Adventures of a Modern Day, Middle-Aged Hero, on the Glory Road(to family security)



I have to crank this out now, in case there is some kind of late solution that blows my mind on this Government Funding Bill. 

Truthfully, I thought we would have had a solution by now.  I figured that the Republicans would punt on this issue for now, and the dig in over the debt ceiling extension.  I'm actually somewhat impressed that they are digging in now, instead of kicking the can down the road, even if it is only a month.

However, I am unimpressed by the Republican'ts because they are digging in over a one year delay.  Once you flinched on the 'total repeal' of the ACA, why dig in over a year delay?  So we can do this all over again next year?  I was much happier with the all or nothing approach they initially adapted.

As for the Demorats, the Republican's flinched by coming down from a total repeal to a 1-year delay...now you compromise by agreeing to a 4-6 month delay.  You can agree to this based off an earlier speech by Boehner when he said one of the main Republican's objections to the ACA was a lack of information...that we were getting ready to implement it and NO ONE really knows what it means.  So...seize on those words, and offer a 4-6 month delay, which websites are established to 'learn people up.

Personally, I am the type who feels this argument is over.  The time has come to give Obama what he wants...fund his law, and in 5 year, point to what a failure it is.  Now, granted, that will cause much health care pain, but it also requires a long-term view by politicians. 

Finally...I really don't see what the Republicans think they can gain out of this.  Yes, it is making their core base support happy...but we have proven the last few years that the Republican core is not a large enough population to win an election.  At a time when the Republicans need to be moving towards the center to gain moderate votes...this isn't getting that done. 

In the end, I'm not too worried about a shut down.  Just wait until after a snow storm, and see how many government workers stay home because they are 'non essential' people.  If they can stay home when it snows, they can stay home and not get paid for a few days. 

Then things can get really exciting next month when we start talking about the debt ceiling.

Real Hunting Hurts.

Okay...last hunting post for the week, then we'll get on to important things like ZOMG GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWNS!

In the past, I've made no bones about the fact that I look down upon the concept of 'road hunting'...you know, those guys you see slowly cruising the back roads, waiting for a deer/elk to jump out so they can shoot it and drag it ten feet to the back of their 2-wheel drive, car chassis based SUV.  If you want to call it 'road tag filling', fine...but it's not hunting.

I even say this as someone who shot his deer from the road last year.  Not from the truck, not using the truck as a rest(which is highly against the rules)...and not from a paved road,but as someone who spent over 8 hours running around the fields and Palouse while seeing few deer, I then saw a couple of does 40 yards or so off the dust rutted dirt road between to farms on the way back in to town.  They were nice enough to stand and look dumbly at me while I got out of the truck, and stepped off the road towards them.  While I was happy to fill my tag, it wasn't the hunting experience(or the story you could tell over beers) that I was hoping for.

This year was different.  I bagged both of my does hunting, the first one suicidally sitting through a thunder storm in a patch of sage brush, the 2nd one a half-mile hike up a draw.  I keep a tarp and some rope in my back pack, so I was able to rig up bit of a 'sled' for the first one, and having only 300-400 yards of relatively flat ground, I was able to get it to the truck in one piece. 

This last weekend was tougher.   While in general, gravity was on my side, as the truck was downhill from where I shot the deer, gravity was also the enemy.  The bottom of the draw was choked full of underbrush, and so the only way in and out was walking along game trails in the side of the hill.  The deer in it's tarp didn't want to cooperate.  I barely made it about 50 yards before I got tired of having to drag the deer 4 feet back uphill each time it tried to roll down hill.  Finally...I gave up, and had to cut the deer in half, which enabled me to totally bundle it up in the tarp, making it easier to control.

Of course, then I had to make the trip multiple times...and the front half still was a major pain in the ass.  And it continues to be a major pain in the ass, because I'm not in the shape I should be.   I know once I gutted her, that doe probably didn't weigh much more than 100 pounds, and once I split her in half, the individual parts were even lighter,  but my hamstrings and gluteus maximus's are ON FIRE today.

Boy, maybe there is something to that 'road hunting'...or not getting old, or out of shape.


Why we can't have nice things.

Lesson for the future...when using your SOG Revolver to cut through the backbone of a deer(because you aren't man enough to get it out in one piece), don't say 'that's close enough...I'll just pry it the rest of the way'. 

