Thursday, September 28, 2006- - -
A final salute for Col. John Dean (Jeff) Cooper
The grand old man has died at his home in Paulden, AZ. He will be greatly missed.
Via Glenn Reynolds, Armed Liberal has a roundup.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006- - -
There I was, surrounded by liberals!
I attended an open house for Wyoming's Democratic Governor Dave Freudenthal last evening, a very interesting occasion if only because of the behavior of the crowd. The idea was that the Gov would circulate, do a little grip & grin, give a short speech, and then entertain questions from the floor. Refreshments were served, but only to the small group who crowded into the serving area and proceeded to make a meal of it, despite being admonished on a couple of occasions to 'get a plate & move on out'.
The Governor arrived, only to be cornered (literally!) by a gentleman with "concerns", who monopolized him until it was time for the speech. The Gov escaped in time to give his brief talk, mostly a list of his not inconsiderable accomplishments during his last four years in office, and then opened the floor to questions, whereupon a sizable contingent in the back of the crowd decided that the rest of us would rather listen to their hooting & cackling than hear whatever else the Gov may have said. By the time I'd pressed forward to where I could hear the Gov again -- he's decidedly soft-spoken -- he was again buttonholed by the gentleman with "concerns".
I have been and remain very impressed with Gov Dave and will certainly vote for him again. However, I was much less than impressed with the behavior of the crowd, mostly business and professional people, and educators, a sizable contingent of whom appeared to think they'd arrived at an early office Christmas party. Had I been an undecided voter I think I'd be taking another look at his opponent, not because of anything he said, but because of the juvenile behavior of his supporters (and not all of them by any means, only a sizable minority). If nothing else, it convinced me that Churchill was right when he said: "If you're not a liberal at 20, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative at 40, you have no head." Mostly boomer-aged and mostly liberal, some of these folks' behavior hadn't changed much since junior high.
Ah well, not controlling the venue, I suppose there isn't much the Gov's campaign can do about the buffet vultures, and the snacks were a secondary attraction anyway. However, if the primary purpose is to meet and greet, and get his message out, a few campaign assistants would come in handy to head off those with "concerns" who want to bend the Gov's ear for an hour or two. A skillful assistant with a notebook could insert herself into these situations and provide a substitute ear, allowing the Gov to continue to press the flesh without having to give the brush-off to a supporter. Alternately, I suppose a reception line would work, but that would detract from the informal feel of the event.
Second, a portable PA system would be a great help. It was difficult to hear what the Gov had to say even when the yakkers in back were quite for a few moments. With any sort of background noise it was impossible. Again, it would detract from the informal setting, but it wouldn't detract nearly as much as the dimwits honking and braying and drowning out the Gov. All in all, a most disappointing event for anyone who attended to hear what the Gov had to say.
Monday, September 25, 2006- - -
This weekend marked two years in business for Tim, the Meeteetse Chocolatier. Tim was riding in the Cody evening rodeo, a daily event during tourist season, when he broke his bucking saddle. Apparently, the rodeo doesn't pay very well, as he didn't have the money to get it repaired/replaced. So.. he fell back on a skill he'd learned from his grandmother: He started making and selling chocolate truffles. His granny tought him good, they are Excellent!
In two years he's grown his company from his kitchen, to a small shop a block off the main drag in Meeteetse, to moving into the old Meeteetse Mercantile, a wonderful old building on Main Street. He's also gone from one day a week to what sounds like an almost 24/7 operation. He makes everything himself -- doesn't want to give out the recipe -- and he's swamped with orders from all over the country. Not bad considering all he wanted was enough money for a new saddle. The down side: Now he's so busy with his business he doesn't have time to break his neck riding bucking horses.
Be sure to stop by when you visit Yellowstone, or give him a call. And yes, he has email (cowboys got computers? Who'd a thunk it!). His confections are delightful -- be sure to try the jalapeno truffles -- and he's a heck of a nice guy. Besides, where else will you get gourmet chocolates made by a real live rodeo cowboy? And yes, he still wears the big black hat with his Wrangler chef's coat.
Sunday, September 24, 2006- - -
Why I'd like to see Glenn Reynolds on the Supreme Court, and why that will never happen.
Saturday, September 23, 2006- - -
Rumors have it that Osama bin Laden has died of typhoid. Frankly, I suspect that he died in Tora Bora three years ago, but I won't celebrate until I see pix of his corpse. If it's true though, how very fitting that the mastermind behind the September 11th attacks, a man who wanted to reduce us all to barbarism, should die while hiding in a cave, of a disease that's less than 1% fatal when treated with modern antibiotics.
