Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Merry Christmas - Finally

I have been remiss in keeping up the posting but offer no apologies.

I had a great time on the 12th trying to knock down bowling pins in a match set up by Kevin. I haven't shot in a little while due to many reasons. So it was only natural that I go to the shoot with a couple of guns that I normally don't shoot in competition. I did poorly but had a great time. My Frankenstein Commander (Colt slide, Essex frame, and various other parts) performed nicely. I think that it is finally broken in from lapping the slide onto the new frame along with the guncoat refinishing. No FTF or FTE. The Walther P22 worked just fine. Now I need time to get over to the bowling alley and get more pins. We were going through some pins with all the people that were there. It should be mentioned again that the tables looked like really chewed up by the end of the matches. Termites have nothing on us!

I was back in wintry MI the 17th through the 20th to get mom to sign the papers needed to establish a trust. I lucked out as I was there between storms. It has been quite a run this last 6 months. The abbreviated run down looks like this: Dad getting too weak to care for mom in July (she had a stroke a couple of years ago), doctors visits for dad, outside help brought into their house, meetings with financial advisor for VA benefits, dad in the hospital, outside help goes 24/7, hospice, dad's passing in September, taking care of dad's affairs, POA with attorney for mom, arranging and moving mom into assisted living, financial advisor and trust attorney, setting up trust so mom can get dad's VA survivor benefits for care, move house into trust so that Medicaid can't do anything about it in five years, get the house up for sale from within trust and set up estate sale. I think I have been back to MI about 6 times so far.

I fly occasionally for work also so it has been busier than I like. Heck, I am not all that fond of flying anyways what with the airlines stuffing more seats onboard. Coach should really be renamed "sardine class". The last flight was out of Phoenix as I could get a direct from there to Detroit. The drive to the Phoenix airport only takes about an hour and a half from my house so it is still better than having connecting flights. I was dreading the longer flight as I am usually squashed in. Keep in mind that I am 6'7". I went on US Airways and lo and behold they had not shrunk the plane as far as others. My knees were at least a quarter inch off the seat in front of me.

I also got to go through my first of the new scanners. I decided that I should probably go through the scanner as I was unsure that I could refrain from making kissy noises while being patted down or comment on what nice hands he has. I was waiting for the results and asked the agent, "If I give you my email, will you send me a copy of the scan?" He did not actually answer but I did receive what I call THE LOOK. I then asked him, "Have you heard this request before?" I got a one word answer this time, "Yes". He was not happy that I was even talking to him. We believe that TSA agents' sense of humor is surgically removed as a hiring requirement.

Christmas was nice. Daughter #1 is home on break from NAU so the immediate family was together. We all went to Christmas Eve service at the Thornydale Family Church. Daughter #1 likes this church. Christmas Eve has traditionally been our gift opening time after church. Christmas Day is more for play and loafing. The Sunday after was back to my usual busy self - fixed the dryer, put up a shelf, went to Caveman Warehouse to get my 2011 tags, made ham & bean soup, and went to Sunday services with daughter #1. She asked if I would go with her and I try to say yes unless there is something going on like a shoot.

Wow, I was present in church twice in three days. I could see the increased interest is the pastor and others. It is kind of like fresh meat hanging up to attract the carnivores. JK. We were sitting and waiting for service to start. I commented to my daughter that if you changed a few words that you could take Revelation 13 and turn it into the start of a SciFi movie. This time I got THE LOOK from my daughter along with the obligatory exclamation, "Dad!" Which normally means that I am being difficult and should should be quiet. Like that is going to work. So I read part of it to her.

The Beast out of the Sea
1 The dragon[a] stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. 2 The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion.

OK, does it have 4 heads with one horn each and 3 heads two horns each or........
Who had the gumption to get up there and tattoo the blasphemous names on the heads?
Shouldn't the dragon be coming out of the sea and the beast on the shore? I never heard of a sea leopard but have heard of a sea dragon.

I don't understand why I get the reactions I do when I am just asking obvious questions!

And on that note - Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Reid, Senate Democrats Threaten to Block Obama Deal on Tax Cuts

Pelosi and Reid annoy me. I will just address one issue here from the article, the Estate Tax. Let's call it what is really is, which is the death tax. This falls somewhere into triple or quadruple taxation.

"Pelosi called the estate tax provision "a bridge too far," and Reid also singled it out for criticism." So they are arguing whether is should be 35% of anything over $5 million or 45% of anything over $3.5 million. It should be nothing, period. There is something inherently evil about this tax. Guess they need the money to pay for their endless job benefits. Oops, I guess that makes two issues.

I believe that any politician who supports any measure of death tax should become acquainted with tar and feathers. Both the republicans and democrats are bunch of leaches that still don't comprehend that it is not their money that they demand and then freely squander.