Now I have an excuse to buy a new toy!

Two for Two.

On my way through the town of Pomeroy at 5AM yesterday morning, a nice looking 4 point buck chased a 2 pointer across Main Street, and two does were following so close behind them I thought I was going to fill my doe tag with the grill of my truck. 

It looked like that was going to the story of my day...deer in places I couldn't shoot them. 

The Mayview GMU is all farm land.  Roughly a quarter of it is locked up by Deadman Creek Outfitters, a guide service/private hunting club.  The remainder is split up equally between land being posted no hunting, not posted/hunting by written permission(I group these the same), and then about 10,000 acres being posted 'feel free' to hunt.

Eastern Washington farm country is a little different than the flat squares farmed in the mid-west...it's fully of draws and ravines...the folks around Walla Walla are experts at hill side farming.  Last year, I found a couple of nice looking draws on one of the 'feel free to hunt' farms, and actually jumped a couple of bucks in one of them.  I hunted that same area yesterday, coming up empty in the morning and afternoon, while seeing over 30 deer dancing on the other side of fences I didn't risk shooting over on my way into and out of town.

Persistence paid off though, and as I headed back into that same tired draw in the afternoon, I saw a pair of ears sticking up over a hill side.  I sat right down, and waited, doing my best 'I'm a clump of weeds' impression.  I didn't see her running back up the hill, and after about 10 minutes I started to loose hope...but then I saw her starting come out of the draw about 80 yards away, right on one of the major game trails.  I almost took the shot then, but she kind of stopped, and drifted back down the trail in my direction.  For 15 minutes, she drifted down the trail in my direction, finally hitting the point of closest approach at about 40 yards.


Heading to the wheat fields.

Loading up the truck, and getting ready to do the whole 'early to bed, early to rise thing', with the goal being to be out of the house by 3:30AM so I can be in the wheat fields near Pomeroy before the sun comes up.

It would be nice to home by Saturday night, but just in case I've got reservations to rough it at the Pioneer Motel in Pomeroy.  I've got to ease into this camping out thing before elk hunting next weekend. 

I'm not political...I'm just cheap!

So...my facebook is full of people looking to 'vote with their wallets', urging a boycott of Barilla Brand Pasta based on some fairly anti-homesexual comments the companies Chairman made on Italian Radio earlier this week.

Me?  The reason I haven't bought any Barilla lately is that the store brand stuff is cheaper...and I think that dry pasta is dry pasta. 

If Barilla starts feeling some financial crunch, and offers up a 'too good to ignore' deal....I'm probably going to find it 'too good to ignore'. 

Which means I'll go from being an 'accidentally' good guy, to an 'on purpose' bad guy.  But a bad guy with a good supply of cheap pasta. 


My eyes! They are leaking!

It got really dusty in the room at about the 1:30 mark, and then just got dustier when I found out that the kitten was brought to an vet later on that day, and passed away due to lung damage.

I still hope the firefighter in question hasn't had to pay for his own beer this month...

Semper Fi

Well done, Marine.

Car thief caught in the act killed in gun battle with former Marine

The hero of our story, a former Marine, noticed someone acting suspicious around his truck, so he decides to take his dog for a walk and dog a little investigating.

There he finds the not-hero of our story, high on meth, driving a stolen Honda, accompanied by a young lady with a felony warrant out in her name.  A confrontation ensues, with words being exchanged and eventually guns being drawn.  Shots were fired, and glory be, the former Marine shot straighter. 

I'm okay with it.  You are allowed to confront someone who tries stealing your vehicle.  If he then draws a gun, and you draw your gun to defend yourself...well, based on initial reports, the police seem to think it was a justified shooting, and his aunt thinks he's a hero, so who am I to argue with that. 


I ain't brave enough.

The Hanford site has three traffic gates leading onto it.  Right now, the work site I am at allows me to use the least busy of those, which involves a long run rest out of Richland through the desert in Highway 240. The speed limit on 240 is roughly 1/10th the speed of light, or so you would think by the way people drive. 

Strangely, police seem okay with this, and tend to stay away from the Hanford commute(although, they do show up during weekends and holidays, and Holiday Weekends).  I think they are trying to catch folks like me, who have become totally complacent of the posted 65MPH speed limit.

