Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Animal Lovers, Idiots

I heard an anecdote on the local radio station today. A woman was killed by a mountain lion, the mountain lion was then killed. It was a female with cubs. There was more money sent in to support the orphaned lion cubs than was sent in to support the woman's orphaned children. I think that highlights some misplaced priorities.

This is a pet peeve of mine, when people do not recognize the position of animals in the world. They are property, not people. So ,that is what makes stories like this even more tragic. It is one thing risking your life for other people, it is quite another to risk three or four decades of your life for an animal with a life expectancy* of a year or two.

I do love animals, but it would be foolish to risk my life for one, even a beloved pet. (I did make that decision once. My dog fell through the ice 150 yards from shore. I let her get herself out. I was sure she wouldn't make it.)

* I was going to say life span, but that would not be correct. Given the reproduction rates of wild ducks, 4-6 ducklings per year, the mortality rate has to be pretty high or the population would explode.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

On the velocity of an unladen.......

So I've been re-reading Surgical Speed Shooting over the last few days. The book is ok. The info in it isn't too bad but the book jumps around and is a little hard to follow. The book is about the isosceles shooting postition for shooting handguns. The author claims it is superior to the Weaver stance. I can't really say, I'm not proficient in either. But I was practicing the hand and arm positions and I found that the method really seems to align the pistol exactly where I am looking, the natural point of aim.

I stepped out my font door with my Ruger Mark II, and noticed a swallow flying towards me. I had seen several flying up under the eaves from inside the house earlier. They want to build a mud nest up there, and I don't really want them too. I assumed the stance as best as I knew it, and fired a shot as the bird turned and flew across my field of view about 15 feet away, leading it an inch or two. Imagine my surprise when it dropped. That is probably the best shot I have ever pulled off with a handgun, although it was mostly luck. I tried a shot at a bird on the ground 30 yards away and came very close. I am going to work on this some more, and maybe my handgun shooting will improve.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A quote,

For those in Indiana, and elsewhere.

"And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?... The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin's thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If...if...We didn't love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation.... We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward."
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Mrs. Giraffe had her gall bladder removed. I'm not sure it was the right thing to do. We know a few people that have had it done, and there are usually side effects. Before surgery, she got violently sick for about a day once or twice a month. Hopefully any side effects are more bearable than that. Of course, it likely would have had to come out eventually. The surgeon said it was twisted up. Sometimes you do what the doctors tell you to do, whether they know what they are doing or not. The surgery went well, she is pretty sore, but so far so good.

I have not got my garden in yet. Still a very cold spring. Hoping to go bigger and badder with the garden this year. Also hoping to get some chickens. I'm thinking that gardening and having chickens and canning is a way to always have something to eat. Just in case the Schumer hits the fan. I bought 30 pounds of rice the other day. People looked at me funny. Hey, its cheap food, we like it, and the rice crop may not be so good this year due to flooding taking out 40% of the US production.

Still failing on my goal to have fruit trees. The deer got one last fall, 30 yards from the house. I stupidly thought they would leave it alone. They do not fear the house, they do not fear the dog, and I am unable to shoot enough of them to keep them away. The only solution is fence until the tree is large enough. I will be doing that from now on. The tree that they did not kill has shown no signs of budding so far this spring. I hope it didn't winter kill or something. I want apple, pear, plum, and cherry trees. I've probably planted a dozen trees over the years. I have one left alive. Maybe. There are a few others that I planted out away from the house that the deer killed. There are a few shoots coming up off them, so maybe something will happen. If nothing else, they can be pollinators.