I always laugh at the quote from Grandma Florence Norris in Mars Attack, "They blew up congress. Ha ha ha ha!" She seemed to exhibit the same disdain that most hold for our so called representatives.

Friday, December 03, 2010

My Elk Hunt Sucked

I don't know how else to state it. This hunt ranks down there as one of the worst trips ever. I hired a guide for this hunt which is something I have never done before. There were several reasons involved in this decision. I don't have a hunting partner(s) at this time and my wife actually worries about me when I am in the backcountry alone. I have yet to be able to reassure her with statements like, "I won't die for lack of firepower." or "What the heck is a partner going to do anyways? He can't really can't carry me. I guess he could call and tell you I was dead" or "At least I will die doing what I like to do." She just seems to get more agitated and displays nervous ticks.

I am unsure how many more times I will go elk hunting as the fun really does stop when the animal drops. There used to be a group of us that would all put in for elk. The deal was that everyone went whether they were drawn or not. Everyone pitched in when someone got one and made short work of it. We would split up the elk meat amongst the group. People eventually scattered to the four winds and the group was no more. Elk are a lot to handle by yourself so I thought that it might be nice to get an "expert" to help with finding a nice rack and help tote. I should have stuck to looking at "racks" in magazines instead of hiring a guide.

The online site has reviews for previous clients. I know now that these must have been carefully selected for publication. Either that or they are complete fabrications. There was a questionnaire to be filled out prior to the hunt. It was missing some very important questions such as:

  • Are you able to see well enough by flashlight to march through the woods at 4 AM for miles?
  • Are you able to leap tall boulders in a single bound?
  • If you see game, are you able to run faster than it does? (Keep in mind that an elk will walk at about 5 MPH).
  • Are you able to see game while rapidly walking before they see you?
  • Are you ready to march all day on six hours sleep for days on end?
  • Do you fit in a Suzuki Samurai?

The night before opening day we were going to go glass. He told me to jump in his Suzuki Samurai - right. Keep in mind that I am 6'7" tall and there is not going to be any jumping in. I found that I could get in if the seat was all the way back, reclined a bit, put my left foot in first, held onto the grab bar and door, leaned in, sat down, put my feet just so to get the right leg in, and leaned off to one side to shut the door. I could only describe it as uncomfortable at best until we actually did some rock crawling then it was miserable. These vehicles can be worked over to become quite capable off road machines however I do believe that they were designed by a Japanese gentleman was who considered to be exceptionally short for his race.

We drove about two miles from camp and were glassing a hillside across the canyon above a tank. There were a few other vehicles parked in the vicinity doing the same. I let him know that there was a bull on the hillside. There were actually quite a few elk on the hillside. I figured that it might be a good idea to get on the other side of the ridge where we saw the elk on opening morning. I also figured that a few of the other hunters were going to be parking in the same place and heading that way. They could move them to us.

Such was not the case. We left camp opening morning at 4:30 AM so that we could drive 45 minutes and get to another spot before daybreak. The area actually looked pretty good. Lots of older beds and sign. I only found a pile or two that was fresh within 24 hours. We marched around in a big loop with minimal time spent glassing. Heck, he would go a couple hundred yards without pause prior to taking a quick glance around. Glassing was reserved for special occasions. He said that he could always spot the elk before they saw him even while walking. We saw nothing.

That afternoon we went back to where we had seen elk before and got around to the next ridge over. We saw a nice 6x5 a little over 300 yards out. I was tempted to try to take him but it would require a stalk to get in at less than 200 yards. Keep in mind that this is muzzle loader hunt. The ft lbs of most of these weapons is getting very marginal when past the 150 yard mark. He asked how far I could shoot that thing and was informed that I did not even know the drop at 300 yards as it is not a clean kill distance for this weapon. I looked up the muzzle loader data again for my load. I sighted in for 150 yards which is at 973 ft lbs. Most consider 1,000 ft lbs to be the lower end for elk hunting. At 200 yards the drop from this setup is 13" (762 ft lbs). 300 yards gives 42" of drop and 445 ft lbs.

It was almost dark and I felt that a stalk would be difficult at best trying to get down the rocky ridge line without getting spotted. I was informed that it wasn't that nice of a bull anyways and that he could put me on a better animal. I should have tried the stalk as it was the last decent thing we saw. Heck we did not even get on a spike after that.

The following morning found us on the next ridge over, marching along as usual. We saw some elk crossing a saddle that joined our ridge above us. He took off up the hill like a jackrabbit, jumping from rock to rock, and waving for me to follow. I am not a talus runner. There were three elk, we think, of unknown sex. No identification was possible nor was there any opportunity.

The next morning found us driving to the other side of the unit. We saw a really nice bull about 5AM in the headlights. I guess that was the better bull he could show me. Personally, I would have gone back to the area where we saw elk before but I am not as experienced and have these novice thoughts. We saw nothing that day.