Now me, even during the week, I have a pretty low pain thresh hold.  I lock the cruise control in at about 72MPH, and if I catch up to someone,  I pass them.  If someone passes me, so be it.

Yesterday morning, I was bombing along at my normal speed, and gaining on a black BMW 328i.  As I got closer, and began to think about passing, I noticed he had a personalized Washington license plate, that was pretty much to the point.


Yeah...I've seen Final Destination enough times to know that the right thing to do was drop the cruise control down to about 68, and just cruise behind him until I got to the Hanford gate.


Can't say she doesn't listen...

A few weeks ago, I was shocked...SHOCKED I say, to see than Safeway was charging over $9 a pound for Oscar Meyer bacon. 

When I got home from the store, I told my wife what I had seen, and told her we need to keep an eye out for a source of bacon at a 'stock up' price.

Earlier today, she called me and said she found out that Albertson's had 'slab bacon' priced at under $3.50 a pound, and asked me how much she should get.  I told her 'lots', since I'm helpful.

She didn't disappoint....but then again, she never does.  I came home to find FIVE 5-pound slabs of sliced bacon waiting for me.  Working together, we burned through almost two rolls of parchment paper, most of a roll of Saran Wrap, and 100 yards of aluminum foil breaking it down into more user friendly packages to put in the freezer.

That should last a couple of months, anyway.

Ooo...I makes a pretty!

Lazy Sunday at home today, but it wasn't spent drinking beer and watching football.

Well, at least not just drinking beer and watching football...I was watching football, drinking Duschetes Black Butte Porter, and canning up some pickled pepper rings.

Unable to find a source of just banana peppers, my wife went ahead and bought whatever she could find for a good price at the local co-op...mostly Anaheim's, but I then got my hands on some bells and sweet peppers, because I thought jars of just Anaheim's might be a little hotter than what I was looking for, which is simply a home-produced replacement for the jars of Mezetta Pepper rings that I go through on burgers, dogs and sandwiches. 

The fact that all those multi-colored pepper rings resulted in something that is actually pretty is just a side benefit.  Maybe now I won't need to hide them in the dusty garage...


Make them stop!

Okay...I've officially decided that someone needs to design an off switch(or at least a pause switch) for chickens.

Even with the girls having scrambled eggs for breakfast/lunch a few times a week, and a dinner at least once a week, we just can't keep up with the production from 5 chickens.

I foresee a time in the immediate future where some of friends are going to really start liking us. 

I suppose I could get on craigslist and try to make a couple of bucks a week, but I'd rather just give them to friends...there are some folks we know with 3 or 4 kids...a dozen eggs would be appreciated there. 


I warned her.

Earlier today, I went to the gun range with my daughter.  She has expressed a strong interest in being able to go deer hunting with me next fall, and so I want to get her ready to go to Hunters Safety Glass in the spring. 

Even though we have made a handful of trips to the range already, I really haven't taken her much beyond the 'being satisfied to make a hole in the piece of paper' point.  I also haven't had her shoot anything really big yet...90% .22, and then a few rounds of .38 out of my lever-action Marlin. 

Both of these things are going to have to be addressed before she can go deer hunting, so during the previous week, I took the scope off 'my wife's' .270, and installed it on the .243 barrel of my daughters Rossi. There isn't anything fancy about it...it's a Nikon Pro-Staff 2-7 variable...should be plenty of scope for a year or two of doe hunting(there are several areas in Eastern Washington where 'youth' can shoot does). 

So...all that being said, today was the first time she actually sat down behind her new rifle with the .243 barrel on it. I tried to warn her that it was going to kick more than anything she had shot so far.  I checked the way she was leaning over the gun several times, telling her to socket the stock home against her shoulder, and that the tighter she held it, the less it would kick...

In the end though, it was going to be up to her to pull the trigger when she felt good and ready.

She wasn't ready when she pulled the trigger. 

The scope didn't catch her, which is nice(my wife cut her forehead with the exact same scope once)...she just didn't have the gun seated well when she pulled the trigger, and it kind of snapped back into her.

To her credit, she didn't cry, even though I knew she wanted to.  She didn't do anything unsafe with  the gun either.  She just put the safety on, set it down, and rubbed her shoulder a bit...and kind of decided she was done for the day. Made me glad I waited until we were almost done to swap the .243 barrel on.

