dimanche, novembre 30, 2008

What Santa May Bring Early Next Year.

So far, these are the 12ga's I'm looking at....

#1: The Mossberg 500® PERSUADER®/CRUISER® - 6 SHOT. 18" barrel which is technically petite.

#2: The Mossberg 500® BANTAM™ PUMP-ACTION. Which I am slightly less thrilled about because I can't get it in black stock. So it's heavier. It comes in petite which is why I like it.
#3 The Remington 870 Express Super Magnum Synthetic. A little longer than I want with a 26" barrel.

What I would really like, is the Sigarms .30-06 that I shot two years ago at the blogger outing at McMiller's. I haven't been able to get in touch with Chris, who has since closed the Spotted Horse blog. He had the model written on the blog. It was a fabulous gun... extremely precise. Kind of painful but I could hit just about any area on the target within one inch. Pretty good for my first time with the big gun.

For my first hunting gun, I'm probably better off with the shotgun. Plus, I know this gun does not make my butt look fat.

If anyone has any shotgun recommendations let me know. One very important thing for me is to find the gun in a smaller model, but still 12 gauge. I need a barrel length less than 26 inches. As many of my readers know, I can't post during the day, so please don't be offended if I don't reply immediately.

And if you got any deer this weekend, post a link so we can see!

samedi, novembre 29, 2008

The New Liturgical Year

Starts this Sunday, November 29th. I'm really looking forward to this new year with a new understanding, open heart, and connection with God.

Looking over tomorrow's propers for the first Sunday of Advent, I think the Introit says it all:
(Ps. 24. 1,3)
To Thee have I lifed up my soul: in Thee, O my God, I put my trust, let me not be ashamed: neither let my enemies laugh at me: for none of them that wait on Thee shall be confounded. Show, O Lord, Thy ways to me: and teach me Thy paths. Gloria Patri...
I pray that the Lord keeps me close and continues to teach me his paths. He has shown me so much in this past year - most importantly - to know when he is standing by my side. A blessed Advent to all.

jeudi, novembre 27, 2008

First Shot.

I'm pooped. Hunting with Brother Jones is hard work. This is not a sit still for long situation. Field drives through tall grasses and scrub and all kinds of stuff. I can't wait to go again Saturday.

We got to our hunting area and parked at about 6:10. We got ready and I spent some time looking at the beautiful nubby doe that was reposing in the back of Brother Jones' van. It was truly a beautiful and enchanting woodland creature. I found myself petting its ears. Deer are amazing.

After going through some trails in the woods we came to the highway to cross. As we got across the road I saw a buck to my left, about 150 yards away. I alerted my brother and nephew. The buck had his nose to the ground and when he saw us, he froze right there in the middle of the road. Brother said to put him in my scope, so I did, and waited for him to get across the road. I had so much adrenaline coursing through my veins at that moment I could hardly breathe.

My nephew took a shot which snapped me out of my deer stupor. At that moment, I decided that I was going to shoot that buck. I shot, and re-chambered to shoot again. Brother Jones shot too.

The buck staggered and we were sure we shot him. He flipped his hindquarters into the air as well but he kept going. And boy did he move.

Unfortunately there was no blood in the field. In a manner of speaking, our buck didn't stop.

Later we caught up with another hunter who saw us shooting at it. The buck went past him and it was about an 8 pointer, 200lb. This hunter hadn't gotten a doe yet, and unfortunately had to let him go. Heartbreaking!

All I could think this morning was that before I thought about taking a shot, I figured the deer was too far away. Then my brother said sight it up and since that moment that I shot at it, I couldn't stop thinking about the fact that I didn't hit it. Nowhere in my mind did I think "I can't kill it". Nope. All I could think about was hitting that buck. 50 less yards and I might have had a chance.

So my point is as follows. Today was the first time I ever even took a shot at a deer. Let alone a nicely sized buck. I'm one shot closer to getting mine.... but it was a really cool first.

mercredi, novembre 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Wishing you and yours a great Thanksgiving full of fun, food, memories, and for goodness sake... help with the dishes!