The following days were no better. I have not hunted like this before. Hike an hour in the morning, in the dark, to get to the "good" spot. Spend maybe 5 minutes there after it is daylight. March around hoping that the animals don't see you first. If you do see something, go like heck to try to get in front of it. I was not able to keep up being a flat lander now at 7,000 feet in elevation, I found it difficult to catch my breath. I was then informed that if I wanted to see anything that I had to keep up. I was working hard just to try to keep this a**hole in sight.

He had one of his partners with him one day. They would walk ahead, softly talking & laughing, and with waving their hands with great animation the whole time. The guide had a pair of natural elk skin choppers on. You know how new choppers are yellow and shiny bright. Once in a while they would hold up for you. It sure was nice that they were getting paid to visit with each other. I was wondering if anyone would discover the bodies. We never did see anything that day either. Probably had something to do with marching, paying no attention, and waving those bright gloves around while talking.

I informed him that I had never hunted this way before. He did not like that comment and wanted to know what I really knew about elk. I actually do know a bit about them but thought that this ought to be fun. I responded that they were a lot like deer. Well, I got the 15 minute lecture about how they were not at all like deer which lead into his description of what they were like. He proceeded to give a prefect description of mule deer habits without even realizing it. There is one strong difference. Elk travel further than mule deer when you bump them which is mainly because they can travel those distances easily.

Something dawned on me after a while. They do lion hunts and he is permanently in lion hunting mode where you are always chasing the dogs. I was also starting to believe that he was using my hunt to scout for other purposes.

His idea of accommodating this old man was to wait up every so often and then take off as soon as you caught up. I would continue to stand there waiting for my heart rate to stabilize. He would turn and see me still standing there and stop with a disgusted look on his face. I let him know on the fourth day that I was no longer going to try to pretend that I could keep up with him. I was struggling to maintain a reasonable heartbeat and that this would kill me if I attempted to keep it up. I was very tired from the previous days which made it even more difficult. I told him he could slowly take me back to the camp and that he was relieved of his obligation. This did not go over well as he was probably thinking that this was not good for his reputation. There are no refunds nor was I asking for one. I just figured that I could ditch him and go hunt by myself. He did not want to let go. The last couple of days were more enjoyable as the long marches were over. We even stooped so low, in his opinion, to watch a tank in the evening but no elk was seen. He claims that you don't see elk sitting that you have to be moving. What a crock.

This was the least amount of elk I have seen when fortunate enough to get drawn. I have been drawn four other times. I shot a 5x4 and two times have passed on spikes. Only one other year did I not have an opportunity. I should know better by now not to pass on spikes or anything else. It does not seem to matter whether I am deer or elk hunting, if I pass on any animal that it will be the last shootable game seen.

Camp wasn't even fun. The very early mornings combined with not getting back to camp until well after dark only left time for dinner and bed. You might be able to hustle up dinner and be able to get 6 hours sleep.

Things I learned this hunt:

  • Don't ever, ever, ever bother with a guide unless someone you know has used him. The rest falls under truth in advertising - not!
  • Try the stalk when game is seen. It is better to get busted trying than to not try. I am still kicking myself for not trying. 6x5 antlers would look good next to the 5x4.
  • I hate Suzuki Samurais.
  • I did see some country I haven't been in before. I know where I want to be the first couple days of the hunting season if I can get drawn for 6A again.
  • Bifocal glasses are a poor choice when trying to hike in the dark with a flashlight. You pretty much have to keep your head down to be able to see over the lower lens. Get another pair of glasses without the bifocal. I used to have a regular pair but neglected to do so with the last pair. It's not like your going to be reading much. You can take them off if you can't see the map well enough.
  • I really like my Big Buddy heater with a 20 pound bottle as it lasted 5 days.
  • Cut morons like this loose earlier. You can't get your money back anyways, so why make yourself miserable because you paid for it.
  • Just because your paying someone doesn't mean that they actually know more than you do.
  • Repeat this to yourself as necessary.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The Nightmare in DC Act

Contact your congress critter and let them know what you think of yet another attempt at back door amnesty. Senator Session has put up a good synopsis of the bill.

The full text of Senator Sessions’ release:

OBAMA-REID AMNESTY PLAN BACK ON SENATE CALENDAR FOR LAME-DUCK SESSION

BILL WOULD GIVE COLLEGE PREFERENCE TO ILLEGALS OVER CITIZENS

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has placed S.3827, the DREAM Act, on the Legislative Calendar and has indicated he will seek a vote during the lame duck session of Congress.

In addition to immediately putting an estimated 2.1 million illegal aliens (including certain criminal aliens) on a path to citizenship, the DREAM Act will give them access to in-state tuition rates at public universities, federal student loans, and federal work-study programs.

Aliens granted amnesty by the DREAM Act will have the legal right to petition for entry of their family members, including their adult brothers and sisters and the parents who illegally brought or sent them to the United States, once they become naturalized U.S. citizens. In less than a decade, this reality could easily double or triple the more than 2.1 million green cards that will be immediately distributed as a result of the DREAM Act.