Next time...she will be a little more ready, and maybe I can actually get her to fire off a group. 

I'm a sucker.

I know that the whole point of a commercial is to make you want to buy what they are selling.  Every once in a while though, a commercial comes around that REALLY makes you want to buy the product they are selling, even if it is just as a way to reward the exceptional wit and humor in the commercial.

This is one of those times. 

One of the folks that wrote the dialogue for this one had to be a sailor once upon a time.  I haven't heard that kind of vocabulary used in a long time. 


Getting ready for winter.

Yesterday my wife did a volunteer shift at the local food co-op we belong to.  Of course, she couldn't not buy stuff while she was there...and one of the things she bought was a HUGE bundle of kale...WAY bigger than anything that came out of my spring container garden. 

Well, since she bought it, I had to do something with it...and with overnight lows dipping into the low 40's, it's starting to feel like soup weather, so, soup it is! 

However, due to some family obligations(soccer practice, craft night, the world famous Sausage Fest tomorrow in Richland)...we really didn't need soup for dinner, so, instead I broke out a few pounds of potatoes, a pound of sausage, and half a pound of bacon to make some Sausage Kale and Potato Soup for canning..  In the normal course of things, I would add pepper flakes and heavy cream to this and serve it up as faux Olive Garden Zuppa Tuscana, but the heavy cream...it doesn't can up so well. 

It actually tastes pretty good without the cream...but adding cream to the finished product while it's being reheated does effect the mouth feel. 

As always, the worst part of pressure canning is the waiting.  Getting up to pressure always takes longer than you think it will...and waiting for the canner to naturally cool back down to  it's 'vented' condition...uggg.  Last night, it was over 50 minutes from when I turned off the burner until I could open the canner and pull the jars...the only positive being I have no excuse to not have the mess I made cleaned up before saying I was 'done'. 


I wish I could quit you!

Every year about this time, as regularly as Starbucks promoting their Pumpkin Spice Latte's, the beer companies start coming out with their pumpkin beers.  Heck, it actually started happening 6 weeks ago, but since temperatures were still into the mid-90's even into last week, I refused to allow for the schedule creep of putting out a fall product in August.

I am a sucker for this pumpkin beers though.  Each year I try a new one, and each year I am disappointed.  With it finally feeling like fall is in the air here in the inland Northwest, and hope of a different level of satisfaction, springing eternal, I figured it was time to try again this year.  Yesterday, I picked up a 6-pack of Redhook's Out of Your Gourd Pumpkin Porter.

There is a reason I am not traditionally an optimist, and a continual string of disappointing pumpkin beers are part of the reason.  Now...to be fair, this Pumpkin Porter is not a disappointment, like other pumpkin beers I have tried in the past, but, I am glad I only bought a 6-pack. I would rather have 5 remaining bottles of Redhook's ESB in the fridge to look forward to, but, the Pumpkin Porter will get drank...sometimes, we have to settle for Okay, and realize not everything can be Great...or even Good.

I think the fact that it is a porter gives it an advantage over the other pumpkin beers, mostly ale's, that I have tried in the past.  The darker flavor notes tend to actually cover the pumpkin flavor too much. 

Although, it pairs pretty well with the Chocolate Banana Muffins my wife made yesterday. 


Quick...call Sherlock Holmes!

Digging deep on this one...but while looking for a story on the Tri-City Herald, I found this quick blurb about how the police are trying to find a potential purse-snatcher.  Video evidence shows the lady below taking the purse, and the police would like to find her for questioning.

Now...the resolution isn't that great...but you wouldn't think you would need to call out the Pinkerton's to track down the 300 pound plus lady in the hot pink shirt, driving an ELECTRIC SCOOTER.


Nothing constructive to add.

Not much to add about the whole Washington Navy Yard shooting that hasn't already been said. 

It's a shame it happened.

It's a shame that we have areas set up where people can't defend themselves.

It's a shame that I can see a story like this, and after acknowledging the loss of life, my next thought is: 'Well, at least he didn't use anything they can call an assault weapon.' 

It's a shame that I have to think about something like that.



I am a happily married man. 

Truthfully,  it is without hyperbole or brown-nosing that I state I can not envision a set of circumstances(other than perhaps a different geographical setting) where I could be happier with my home life than I am right now.