"Oh heck no! We won't do anything to those boys we didn't do to our pledges at Skull & Bones!"HT: Gateway Pundit via Godless Capitalist
Friday, September 22, 2006- - -
You asked for it!
For some reason Dan Collins, guest-blogging at Protein Wisdom, thought I ought to post pictures of a battle axe and baby seal club side by side "for illustrative purposes". I suppose one only hurts your eyes while the other hurts your whole head. Or something. Hope no one was eating..
Thursday, September 21, 2006- - -
"Snow at higher elevations"
We've been so dry for so long that I've put predictions of precipitation in the same category with politician's promises: Not something to be counted on. Thus, when I left Friday for Sperry's Cabin, I really wasn't expecting anything to come of the forecast precipitation and I certainly wasn't expecting this.
Ordinarily, I'd be a bit bummed about getting snowed on the 16th of September, but I've sworn not to complain about glorious, glorious moisture in any form. Also, although the snow was driven by 50 mph winds making it much too miserable for this fair weather hunter to venture out on Saturday or Sunday, by Monday everything was soggy and foggy, perfect for lurking in the woods with a bow. No more of that 'walking through a bowl of Wheaties' crunching with every step.
It did get a bit miserable Saturday and Sunday, but I had plenty of wood split (Thanks Richie & Zim!), plenty of food, wine, and etc., and the wait proved worth it. Besides, getting down off the mountain would have involved tire chains and other such radical measures I'd rather avoid. Better to be patient and let it dry up a bit.
Sunday afternoon the snow let up -- although the wind didn't -- and by that time I was equal parts bored and feeling guilty for burning all the wood so laborously split by others, so I spent two or three hours pounding big chunks of Ponderosa pine into pieces small enough to go into a barrel stove. The old adage about wood warming you twice is very true. Especially when you start with the biggest darn gnarly, knotty old dead tree in the forest and some knucklehead has cut 6" off the handle of the maul to make it easier to swing. Ah well, it's better exercise than you'd get at the health club and, if you can spend three hours whopping on logs with a 12# hammer and still find a bit of aggravation somewhere in your psyche professional help might be in order: 'Take That! and That! and THAT!' A wonderful stress reliever.
By Sunday evening the weather was clearing nicely and my first reward was the appearance of a herd of about 40 cow and calf elk, nervously chaparoned by a nice 6x6 bull who was being driven to distraction by several young raghorns hanging out around the outskirts of the herd. The whole bunch bedded down about 300 yards below the cabin on an open bench and provided a couple of hours of great entertainment, with the big boy screaming his anger at the nerve of the youngsters but unable to drive one off without baring his flank to another. From the sound of it they kept it up all night. No wonder the big bulls are in a state of nervous exhaustion by the middle of October.
Monday was pretty much uneventful: I had a weasel eye me from between my feet but he decided I was a bit too big for lunch, even for the ever-optimistic mustellid. Found a good game trail within half a mile of the cabin that I'd been unaware of. Saw several muley does and watched the elk off and on all day. All in all, just another shitty day in paradise.
I should explain my hunting technique, "still hunting". I get cammied up from head to foot and do my best imitation of a tree stump. Scan 360 degrees very slowly looking for a telltale ear twitch or leg movement, repeat with binoculars focused at middle distance (binoculars have a magical ability to see through the near foliage to little clearings and deeply shaded areas you can't see well with the naked eye). Listen, and smell. Use all those senses we've atrophied since taking up the plow. Take two or three very slow steps -- picture a stalking cat -- and repeat. I spent eight hours covering about 160 acres of woods but in the end I'm pretty sure I saw every critter there was to see and didn't alarm any of them.. except the squirrels, but then they're easily alarmed.
Finally, on Tuesday morning I caught a whiff of musty deer smell -- yes, I smelled them before I saw them -- and all my skulking about was rewarded when I managed to get within 10 yards of a pair of cute little forkhorns. Too close actually, they were alert and looking every which direction so there was no chance of a shot, but they didn't see me, they just knew something wasn't right. Finally mom showed up and herded the little scamps off up the mountain.
Tuesday afternoon was cabin cleaning and pack it in time. Our wonderous new digital cell phones won't call down from the cabin, even though it was a clear call even for the old bag phones, so I had to head down when I said I would or have the Search & Rescue come looking for me, which would be embarrassing. So, home again, home again, jiggity jig.
Thursday, September 14, 2006- - -
Coming soon to a street corner near you!
It looks like Air America is augering in..
Update: Seein's how I stole their graphic, I suppose I ought to at least link to IMAO's comment on the topic. Harvey offers a series of potential excuses for the failure of liberal talk radio, all of them quite plausible, some positively hilarious.