Ten Things You Need To Know About S.3827, The DREAM Act

1. The DREAM Act Is NOT Limited to Children, And It Will Be Funded On the Backs Of Hard Working, Law-Abiding Americans

Proponents of the DREAM Act frequently claim the bill offers relief only to illegal alien “kids.” Incredibly, previous versions of the DREAM Act had no age limit at all, so illegal aliens of any age who satisfied the Act’s requirements—not just children—could obtain lawful permanent resident (LPR) status. In response to this criticism, S.3827 includes a requirement that aliens be under the age of 35 on the date of enactment to be eligible for LPR status. Even with this cap, many aliens would be at least 41 years old before obtaining full LPR status under the Act—hardly the “kids” the Act’s advocates keep talking about.

The DREAM Act requires that DHS/USCIS process all DREAM Act applications (applications that would require complex, multi-step adjudication) without being able to increase fees to handle processing. This mandate would require either additional Congressional appropriations, or for USCIS, a primarily fee-funded agency, to raise fees on other types of immigration benefit applications. This would unfairly spread the cost of administering the DREAM Act legalization program among applicants and petitioners who have abided by U.S. laws and force taxpayers to pay for amnesty. Taxpayers would also be on the hook for all Federal benefits the DREAM Act seeks to offer illegal aliens, including student loans and grants.

2. The DREAM Act PROVIDES SAFE HARBOR FOR ANY ALIEN, Including Criminals, From Being Removed or Deported If They Simply Submit An Application


Although DREAM Act proponents claim it will benefit only those who meet certain age, presence, and educational requirements, amazingly the Act protects ANY alien who simply submits an application for status no matter how frivolous. The bill forbids the Secretary of Homeland Security from removing “any alien who has a pending application for conditional status” under the DREAM Act—regardless of age or criminal record—providing a safe harbor for all illegal aliens. This loophole will open the floodgates for applications that could stay pending for many years or be litigated as a delay tactic to prevent the illegal aliens’ removal from the United States. The provision will further erode any chances of ending the rampant illegality and fraud in the existing system.

3. Certain Criminal Aliens Will Be Eligible For Amnesty Under The DREAM Act

Certain categories of criminal aliens will be eligible for the DREAM Act amnesty, including alien gang members and aliens with misdemeanor convictions, even DUIs. The DREAM Act allows illegal aliens guilty of the following offenses to be eligible for amnesty: alien absconders (aliens who failed to attend their removal proceedings), aliens who have engaged in voter fraud or unlawfully voted, aliens who have falsely claimed U.S. citizenship, aliens who have abused their student visas, and aliens who have committed marriage fraud. Additionally, illegal aliens who pose a public health risk, aliens who have been permanently barred from obtaining U.S. citizenship, and aliens who are likely to become a public charge are also eligible.

4. Estimates Suggest That At Least 2.1 Million Illegal Aliens Will Be Eligible For the DREAM Act Amnesty. In Reality, We Have No Idea How Many Illegal Aliens Will Apply

Section 4(d) of the DREAM Act waives all numerical limitations on green cards, and prohibits any numerical limitation on the number of aliens eligible for amnesty under its provisions. The Migration Policy Institute estimates that the DREAM Act will make approximately 2.1 million illegal aliens eligible for amnesty. It is highly likely that the number of illegal aliens receiving amnesty under the DREAM Act will be much higher than the estimated 2.1 million due to fraud and our inherent inability to accurately estimate the illegal alien population. Clearly, the message sent by the DREAM Act will be that if any young person can enter the country illegally, within 5 years, they will be placed on a path to citizenship.

5. Illegal Aliens Will Get In-State Tuition Benefits

The DREAM Act will allow illegal aliens to qualify for in-state tuition, even when it is not being offered to U.S. citizens and legally present aliens living just across state lines. Section 3 of the DREAM Act repeals Section 505 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1623) which prohibits giving education benefits to an unlawfully present individual unless that same benefit is offered to all U.S. citizens.


6. The DREAM Act Does Not Require That An Illegal Alien Finish Any Type of Degree (Vocational, Two-Year, or Bachelor’s Degree) As A Condition of Amnesty

DREAM Act supporters would have you believe that the bill is intended to benefit illegal immigrants who have graduated from high school and are on their way to earning college degrees. However, the bill is careful to ensure that illegal alien high school drop-outs will also be put on a pathway to citizenship – they simply have to get a GED and be admitted to “an institution of higher education,” defined by the Higher Education Act of 1965.

Under the Higher Education Act, an “institution of higher education” includes institutions that provide 2-year programs (community colleges) and any “school that provides not less than a 1-year program of training to prepare students for gainful employment” (a vocational school). Within 8 years of the initial grant of status, the alien must prove only that they finished 2 years of a bachelor’s degree program, not that they completed any program or earned any degree.