Very very early tomorrow morning, I will be heading out to the woods with a Winchester 12ga, and Rack Master ammo. Which sting a little bit, but I won't notice after a while.

Have a great day.

lundi, novembre 24, 2008

Miss Jones Approves: Lefty's Barber Shop, San Diego

Southern California is a hotbed of vintage living and vintage looks. In more than one county, you can find old-school inspired beauty shops and barber shops. This morning I was watching Fox 6 and saw a report about bartering. Yes in some places, bartering is back. That was fine and dandy, but Miss Jones was taken by the imagery, style, and craft of Lefty's Barber Shop in San Diego, featured on this report.

The owner at first glance has the clean-cut barber look of the 50s. Perfect shave and haircut, black slacks, white barber shirt. On second look you find sleeve tattoos, the hallmark of the rockabilly/sick boy. What's that? Google Social Distortion.

I would think that an old-school type of barbershop would be a big hit with men: a full range of classic services and technique, male camaraderie, and shooting the schitt... just like it was when grandpa took you for a haircut. More than the nostalgia, I'd think that the very basic approach would be refreshing. Plus if you'd want to try out a classic look, I'm sure they could help you with that.

There are a lot of people out there in my age group who love the "old ways" of doing things. And I'll attest, we actually do love it. Doing what you love for a living can never be topped. Unless it's a high top, or something like that :)

dimanche, novembre 23, 2008

Last Sunday after Pentecost, My Churchiversary

One year ago this Sunday, I started going back to mass. I grew up Catholic and went to Catholic schools, however sitting through mass was incredibly stifling to the point where I felt suffocated and actually short of breath. As a sensory person I also felt very, very unconnected to God.

Then, last year this Sunday, I attended my first Old Rite/Tridentine/Extraordinary Form of the mass. For those of you who are not familiar, the mass I'm referring to is the traditional latin mass, prior to the Catholic church's "modernizing" of the mass in 1962.

The first mass was not easy because I didn't understand any of what was going on, or what was being said, or how to get into the groove of it. Regardless of these perceived obstacles, I could see the spirit of the mass: reverence for, devotion to, and connection with God. From that moment I became extremely motivated to learn how to practice this devotion.

I came back each week, although I did not take communion until I went to confession. Without too much information, this was very painful for me as I recounted the frailty and sin of my life thus far. I was beginning (and just beginning) to see the accountability that I was missing throughout my life. Accountability that I alone was responsible for. How far off course my life was from what God wants for me, and is according to his laws. It's hard to face yourself squarely in God's presence and humbly admit your weakness and beg for mercy and healing.

Even harder is to hold yourself to these standards. Nobody is going to do it for you, but you can bet that tons of assistance is available to you.

Throughout the past year I have continued to learn about the service itself: what different parts of the mass mean, how to practice them. And like anything you can learn the mechanics, but it takes a little while to align your energies with the practice so that you are connected with the meaning. After that come many more experiences: emotion, devotion, adoration, and strength.

And my strength has developed considerably through the practice of the old faith. Nothing in my life, ever, has enriched or help develop my faith more than this. It is not a preachy, charismatic, in-your-face faith. It's an invitation to live a full life in the Lord, one that I graciously accept.

All week, I look forward to mass. It's a couple of hours on a Sunday morning that I take very seriously and a connection that I desire. Today, on my Churchiversary, a man sat next to me whom I'd never seen before. We have many new people at our church now, and many of them are lost but learning, like I was. However, this man could not sit still. He fidgeted all mass long, wrote things down, gestured constantly. This is someone who probably had the clinical diagnosis of OCD (not the Hollywood-poor-me-version). Needless to say, I had an extremely hard time holding my concentration and was not in my normal practice and form today. I want a do-over.

But how appropriate that on this day, this man would sit next to me. Nothing worthwhile is easy or without sacrifice or challenge to what you are trying to uphold. This man really did test me and my focus today. Like most of my experience over the past year as I change my thoughts and behavior to be aligned with God's law... this was another test of what I am trying to hold fast. Nothing is true until you are tested, and not just one time.

