustration - little uncomfort zones.

Best get out there and struggle against the overwhelming tide of time and truth... get into and destroy that which makes one's uncomfort zone. I just want to be loved... don't we all?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Who are you and what is going on?

I called in to a fine blogcast (?) called The Squirrel Report (Thurday evenings 8PM CDST), hosted by Alan Andrews and Breda Fallon - two people I have met in cyberspace - actually I have met Alan at Boomershoot, and was wondering at his strange love of those firearms he had. I have talked to Mike and then Breda while motorcycling madly through Cleveland on my way to a Dairy Farm in New York State (before the STATE became anti Liberty and 2nd Amendment).

So as we were talking they thought I should be a guest and answer questions. How do I become important enough to want to call in and talk with? What have I ever done? That I would talk about freely? Well most things I would talk about - don't ask me for the truth, I only know what I know and you know that isn't all there is to know.  About anything.

Born in Albert Lea, Minnesota moved to Ohio before kindergarten, and had to go into 1st grade without its benefit. Sigh, missed a whole year of education no wonder I am flawed. I got a Robin Hood Castle set for Christmas there, was baptized by my Grandfather, Reverend Earl Martin Smith, and we moved on to Pennsylvania. Eleven years in the Pennsylvania school system and I graduated. Kind of just barely, since I hadn't done the paper that Mr.Giboney was expecting and he required it. Yes, I did get it done, he was expecting it, and I graduated.  Not much to talk about there - I was a growing boy prepared in my own mind to run off to join Castro against Batista in Cuba, or to quit this waste of time high school and do something military with my life.

Off to college in Florida for one semester, rode my Harley Davidson both ways. Joined the Army and did the best I could for years and years and years and years. Did travel to foreign lands meet strange people and try my best to kill them, or look scary.

Why would anyone want to talk to me on a blogcast? what have I done they need an opinion on, a point of view, a closer look at? I did get married, and it stuck. I also have a very firm opinion of the government's ability to make my life better, as good as it can get and how to deny me what I am going to get on my own.

I have logged on to and asked for the DNA test, like they will find I am made of coffee and the Spirit of Liberty.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and unto God what is His...

Everyone can identify the coin with the Emperor's face on one side, then assumes there is something that God has given us that we can return for His glory.... but what is that? Another assumption is that it must be a coin, since anything else has little real value (okay, animals for sacrifice - but blood is such a juvenile view).

Silly folks, all God has given you is your life. An opportunity to serve Him. Oh, you could get out of the exchange cheap if you recognize that God has given you Love, shown you love and only expects your love - then remembering that you love, then you would lay down your life for that love - and the price became too high and you want to go back to the animals, crops and coins with the face of folly on it.

Sorry, I insist you concentrate on Love as your medium of exchange - works better than any Gorilla Glue at holding families together and dear. It builds stronger bonds of community than jealousy and fear will. Yeah, keep working on it, spread it around, depend on it and allow it free flow. Love comes back, or maybe it just binds the tie.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

After midnight... and all the

Shucks! Seems like I have lost another chance for Appleseed Instructor glory in April, 2014. The Poulsbo range decided that there just wasn't enough interest in the six that signed up. So they canceled. In May there is the Port Townsend range Appleseed with room for those shooters.

So I begin to wonder if I am driving folks away. It wasn't so long ago that we had a pretty nice Appleseed at Poulsbo.  Like: Poulsbo WA Sept 14-15 2013. It was only a week before we would have Port Townsend, WA. Are we scheduling too many? Isn't there enough 22LR ammunition? Have we reached all the shooters that want to learn? Or are they all still trying to recover from a seemingly long Wet Winter?

In two weeks, I will be at Coupeville, twenty shooters, and I must nudge some more instructors in that direction, we have got to get out of the Winter and into the shooting cycle. Well, like I said, it is after midnight, time to think seriously about sleep. I have to seriously think about getting into hunting season, walking daily, exercising vigorously (passed my pacemaker check this morning), and shooting straight with bouts of tracking and hunting for finding targets in the natural settings.... fun stuff. Good night and God bless all our best, the government will tax and claim all the rest.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

What is making you so slow? really?

Noticed this morning, that we didn't turn on the distraction box (cable) and our morning had more minutes in it for our use than normal. We got ahead of ourselves several times and could look back in wonder. I was considering turning off the computer at least for internet access for getting even faster - the speed of light was a very frightening potential result.