If the alien is unable to complete 2 years of college but can demonstrate that their removal would result in hardship to themselves or their U.S. citizen or LPR spouse, child, or parent, the education requirement can be waived altogether.

7. The DREAM Act does not require that an illegal alien serve in the military as a condition for amnesty, and There is ALREADY A Legal Process In Place For Illegal Aliens to Obtain U.S. Citizenship Through Military Service

DREAM Act supporters would have you believe that illegal aliens who don’t go to college will earn their citizenship through service in the U.S. Armed Forces. However, the bill does not require aliens to join the U.S. Armed Forces (the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard); instead it requires enlistment in the “uniformed services.” This means that aliens need only go to work for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or Public Health Service for 2 years to get U.S. citizenship. If the alien is unable to complete 2 years in the “uniformed services,” and can demonstrate that their removal would result in hardship to themselves or their U.S. citizen or LPR spouse, child, or parent, the military service requirement can be waived altogether. Such claims will likely engender much litigation and place a huge burden on DHS.

Furthermore, under current law (10 USC § 504), the Secretary of Defense can authorize the enlistment of illegal aliens. Once enlisted in the U.S. Armed Forces, under 8 USC § 1440, these illegal aliens can become naturalized citizens through expedited processing, often obtaining U.S. citizenship in six months.

8. Despite Their Current Illegal Status, DREAM Act Aliens Will Be Given All The Rights That Legal Immigrants Receive—Including The Legal Right To Sponsor Their Parents and Extended Family Members For Immigration

Under current federal law, U.S. citizens have the right to immigrate their “immediate relatives” to the U.S. without regard to numerical caps. Similarly, lawful permanent residents can immigrate their spouses and children to the U.S. as long as they retain their status. This means illegal aliens who receive amnesty under the DREAM Act will have the right to immigrate their family members—including the parents who sent for or brought them to the U.S. illegally in the first place—in unlimited numbers as soon as they become U.S. citizens (6 to 8 years after enactment) and are 21 years of age.

Additionally, amnestied aliens who become U.S. citizens will be able to petition for their adult siblings living abroad to immigrate to the U.S., further incentivizing chain migration and potentially illegal entry into the United States (for those who don’t want to wait for the petition process overseas). When an adult brother or sister receives a green card, the family (spouse and children) of the adult sibling receive green cards as well.

9. Current Illegal Aliens Will Get Federal Student Loans, Federal Work Study Programs, and Other Forms of Federal Financial Aid

Section 10 of the DREAM Act allows illegal aliens amnestied under the bill’s provisions to qualify for federal student assistance under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001 et seq.) in the form of federal student loans (Stafford Loans, Perkins Loans, Federal Direct Stafford/Ford Loans), federal work-study programs, and other federal education services such as tutoring and counseling.

10. DHS Is Prohibited From Using the Information Provided By Illegal Aliens Whose DREAM Act Amnesty Applications Are Denied To Initiate Their Removal Proceedings or Investigate or Prosecute Fraud in the Application Process

When an illegal alien’s DREAM Act amnesty application is denied, the bill states that the alien will revert to their “previous immigration status,” which is likely illegal or deportable. The bill, however, prohibits using any of the information contained in the amnesty application (name, address, length of illegal presence that the alien admits to, etc) to initiate a removal proceeding or investigate or prosecute fraud in the application process. Thus, it will be extremely hard for DHS to remove aliens who they now know are illegally present in the U.S., because illegal aliens will be able to claim that the legal action is a product of the amnesty application, and DHS will have the nearly impossible task of proving a negative.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Bill Whittle on Gun Rights

This is one the best explanations of the reasoning behind gun rights I have seen considering its relatively short length.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Justice Elena Kagan's first vote is against an execution

This vote is because the drug used for LETHAL injection might not be SAFE! Well go figure. If it were safe it wouldn't be lethal. I know that is not the argument used but you would think that logic would laugh this out of court. Maybe we should go back to hanging. Is that rope comfortable enough for you? It isn't chaffing is it? I hope it doesn't give you a rash!

How does a case like this even get before the SCOTUS? Oh, I had a momentary lapse of thought. We have a federal judge in Phoenix and the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to thank for momentarily halting the execution for this reason. That's how ridiculous cases like this get to the supreme.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Is Hunting Becoming Dead?

Pop on over and view Snowflakes in Hell's "Why Hunting is Doomed".

I agree with Sebastian’s analysis in that if something does not change in the way hunters view the anti-2nd and anti-hunting groups actions that they are doomed. There are too many hunters that still buy into restrictions not realizing that the intent is to shut them down. Evil black rifles, let’s have coyotes/wolves brought in for herd management, the poor little cute doves, etc. All these hide the main agenda of complete bans on all hunting and fishing. I have some hope for the states that are getting the right-to-hunt in their constitutions. This will provide a better footing in the local courts.