So many good things have happened in my life in the past year. And even in the bad times, I know that God's graces are available to me to get through them. When things are good, and when things aren't so good, I know now to go to the Lord. It's where I belong.

samedi, novembre 22, 2008

Instant Recommendation: The Philly Way

Twice in the past three days, I have dined on Cheese steak sandwiches from the Philly Way on 2nd and Florida. Out flipping standing.

I crossed paths with one on Friday at lunch. I almost fell out of my skin it was so good. And one sandwich really feeds two. It looks good, smells good, it IS good!

Plus, when they are in stock, they carry Tastycakes. Oh yes, I said it!

They're the best cheese steak outside of Philadelphia, I hear. It's the best anything I've had in a while. Ah, life, so full of good stuff!

Three Down, ____ To Go.

Lovely Mr. Jones called me this morning. He had hit one doe and was tracking the other. Our conversation was abruptly interrupted by the following:





Apparently I have some lucky effect on the Mr. At my first text of the morning he hit the does, on the call, he hit the buck. Shotgun reports over a cell phone...not so good.

Deers, they what's for dinner!

Oh, By the Way, It's Saturday!

Where do you see this kind of fun and enthusiasm anymore? I wish I could find the Hee Haw group performance of Rocky Top, it's one of the best.

Sustainability - The New Political Correctness

Seriously, could the Wiki entry for "Sustainability" be any longer, or more complicated?

Political Correctness started as a notion that was difficult to define. Now it's nearly law. You don't know when you've violated the laws and physics of PC until it's way, way, way too late. Like any other issue of extremes, there is only one end of the spectrum or the other. Nothing in between. Violate the laws of PC, and your life and credibility are over as you know it now, and forever. People's entire lives and careers are ruined by the tripwires of Political Correctness.

There's nothing like putting a motherlode of energy behind something that is relatively defined.

The above definition of Sustainability is in the context of development, but I have heard it applied to more: personal hygiene, individual farming and gardening, clothing, energy resources (of course), and others.

Once Sustainability becomes law, how will we know when we've violated it? We won't. We'll just be fined of all the resources that we aren't already taxed.

Things used to be a lot more "sustainable". When? When the government kept it's nose out of things. Nobody pollutes more than the government, nobody requires individuals to consume products that are unhealthy for the environment or our bodies more than the government. And we'd consume a hell of a lot less energy were it not for government mandates and yes - watered down fuel. The cars of the 60's got very good mileage because there was more energy in our fuel.

And what of Labor Unions? If we didn't labor unionize the crap out of this country, we wouldn't be sending all of our dollars overseas for mass-produced cheap, insoluble garbage products that end up in our aisles at Osco and eventually fill up our landfills. Unions should be the first to go under Sustainable laws....we'd sure sustain our economy and jobs without them. Our employment laws take care of things fine on their own now, thank you.

Keep your laws off my money, my body, and the dynamics of my life. I've got things handled on this end, just fine.

vendredi, novembre 21, 2008

Friday! And Now Ladies and Gentlemens, Mr. Don Gibson.

Friday! Yeah, I said it!

jeudi, novembre 20, 2008

The Pride of Mr. Jones

This evening, the lovely Mr. Jones and I took a scenic drive to Cabela's. He picked out various items for me to try on, such as 12 gauges and 30 caliber rifles which I held up so that he could see how they might look on me. We agreed that like most of my shopping experiences, we would potentially have to request them in petite.

And, we drove the nice man at the grill to the full extent of ire, until we finally decided on venison brats for dinner.

But the main event was the purchase of my hunting license for this year. Oh yes, Ms. Jones is going hunting. Not with Mr. Jones yet.... I mean we've only been seeing each other a month. And we're planning to "wait" since we are both honorable people.

However...the pride in the expression on Mr. Jones' face as he watched me purchase my license is a moment I'll never forget. Nobody has ever looked at me that way in all of my life.