If I was not a happily married man, I likewise have little doubt that I would gotten in serious trouble by now for trying to stalk a certain red-head around Indiana...something that would not have ended good for me, for she and her friends are not necessarily the type to let police handle those kind of situations. 

A red-head who can kick out recipes like this Cheddar Beer Bread?

However...an example of how I know the woman I am with now surpasses perfection is, after trying this tasty, tasty bread, she said 'next time, I think you should add crumbled bacon.'
A red-head who can think to make this recipe better with bacon?
Oh yes, I am truly blessed. 


Focusing on the positive.

Well, as summer starts to wind down, I figured I could either complain about the mid-90's we are having into mid-September, but since I have never been accused of being overly optimistic, I thought I would try to put on a smile instead of a frown. 

The fact is that temperatures in the mid 90's mean that the garden is still in full on production mode.


Now if only life would give me some lemons to put into my vodka...or limes for my wife's gin and tonic.


While looking for the next 'Netflix distraction', one of the shows that popped up on 'you might like' radar is Portlandia. 

If you haven't seen it yet, Portlandia is a 'satirical sketch comedy', set in Portland(Oregon, not Maine), and the main theme of the show is how strange Portland and it's residents are. 

I don't know how much I like it, yet.  We have watched four or five episodes, and there have been more than a fair number of laughs, but they have been offset by almost an equal number of times when my wife and I have looked at each other and said 'hunh?'

I've been to Portland, and it is strange. I mean...the Northwest as a whole has more than its share of  weird and strange folks.  My wife is pretty plugged into the homeschooling and 'organic/gluten free/farm to table' groups, and I have met some of the people they play on this show.  They are fun to make fun of, I'm just not sure how often you can go to the same well.

The two primary actors do a good job, with some real chameleon skills.  One of them, Fred Armisen is a SNL veteran, and with Lorne Michaels as the Executive Producer, they have an impressive array of guest stars: Jeff Goldblum, Steve Buscemi, Martina Navratilova, Eddie Vedder and Selma Blair just to name a few. 

I was worried that I might not be finding it funny because it was hitting too close to home...but so far, that hasn't been a problem...no poking at libertarian preppers yet. 

All in all, it's not a bad show...just uneven so far.  It's not as good as Pacific Northwest Classic 'Almost Live', or a few other shows we have to work through still on Netflix. 


Feels pretty accurate

I try not to just post pictures of stuff I find on facebook, but in this case, I saw this cartoon and, yeah...I thought it pretty much nailed it.

I've had talks at work before with some of the guys I work with, because they will sometimes come back from training saying that our trainers contradicted themselves again, and now we have conflicting directions on what to do during casualties. Used to be you were trained to through yourself on the grenade...do what you could to stop the problem from getting worse...but increasingly, we are telling folks to run away, and wait for the fire department to respond.  I have folks who don't like that, and I don't either.  I guess it comes from my submarine background where there was no running away, so you did what you could to keep things from getting worse.  So...what I tell my guys, is do what you think you need to and can do to help you sleep at night.  Whatever choice you make, and whatever actions you take, someone will second guess you after the fact...so do what you need to do to be able to defend your actions with a clear conscience. 

This cartoon just drives home to me that that isn't just a philosophy for work.  Truthfully, whatever position you take, and however you live your life, chances are somewhere between 25-50% of people out there are going to step-up and tell you why you are wrong...so just do what you feel you need to do to be able to sleep at night. 

Good advise from a guy that failed awake at 3:30 on this Saturday morning. 


Spreading the gospel.

After several weeks of having to read Brigid and Tam brag about the smoked lamb bacon they are able to have in the Paradise they have label Broad Ripple, I decided to get motivated and do some looking around here for the same product.

No luck. In fact, no luck, and several crazy looks when I did get brave enough to ask about lamb bacon.

I'm not one to give up hope that easily though.  One of my wife's friends has an in I've started exploiting...her in-laws own a farm up in Connell, where they raise lambs...and they actually sell their brand through a chain of local grocery stores, Yokes.  Through the magic of social media, I asked her if she could talk to her in-laws about lamb bacon, and after she got looked at like she was crazy, I forwarded her a link to the Smoking Goose's webpage, showing tasty looking pictures of lamb bacon.