I am pleased that the NRA has opened the hunter liaison group but it is a little late in the game. The NRA has done a poor job of recognizing the need for this branch even though they had been complaining for years about how some of the hunters did not support them. This should have been started decades ago not a couple years ago. Oh look, a fire. Perhaps we should buy some shovels and hoses. The NRA has missed out on a large group that would provide a sizable percentage that could actually be educated and become allies.

Hunters need to realize, as most 2nd supporters do, that the little regulation that seems innocuous is truly the camel’s nose under the tent.

Friday, October 01, 2010

My Father and Friend is Gone.

Sorry for the lag in posting but.....
Dad passed away Monday night at 10:15 PM MI time. There have been multiple trips back as he was weakening so I have been a bit busy. I am back in MI taking care of business and trying to keep it all together. He was my father but he was also my friend as I grew older. We spent a lot of time fishing, hunting, and just talking. I need to post some pictures of us at the Blue River deer hunting etc but need to get back home to my CD library first. Darn it all. Men do have tears in them.

The vultures circle - my a-hole cousin wants to know if he can have my dad's Winchester side-by-side model 24. Think the business end is appropriate?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Fishing in the Monsoon Season

My wife, daughter and I went down to Parker Canyon Lake again last Saturday morning. It was perfect with a nice overcast sky so that we were not frying in the heat. Fishing was a little slow. We would get a couple of bites and then end up moving to another spot. We would get a few bites there and then it would go dead also.

About 10:30 AM it started to drizzle but there was no lightning or high winds. I informed the girls that this was perfect fishing weather but they did seem reluctant to accept this advice. That might have something to do with not bringing rain gear. We tend to forget it as it is almost always sunny. They started to complain when the rain started to come down harder. There must be correlation here between bigger rain drops and the female of the species' desire to remain outside. Bigger rain drops came along but still no lightning. Still perfect fishing weather in my mind.

I was persuaded to return to the dock. A weed cutter was at the dock at the time dumping a load of weeds so it would be busy there for a little while. I decided to troll on the way back and did pick up a few bites and a nice sized sunfish. My wife was looking around as asked if we were even moving. She then noticed that I was trolling and urged greater speed toward the dock.

About the time we docked and brought the trailer down for the boat the sky opened up and it poured. I was soaked through and through by the time the boat was buttoned up for the road. I actually did enjoy myself as it wasn't that cold. I learned to fish in the rain in Michigan growing up. If you weren't willing to fish in the rain, you cut your available time in half or worse.

I let the girls know that I had a good time and thanked them for coming. I am not sure what they said aside from the few words that I did catch.......cold, wet, ponchos, umbrella. I did go to Caveman Warehouse and get some ponchos to keep in the boat along with an old rain jacket of mine. I am now positive that there will be no reason to quit fishing because of a little rain.

Oh yes, I wanted to post a picture of the sunfish.

I think it was a sunfish anyways. Sure didn't look like a Bluegill, Bass or Trout.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Summertime in Michigan

I needed to go back to MI to take of a few items for my parents. We (daughters and I) drove out. My wife was discussing my sanity as I announced that it was a two day trip as it was only 2000 miles. Our route went through NM, TX, AR, TN, KY, OH, to MI. It is not actually the fastest route but I refuse to go through Illinois and give them any money. The current laws surrounding concealed carry (none) or any transport in general (difficult) convince me to go elsewhere. Besides, the other states are lush and green this time of year. It makes for a very pretty ride.
There was a fine hail storm in New Mexico that made things look like it had snowed.
I would say the the cell phone picture does not do justice to the conditions.


First stop Salisaw, Oklahoma. We got to the Days Inn about 1 AM local time. We were not staying at the Hilton so that we could keep the traveling costs down. We were losing time traveling East.



The rest of the trip there was fairly uneventful. My daughters asked what you call someone from each different state. I gave them the first answer that came to mind.
NM - Lobos
TX - Texans and BSers. I always figured that all Texans would be able to ski if BS was white.
AR - Razorbacks
TN - Vols
KY - Wildcat or Hillbilly
OH - Buckeyes
MI - Wolverines or Morons if they still live anywhere near Detroit. My nephew was a parole officer in the Detroit area. He referred to it as the Peoples Republic of Wayne. This reference is do to Detroit being in Wayne County and looking like a third world country.
My daughter then asked what you were called if you were from AZ. I told her, "Racist". We had a little laugh about that.
I had the opportunity to teach my daughters about some of the distinguishing features of Michigan such as:


The state bird.









State flower







State statue.







One interesting sideline was on the way back. My older daughter was driving and we stopped at a rest area in Arkansas. A gentleman pulled into the parking space next to us and motioned for me to roll down the window. The conversation went like this:
Are you fer or agin it?
I am for it.
We are too.
It is the same as the federal laws. We are tired of the invasion.
That's what we figured. We are all fer it down here too, bunch of stupid politics.
Yep.
Nice talkin to you.
You too.