Off we went for church, and keeping that happy feeling going, good sermon (added to my Pastor's English 'lineage'). Just looked it up in the dictionary, which was way up high behind the boxes of .45APC. Don't ask for cataloging and book shelving sense in my computer cave, reach for more ammunition than word definitions? Any way he still appreciates it when I find a word he needs to work upon. So I freely gave it away.

Coffee and a doughnut I didn't need from my wife, I got her coffee with creamer and sugar. Told everyone the two weekends this month I wasn't going to be at church, so they adjusted things that could be for my participation - even after I told them they didn't need to... So the 19th will start with singing, and finish with Bible Study and prayer. The 20th is an Easter Service, where I could get baptized if I thought it would improve me. I don't.

Sunday School lessons were on Proverbs treatment of man and money. Good discussion and lessons to be learned. Went off to wait for seaweed soup and rice lunch, which would be after the Korean service finished. Not enough seats, so I stood and noticed they were selling hotdogs, or giving them away. I went to get one, and asked the price (50 cents) so I told them to give nine more away to children that were hungry. Which excited the pretty young ladies that were serving, love to light their eyes up. And I went back to standing, eating my hotdog with everything on it, and talking about what-evers with the other guys. Suddenly three children were holding their hotdogs and waving at me from across the fellowship hall. And later two young people came up to me and thanked me for the hot dogs they had. Nice to be thanked, but I did it for the feeding of the needy. Still remember the quiet polite boy watching others getting free hotdogs, waiting to be invited. So I went up to him and invited him.

It only takes a real invitation to make something happen. The picture is of my missed Appleseed event, yesterday. Drove 173 miles to a closed range and a non-event, then drove safely home thinking about the anti-gun goofs winning. For no better reason than they got the range closed, made sane people do foolish things like blame the tool for the troubles, or frightened off enough people that .22LR ammunition is held too dear to linger on shelves or warehouses. Doesn't matter, I have to keep inviting people to shoot, listen to the heritage and help. An invitation always there.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Land of the Free and home of the Brave...

Title comes from something else I wanted to write about, but Fort Hood, Texas is on the news. One, it is a sad thing that so many are dead and wounded or injured. And the shooter was a service member, a Veteran of the last of Iraq.

The story bothers me, because what has happened in the wars since Vietnam, is the idea that PTSD is everywhere in combat, and needs to be treated and disability applied. That last is where the money is, disability and treatment, untaxed dollars and lifetime privileges. So instead of like most wars, the wounded became a burden on the family or hidden from society in Veterans Homes, now people could make money from them, medical retirements and commissary and exchange benefits forever.

I know the wounded need medical, dental and rejoin polite society adjustments - not that I think re-joining polite society is the highest one should reach for. Still I do want them cared for, but ever since the German chemists and medical doctors started playing with humans to see how far they could go - I have been worried about the idea that a pill can compensate, for any ill. It has never been true, and it doesn't change because we have better chemicals, more science and more research. There are disclaimers on television advertising - side effects include, if you are having suicide thoughts, changes in mood or ... stop taking the medication and consult with a physician. They may put the warning there because of lawyers and law suits, but really it could be that all medications don't treat exactly the same thing in the same way in every patient.

So I always come back to you have to care for them, watch them and their reaction to the treatments - and it would be perfect if you would love your patients, to the point of willing to die for them, but I would be putting some stress on the providers.

While watching one of the exercise groups at the YMCA, I thought to myself that Zumba classes for two years might make the returning troubled veteran much happier than anything the doctors will do. It shouldn't hurt to try it, never saw so many happy sweaty exercisers in in rhythm!

For sure really talk to the vets, eye to eye contact - not looking at your PDA as you twitch your thumbs over the flirt that just showed up.

Never mind me, only someone from some of my wars understands - which is why those treating the wounded have some but not enough idea. And the best doctors and nurses all love their patients. I am not to be trusted, I have been missing my watch since I left the YMCA, several hours ago, and just found it on the other wrist. Sigh, I think I will put the real story of Noah in the VCR, where John Huston does it right.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

One date long remembered...

1 April, 1945. I know what my father thought about that day... long before I was born. So don't concern yourself with what you find today, check back tomorrow. I should focus on the normal and mundane there are bills to be paid and flower to see and sweat levels to achieve, my month long no upper body workouts is over, but I will go gently into the night.