So...now the waiting game starts. Hopefully, my efforts have started some kind of ball rolling, and sometime in the next 5 or 6 years, I'll be able to try some smoked lamb bacon.


Like a kiss from a cousin.

Today, I accepted an offer for a new job position at work.  No longer will I be a Radiological Controls Supervisor...I will now be a Radiological Work Planner/Health Physicist.  As far as reality goes, for all intents and purposes, this is a lateral transfer.  I am still working for the same company, and I am still working for the same boss, and I am not making a dollar more than I did last week, so, it's almost like a kiss from a cousin.

But...to me, and my mental well being, going from being a supervisor to what is more of a staff/paperwork position, it's a kiss from a 2nd cousin who happens to be a supermodel. The fact is, I am burned out being a supervisor.  Being a 1st line supervisor is one of the most thankless jobs in the world.  You catch the crap from each direction, and your job is to act as a poop filter in both directions.  You have to filter and decide what is important to pass both up and down the chain.  You can't just be a pipeline...you have to be a strainer. 

I think I've always been really good at that part of the job.  My bosses have always been pleased with me because I get work done, and I don't bog them down with silly stuff.  The people that work for me have always seemed to appreciate the fact that I do a good job of only passing down what is important, and eating a lot of the stupid B.S.  But...that kind of stuff eats at you. When you start deciding what is important and what isn't as a first line supervisor, you are assuming the risk. If something DOES go wrong, and some of the B.S. you decided was not important could have stopped it...well, prepare to be hung out to dry. 

I'm tired of it.  I'm tired of the emotional toll of being a good supervisor, and I'm tired of the 'baby-sitting' aspect of supervision...even when dealing with a good bunch of guys...and realistically, the guys I have had working for me for the last 8 months are as good a bunch as one could expect to find at Hanford.

So now, I will just be responsible for myself.  I will have a list of procedures that need to be written and or reviewed, and work packages that need the proper radiological controls built into them. I will be responsible for finding my own satisfaction, and making the most of every day. 

With 100% truth, in the end it will be a lot less stress for the same money.  And who knows...maybe in a few years, my batteries will be recharged and I can go back to being a supervisor. 


I'm okay with this.

It's rare that my wife and I agree 100% on something. I would say we usually agree on about 70% of things...and even when we agree on things, we don't always agree for the same reason.  The other day though, we came to complete agreement about Washington EBT cards...in particular, things we didn't like about them.

The conversation began at a gas station, when I must have walked out shaking my head after pre-paying for some gas.  My wife asked me what was wrong, and I told her how I had been in line behind a lady that was buying 6 Slurpees(one for herself and each of her 5 kids), and she had been using her EBT card to pay for them.  We rapidly both came to the conclusion that we both felt there should be limits on what type of food you should be able to buy with your EBT card. I've got a hard time believing that even Kennedy or Johnson intended purchases like that when they promoted food stamps programs.  In fact...from the research I have done, it seems the first programs in the early 60's were to promote the consumption of surplus vegetables. 

So...on the heels of that conversation, and maybe proving I am 'cutting edge' for once, the GOP have introduced a bill that would block food stamp users from buying junk food, essentially limiting them to food which meets the nutritional guidelines of the WIC program. 

Yeah...I'm 100% okay with this.  There was actually a 6-month period early on in my marriage where my wife and I qualified for, and collected WIC benefits...so, it would be very hypocritical of me to say 'destroy all these programs'.  However...WIC was VERY specific about what you could purchase in their program, going to the extent of specifying certain types of cereals that didn't qualify(no Frosted Flakes!)...and that made sense to me, and it is a standard that would make sense to me now. 

Heck...as my wife pointed out, I don't think either one of us have ever spent real money for something like a Slurpee...so, we don't have much sympathy for someone who would consider one a necessity.


I have a recommendation!

If the government really wants to fix a problem with excessive legislation, how's about they go out and create specifications for Universal Tin Cans?  I spent more than a few frustrating hours this past weekend trying to rearrange the cans in my garage, and perhaps the most frustrating aspect of the whole exercise is the inability to be able to stack Old El Paso Refried Beans on top of Rosarita Refried Beans.  Or put store brand veggies together with Del Monte veggies.

I can't abide by an unstable stack of cans...and the inability to securely go three cans high is crimping my style. 