I imagine that he noticed the AZ plates on the vehicle and just had to ask. Note that he didn't ask about the legislative number but we both knew what he was asking.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Link to Daily Kos?????

A very nice post on "Why Liberals Should Love the Second Amendment".
The comments are hilarious as one would expect. I wonder how long the Kos will leave it up?

Friday, July 02, 2010

Monday, June 28, 2010

Fishing Some More

We went to Parker Canyon Lake again this Saturday. The fishing wasn't quite as good if you talk to the ladies. I kind of liked my four trout and the one bluegill that I actually kept. We left the lake early so as to not fry in the sun. This gets the boat a new record for 5 times in the water this year. We are still planning on improving on that but will have to start watching the weather soon. Monsoon season is coming shortly and really don't like being out on the lake during lightning events. I would say that we will have to limit our time to morning only and get off the lakes by 11 AM or so.

We have caught a few sunfish that were decent sized but had a lot bigger mouth than a bluegill and little more greenish. I new that all the sunfish in the lake were legal with no size or number limit so we kept a two. I looked them up and they are the Green Sunfish.


Native to the Great Lakes, Hudson Bay and the Mississippi River basin. Introduced into Arizona in 1926. Large mouth with blue-green striations on the cheeks. Opercle flap is black with reddish or orange border. Bodies olive-green in color, dark vertical bars are faintly seen on sides. Pectoral fin short and rounded. Caudal fin and lower fin margins are white or yellowish with dusky spots at rear of dorsal and anal fins. Length: 3 to 12 inches. Weight: 3 ounces to 1 pound 8 ounces. May live to nine years.

I would love to find one of these that is 12" long. That would be a fun fight. Most sunfish put up more fight than a trout ever thought of. You even get to the point that you think that you have a medium sized bluegill on when it turns out to be a 13" trout.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Run for the Hills!!!!!

Is it time to panic?

Is the sky falling?

Should we scream and shout?

Are we to run in decreasing radius circles until you can only rotate? (its an engineer thing)

Daughter #2 has her temp driving permit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!













I do so love Ed Roth's Rat Fink images!

Just a bit of followup. We have gone driving twice so far and all goes well. Saturday afternoon was sith the RAV. Sunday morning was out with the mighty Bronco to play on some dirt trails. One of the first comments was that the Bronce sure was a lot different than the RAV. We had to stop and clean the Bronco windows as it is not a daily driver and sit collecting dust when it isn't hunting season. She said that her hands were getting sore from the death grip on the wheel trying to figure out a path through the ruts. Woohoo!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

More Fishing

We have gone two more Saturdays since the last post. These times we left the dog behind as it is getting too hot for him. I do believe that we will set a new record this year for the number of times the Lion Paw (boat) gets wet this year. The previous Saturday we had 1 trout, 1 bass and a ton of bluegill. This time we had 3 trout and even more bluegill.

The Forest Service required that we move from our secrete fishing spot as choppers were coming in to pick up water to fight a fire. We could see the smoke about ten miles off. It was interesting to see the choppers hover to snorkel up water and watch them drop it on the fire. They kind of looked like this one.

We watched them from about 200 yards away. I would have been willing to be closer if the authorities would have complied. Heck - you just get blasted from the air and water spray. Refreshing!

We continued our fishing in another spot that turned out good, also. I must go again this Saturday. The bass should be lighting up any time now.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Fishing Time!

Daughter #2 and I went to Big Lake the weekend after Memorial Day. Can you say gale force winds? Normally it would be nice and calm at daybreak. Not this time! It was gusting to 10-15 MPH already. I would estimate that when we got off the lake we were have gusts to 40 MPH. Too much. The wind could take you off your feet when on land.

We went out in the morning but could not troll as you had to put too much into the speed to control direction. The wind could turn you right around at low speeds. Anchored off in a couple of more protected areas and had some bites. We got off the lake about 10:30. I was glad that I had the gas motor as you weren't going anywhere against the wind with an electric. There were more boats on trailers than on the water. I only saw two other souls braving the whitecaps.

My daughter had experienced enough adventure for the day so we called it good. The boat did well and we enjoyed ourselves so it was a successful trip. She is now talking about the next fishing event. Maybe a day run to Parker or Roosevelt.

So......
the 5th found us (wife, daughter, dog and me) on Parker Canyon Lake. Weather was hot but with just a little wind. They had a blast! We went out looking for panfish. The bluegills did not disappoint us. I have no idea how many we threw back in. We kept 8 of them along with 2 trout and a nice bass. It was calm enough out that I was even able to smoke a nice cigar in between releasing fish and baiting hooks.