Now... I can't let him down. I better pull one out of the woods this year.

And What of Those "Religious Conservatives"

During the election, someone who once had a lot of credibility with me became totally unhinged at the names of George Bush and John McCain. She really lost it. Not like my hairdresser did but she was pretty bad. She's a religous woman (albeit at a liberal church), and flipped out in nearly equal terms about Karl Rove and.... "those evangelicals". To which my reply had been, "what did they ever do to you???"

Dad29 found something that expresses my thoughts, exactly:
I’m hardly the most religious guy you’d ever want to meet. My last church service was my wedding, some four years ago. And that was a Unitarian service. Really, my main concern in politics is maintaining my freedom. And, in practical, definable terms, the daily threats to my liberty are not being pushed by religious conservatives. It wasn’t religious conservatives who’ve told me I’m breaking the law if I light up in a bar. It wasn’t religious conservatives who’ve forbidden me from buying food made with trans fats. It wasn’t religious conservatives who pushed speech codes on our college campuses and dictate hate crimes laws. It wasn’t religious conservatives who’ve made it a bureaucratic journey to buy a gun to protect my home and family. It isn’t religious conservatives I see trying to revive the fairness doctrine to specifically silence their political opposition. It wasn’t religious conservatives to gave us “campaign finance reform”. It isn’t the religious conservatives who have told me that I have to separate my trash, even to the point of removing individual trashcans in my office building.

Put bluntly, I can’t help but feel I’m being sold a bill of goods here. Progressives, with the full consent of moderates,…chip away consistently and unabashedly at my freedom. All the while, telling me how scared I should be of the religious conservative bogeyman hiding under the bed. Do I think there’s some religious conservatives who go over the top? Sure. But, marginalizing the religious conservatives en masse is a surefire way to empower just those religious conservatives who do go over the top. Moreover, I’m getting a little more than tired of being told to be scared about the threat to my liberty posed by my allies by people whose own behavior tells me they want nothing more than to restrict my freedom.

mercredi, novembre 19, 2008

Hits From Liberal and Conservative Blogs

I've noticed something really odd throughout my blogdom. And maybe someone wants to weigh in on this one.

Why is it that when a conservative blogger links to me, I get boatloads of hits?

And when a liberal blogger links to me, all I get is the courtesy hit?

The conservative hits usually support or expand upon my case. The liberal ones...well they have less than choice words about my case, whatever the case may be. So I'd think the liberal blog readers would be all over clicking through. Is it a lack of curiosity? Help a sister out!

dimanche, novembre 16, 2008

Monday Morning Music: Missa Luba

Hark! I found these extraordinary Congolese arrangements of Traditional Latin Mass standards on Youtube. I was looking for a specific version of the Sanctus, and luckily (or by other intervention) I became distracted by these beautiful clips. Enjoy and have a blessed week!!!

The Sanctus

The Kyrie

The Gloria

"Laudamus te
Benedicimus te
Glorificamus te"

vendredi, novembre 14, 2008

Friday Music - WTH Did He Say???

Ca Plane Pour Moi!!!!!

mardi, novembre 11, 2008

It's a good day to be thankful

To everyone who affords us our safety, freedom, and pursuit of happiness. Without them, we are nothing. With them, the principles we hold dear are enforced and upheld.

dimanche, novembre 09, 2008

T-Minus Eight Days....

Until the Dolly Parton show!  Yes, the new future ex Mr. Jones has graciously offered to take me to see Miss Parton.  And I'll be wearing my Marty Robbins shirt.  Awwww....yeahhhhh!!!!!

Caption This

Even though it's already captioned!

samedi, novembre 08, 2008

The Morning After

jeudi, novembre 06, 2008

Now what????

The Difference Between the Left and The Right

"Loyal Opposition

I will be the Loyal Opposition. I will oppose policy I disagree with. I will not oppose Barak Obama, The President of the United States in the same way the Democrats opposed President Bush at every turn. "
Very well said, sir.

mercredi, novembre 05, 2008

Wednesday Music: Wood Brothers

mardi, novembre 04, 2008

Where are we going, and why am I in this handbasket?