Who says dogs are better than cats?

Growling ‘guard cat’ helps foil Oregon break-in
The Associated Press
SILVERTON, Ore. — An Oregon woman says her cat’s growling helped alert her to a man trying to break into her home.
Rose Taylor says she was sleeping early Sunday morning when her cat Addy’s growling woke her. Then the cat, in her owner’s words, “Just flew out of bed.”
The Silverton woman tells KATU-TV she could see a man’s shadow and hear movement at a screen. She figures Addy heard the screen noise first.
Taylor says she jumped out of bed as well, started yelling, turned on a light and called 911. All the noise scared the man away and he was already across the street when she saw him next.
Taylor says police found some fingerprints at her house. She’s getting a new lock for her door and some tuna for her cat.
Silverton is south of Portland.

Man...I think my cat would do this for me.  At the very least, he is so heavy that when he jumped off the couch to meow to be fed, the 'thump' of him hitting the floor would wake me up. 


How will people learn if you don't let them make mistakes?

Otto von Bismarck once said 'Only a fool learns from his own mistakes. The wise man learns from the mistakes of others.'  Along with this, there are several other unattributed quote about how an intelligent man can learn from his mistakes, but a wise man can learn from the mistakes of others.

I believe the gist of that to be true...sometimes you are only going to learn by making your own mistakes...and sometimes they really need to hurt to lean them well.

Apparently the fine Nanny Staters public servantsback in D.C. have a different viewpoint on that than I do.  The would prefer to legislate the ability to make mistakes out of existence, starting with introducing the idea of a 24-hour waiting period before you can get a tattoo or a body piercing. 

Obviously...I don't like it for the whole 'nanny state' feel to it.  You CAN'T legislate stupidity.  The tattoo/body piercing industry in D.C. doesn't like it because one can assume a lot of their business comes from spur of the moment decisions by folks, and given 24 hours to think/sober up, you might not want a tramp stamp or ear gauging.

Just let people be dumb.

 I guarantee you won't do it again though.

Must have a hybrid

I'm becoming convinced that at least one of our chickens is some kind of an experiment to cross-breed a chicken with an ostrich.

The egg on the right is what you could expect to find in normal dozen of 'large' eggs at the grocery store. The one on the left...I'm not sure.  I once accidentally bought a dozen 'jumbo' eggs, and none of them were that big. In fact, I have never in my life seen a chicken egg that big.

I'm almost scared to open it without having my shotgun handy, just in case a Velociraptor comes crawling out of it. 


Field trip!

Since the butcher shop I was dropping my doe off at was down near Yakima, we decided to make a family day out of it, and hit the Yakima Valley History Museum while were in the area.  A good time was had by all, and with a whole family price of only $12, it was a good use of two hours. 

I think it is safe to say that everyone's favorite exhibit was the working 1950's style soda fountain that serves as the museum's snack shop.

What?!?!?  You don't consider that an exhibit?  Living history, man...living history. 

Well fine...there were other neat things...a penny-farthing that Roberta might appreciate, although I think the seat on hers is in better shape.

A very classy hearse.
And my favorite room...the Cabinets of Curiosity...where they basically have cabinets full of collections that they haven't had the time to further characterize.  It includes things like this fine his and hers chairs that I can't WAIT to find a spot for in my living room.

I think the pink might clash though...bummer.  


A tale of good news, and bad news.

Yesterday was full of goods, and bads. 

The Bad:  We are still on our shift were we go in at 6, and get off at 2:30.

The Good: Getting off at 2:30 means I still have time to run off and do some hunting in the afternoon. 

The Good: The tornado warnings posted for Umatilla County, Oregon, right across the Columbia from where I was hunting, turned out to be a false alarm.

The Bad: The severe thunder storm warning for Umatilla County(and south-east Washington) turned out to be correct. 

The Good: When it's 80 degrees, 45 minutes of rain isn't that bad.  It's actually kind of refreshing, if you don't mind sitting in mud.

The Bad: Lightening doesn't care what temperature it is. There was a 20-minute period when the lightening was ALL around me, and I was feeling very foolish sitting out in a field of sage brush.  I was soooo worried that I set my rifle down and decided to crawl 20 feet or so away from the 3-foot long, .50 caliber lightening rod I was holding.  Not sure 20 feet would have made a difference, but...felt a little better.