Oddly, I suspect he's right about NAMBLA, but I think it's a lot simpler than that: People listen to talk radio on the way to work.
Update dux: Only one parachute sighted so far: It appears that Air America has "ended its relationship" with Jerry Springer. What a surprise! I'd have thought that fat girls tearing each others' cloths off would do very well on radio. Nico at Think Progress, who appears to be the original source of the reports of impending demise, says the progressive talk radio format "... will continue with or without Air America. Indeed, many of the country’s most successful and widely-syndicated progressive talk hosts — Ed Schultz and Stephanie Miller, for instance — aren’t even associated with Air America." Well yeah, Ed and Stephie are practically household names. Easily as well known as that ol' right wing pill head, Rush.. right?
Nico updates his post to note that Air America denies the rumors of its impeding demise. Interesting though that while they deny filing for bankruptcy, they say "No decision has been taken to make any filing of any kind..." It's a classic non-denial denial. They're not saying that they're not considering bankruptcy. Perhaps the decision is whether to file under Chapter 11 or Chapter 7, eh?
Tuesday, September 12, 2006- - -
Not so pretty..
This is the entrance to the main haul road for the Jonah natural gas field. Each of those small signs points the way to a working drilling rig. According to my sources there are currently 18 big rigs working in Jonah, drilling to a depth of about 11,000-12,000 feet. It takes a rig about 4-6 weeks to drill to that depth and then they break down and move the rig to the next location. In all, they're drilling about 200 gas wells each year in the Jonah Field alone.
I'm also told there are currently about 52 big rigs working all over the northern Green River Basin. All we need is a camel in that photo to prove that we're the Saudi Arabia of natural gas!
I'm back, but not for long. Just returned from attending a wedding reception over in Big Piney, in the upper Green River Basin in western Wyo. A good time was had by all, including a few who definitely had too much fun. Not me, alas, the constant smoke from the forest fires of the last few weeks has given me a constant, low grade headache that takes all the fun out of self-induced headaches.
It was a beautiful drive, with the trees just hitting a colorful peak on South Pass. This is what they looked like on Sept. 10th in the Beaver Creek drainage above Lander.
The smoke from the wildfires has cleared up considerably since last week and we've decided to make one more run up to the northern half of Yellowstone tomorrow to see the trees and visit Mammoth Hot Springs. We'll take the newly reconstructed Beartooth Highway (it keeps sliding off the side of the mountain) up to the northeast entrance for a change of pace. At the least the road construction can't be any worse than it is between the east entrance and Sylvan Pass! They had yet another rock slide just this side of Mammoth over the weekend, but it sounds like they've got it pretty well cleared up now.
Saturday, September 09, 2006- - -
Off to Jellystone!
I came down from bow hunting just in time to take off with the spousal unit on a fall pilgrimage to Yellowstone. No visit would be complete without a photo of that most iconic Yellowstone event, an eruption of Old Faithful. It's not the prettiest picture, but it wasn't the prettiest day. There wasn't a cloud in the sky, but the smoke from all the forest fires in the surrounding region was thick. We're talking downtown LA ca. 1968 thick.
Still, we had a great time, saw lots of wildlife, marveled at the geysers, fumeroles, and paint pots, gawked at the waterfalls, and took notes on the tourists.
Despite being after labor Day, traditional end of the tourist season, it was sometimes difficult to find a place to park, although I'm sure there was much less of a mob than you would find in the park in mid-summer. We were surprised at how few large RVs we saw. The big motorhomes are favored by retired couples less restricted by the school year, and we see them all year-round. I would have thought they would be a major presence in the park this time of year, but not so. Perhaps gas prices are causing people to stay closer to home, or it could be that the RVs were back in a campground in one of the surrounding towns.
Ann Althouse will be happy to know that her bison is okay, although he's sadly in need of a good brushing. And yes, we took this shot from inside the car. Where I come from this isn't considered being a candyass, it's just common sense.
Shhhh! Be vewy, vewy quiet..
We're hunting Bambi. Which ought to be much more politically correct now that we all know Bambi is a deadbeat dad.
I headed up the mountain to Sperry's cabin on August 31 and spent the next five days sneaking about the thickets trying to find a legal deer. Naturally I got right in the middle of herds of elk on two occasions (no elk license, damn, damn, damn!) and saw does everywhere, but only one little forkyhorn muley, who was browsing out in the middle of a big sage-covered clearing. I couldn't have gotten within 200 yards of him. This behavior may have saved him from me, but the first Minnesota trophy hunter who comes along will make short work of him.
The bow is Osage orange and the arrows are white ash, both made by Yours Truly. Not exactly high tech, but sometimes the old ways are better.