On Sunday I made a decision that I was so sure was correct. I had it all thought out in my mind: how I was going to execute it, why it was important, and that it had to be done quickly.

I hadn't really thought it through. I hadn't asked enough questions because I was so sure I was right.

By Monday morning I couldn't think on anything other than the following: What Have I Done?

Which made me panic, and scramble, and hope that what I had been building hadn't been lost forever. What I needed most of all was what I had rejected. I didn't need anyone or anything else at that moment. Only one person could comfort me. And maybe he was lost forever.

I got a second chance to bring this person back into my life. This is a triumphant return - a close call that my rash, uninformed decision could have cost me.

I got a second chance. I only hope that this country will, too.

I almost didn't vote this morning until...

I was awake...sitting on the couch... at 5:01 a.m. I see a woman being interviewed on the morning news who had been standing at the doors since 4:30 a.m. Know what? I knew her. And darnit, I knew who she was voting for.

And I said to myself, get off the couch. You have to go cancel her vote.

And I did just that.

lundi, novembre 03, 2008

All Souls Day

....was technically Saturday in the old rite.

Tonight I attended my first All Souls mass. It, like most old rite masses, was very touching, inspiring, and deepened my faith.

Everyone who has gone before us can use your prayers.

Say a little something, anything for those souls. You might need it someday.

And if you need any ideas, start here.

Monday Morning Music: Hole

One of their very best, in my humble opinion

dimanche, novembre 02, 2008

On Female Friendships

As I grow older, I find it more and more important to have female friendships. It's very easy to be friends with men, however, because we are of the opposite sex and sometimes an imbalance of expectations, those friendships seldom last.

It's easy to default to what appears to work. Appear being the key word. But in the long run, a woman needs her female friends. These friendships require a lot more maintenance, consideration, expression, validation and respect. They are not easy to navigate but they are worth it. How so, Phel?

Women need to express themselves - especially in crisis or situations of heartbreak - in a way that is natural to them. Sometimes this can be accomplished with opposite sex friendships, but most of the time it cannot. At the crux of the matter is the way women communicate. We need the emotional support and navigation that only female friendships can provide. We need our sisters.

Now if you think governmental politics are tough to navigate, then you haven't been a woman trying to be friends with other women. Yes, it's about the same level of difficulty. Luckily, we can actually get bipartisan support in the end and true collaboration. Changing babies, late night tears, misinterpreted messages, and retail therapy. God granted the sanctity of the female friendship for this.

One thing I have had to learn recently as I strengthen my female bonds, is the respect I must have for them. Especially the consequences of my actions, which can be misinterpreted very easily with almost no chance to retract. A friendship can be easily sabotaged by actions that you think do not have consequences, yet they do, and they are hard to predict unless you are paying very close attention.

I'm ready to do that now. I'm ready to be one of the girls.

Sunday Morning Music: Early Ska Selections

About 14 years ago I began listening to early ska and the roots of reggae. We're talking about very different music than people think of nowadays when we say ska/reggae. In the mid to late '60s, groups in Jamaica began recording pop (and original) songs with a soulful, downbeat twist. It's reminiscent of Motown, but a different frequency.

Many years later, these songs have been re-recorded. A good example is "The Tide is High" by John Holt.

Or 1963's Simmer Down by the Wailing Wailers. Truth be told, I prefer the early band over the later Bob Marley work.

Here's my all time fave by the Wailing Wailers - an excellent take on "Do You Love Me"

There is also another offshoot of early ska called Rocksteady. I have an insane Rocksteady list on iTunes if you ever want to check it out. Do I get a red cent out of it? Nah. iTunes doesn't need to pay me in order to make money. Evil geniuses...

samedi, novembre 01, 2008

Tuesday Evening

I will be with friends, counting down the minutes until this election is over. And praying. Praying good.