The Good: Sitting in the rain and lightening for 45 minutes was worth it...as the rain tapered off, a nice little doe came out of the tree line, and had NO idea I was sitting behind a clump of sagebrush.  She was so unaware of my presence that when my first rain soaked percussion cap failed to ignite my powder charge, I was able to get a 2nd one out and still fair shot off at her.

The Good: Dropped her right where she stood.

The Bad: Yeah, dropped her right where she stood because my shot hit her high, breaking her spine.  I guess this goes back to my post a few weeks ago about 'satisfactory accuracy' in hunting situations.  Perhaps if I was a little less satisfied with 4-inch groups, I would have hit her in the heart/lung area instead of wiping out her whole left back strap. 

The Bad: She wasn't my first choice.  I had seen several very husky does in this area that I wasn't able to get shots at, but if I had passed on this shot, I was going to be holding out hope on getting another shot Friday...and man, I would have regretted passing on this if things hadn't worked out Friday.

The Good: It's over for now.  Got her out in one piece, got her skinned out, and she is in a game bag waiting to be dropped off at the butchers.  She might be small, but some is better than none.  And two is better than one.  Having filled this special tag, I now get to go out at the end of September and try to shoot another one. 

The really good: I get to sleep in.  Since Sunday, for hunting or starting work at 6, I haven't been in bed past 3:50...6 o'clock is going to feel good tomorrow.


A teaser!

This is what folks in the news industry call a 'teaser'.  More details to follow after I get some sleep.

I hope he burns.

I'm not the most religious guy, as far as following any particular book or dogma.  Ideas of the traditional Heaven and Hell are beyond me...mine is not to reason why.  However...there are times I hope that all those folks are right, and that there is a pit of fire waiting for the truly evil ones out there.  That way folks like Ariel Castro, who 'apparently' committed suicide yesterday, won't be able to escape the punishment they deserve. 

As a taxpayer and a proponent of justice, I happy that this piece of trash did himself in, saving the taxpayers the expense of keeping him fed and warm in prison the rest of his life(well, I guess we did have to keep him fed and warm the rest of his life...that just turned out to be shorter than we thought it would).  I simply wish it had been part of his initial sentence. 

Although, this might be the best case...we don't have the expense of a capital punishment type trial and appeal process, and we are now rid of the guy. 


Back to school.

Like kids across the nation, my kids started up school again last week.  One of the nice things about home schooling is that my wife can kind of ease into things.  Last week she started them on Math and English, this week she added in the science stuff, and next week she will add in the co-ops and workshops.  This helps keep the kids mellow, and it also helps my wife work out the kinks in the schedule a bit at a time. 

One of the only negatives of homeschooling is that it cuts down on the days dad takes off to just 'do nothing'.  My wife says it really cramps her style to have me sitting in the living room in my skivvies watching ESPN all morning.

Focusing on the positive though, we get to do nice back to school pictures instead of having a bunch of kids waiting in line to have their pictures taken in front of a fake pull down backdrop.

I'll be honest with you though...all false parental modesty aside, I don't think it's just the natural lighting and backdrop that make this picture amazing.
Speaking of which, better go clean the shotgun...again.  


Paging Doctor Brown!

After having spent the last two 90+ degree days crawling through sage brush and Russian olive trees, seeing several deer, I now wish I could get my hands on Doc Brown's DeLorean.  I could have shot just as many deer sitting on the couch at home with my wife in my air-conditioned living room as I did this weekend. 

I intend to take Tuesday off from hunting(I get to sleep in so I can go to work!) before heading out to hunt after work Wednesday and Thursday, and then I might even take Friday off if needed.  The weather is supposed to turn later in the week, with possible thunderstorms overnight Wednesday, and day time highs dropping 10-14 degrees.   


Just doesn't feel right

Heading out the door in a few minutes go hunting...but with a day time high expected to by around 93 this afternoon, it sure doesn't feel like hunting weather.

Usually, I would go into some long winder speech about how 'just getting into the woods' is 90% of the fun...but I'm not sure about that this time.  This is a trip out on a conservation tag to put a doe in the freezer...and if I am back home by lunch time, I won't feel like I missed some mystical opportunity.

I'll save those kind of speeches for elk season, when all the elk magically turn into crows so they can hide in plain sight.