I had fun too, so we will head out again this next weekend.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It's All Bush's Fault

It's All Bush's Fault...an interesting read

It gets real nasty when your own folks start turning on you!!

Chuck Green is stating some very obvious facts here...but...the irony is that The Denver Post and Chuck Green are very far-left-wing liberals. Gee, I can't imagine what might have made him change his mind?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I Like Commissioner Pierce & Exurban League

Hot Air article here.

Copy of original letter can be found here.

Dear Mayor Villaraigosa,

I was dismayed to learn that the Los Angeles City Council voted to boycott Arizona and Arizona-based companies — a vote you strongly supported — to show opposition to SB 1070 (Support our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act).

You explained your support of the boycott as follows: “While we recognize that as neighbors, we share resources and ties with the State of Arizona that may be difficult to sever, our goal is not to hurt the local economy of Los Angeles, but to impact the economy of Arizona. Our intent is to use our dollars — or the withholding of our dollars — to send a message.” (emphasis added)

I received your message; please receive mine. As a state-wide elected member of the Arizona Corporation Commission overseeing Arizona’s electric and water utilities, I too am keenly aware of the “resources and ties” we share with the City of Los Angeles. In fact, approximately twenty-five percent of the electricity consumed in Los Angeles is generated by power plants in Arizona.

If an economic boycott is truly what you desire, I will be happy to encourage Arizona utilities to renegotiate your power agreements so Los Angeles no longer receives any power from Arizona-based generation. I am confident that Arizona’s utilities would be happy to take those electrons off your hands. If, however, you find that the City Council lacks the strength of its convictions to turn off the lights in Los Angeles and boycott Arizona power, please reconsider the wisdom of attempting to harm Arizona’s economy.

People of goodwill can disagree over the merits of SB 1070. A state-wide economic boycott of Arizona is not a message sent in goodwill.

Sincerely,
Commissioner Gary Pierce






Now for a visual brought to you by the Exurban League.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Census & Wasted Taxpayer Dollars

Yes, I filled out the census form and mailed it back in. A few days ago I got a phone call to "verify information". What a waste of our money. There were tons of useless invasive questions to which I answered most as they meant nothing to our privacy. Such as:
Have you or someone in your family been incarcerated between such and such a date?
Mental institute?
Anyone who is not a family member living with you?
Anyone who is a family member who you did not list?
Anyone else living with you between such as such date that isn't listed.
etc, etc etc - this went on for about 30 questions.
Some questions were actually trick ones as they were the same question from a different angle.

I held the phone out so everyone could hear as she was quite loud. We were trying not to laugh out loud. I answered most questions in between snickers that I am sure she could hear. She then wanted to know the exact address of my daughter who is away at college. I asked why they would need that as I had listed her at being at NAU and that her permanent residence was here. She didn't know why, just that she was supposed to ask. I told her that I was very hesitant to give the exact address of my daughter who is away at school as I did not know who had access to the information. She said that she had never heard it phrased quite that way and understood my concern. I did not answer that one.

I asked how I had been blessed to receive this phone call seeing that I had already filled out the form. I was told that they are calling most people to confirm information. I really do not believe the "most people" part and they are probably pulling some forms here and there. I wonder if I get the door to door person next. Why not have a double waste of my money.

What a waste of our taxpayer dollars! I sent it in, there is nothing wrong with it, and we are paying someone to call us. You would think that this would be a very simple process with two questions - how many people live here and their ages. It doesn't seem that even names would be needed of everyone for the consitutional purpose of the census.

Which moronic government bureaucrat set this up? Is that redundant?

"Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself." Mark Twain

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Bowling Pin Shoot #2

Due to a mental lapse by the organizer, the event was held on Mother's Day. I was happy to be able to attend as it was early enough to not interfere with any of our planned festivities. I shot poorly as I was quite tired. My travels took me to Flagstaff on Thursday to collect my daughter at NAU. This involved many more boxes than originally were delivered and many trips up/down the stairs to load. We came back on Friday and unloaded. Saturday morning I was off to the barber followed by a trip to auto repair shop to pull the error code that lit up the "Check Engine Soon" light on the van. The light came on Thursday and went off Friday. The oil pressure, temperature, voltage, and performance were OK so I ignored it. We then were off to bowl 5 games - should have stuck to three as it made me a bit sore.

Oh yeah - bowling pin shoot. The match was set up to run five times, throw out the slowest time, and average the rest to set the base time for the shoot-offs. I lost the first round fair and square. The next round, I was up against a fellow who started shooting real poor during qualifying but warmed up quite nicely by round five. This resulted in him having a 6 second (I think) head start on me. I never stood a chance. He would have 5 of 6 off the table before my buzzer went off. Might have to rethink this as it is too easy to sandbag it. Regardless, it was fun to shoot.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Arturo Fuente Hemingway

I like an occasional cigar and am quite fond of the Short Story. Habana House has a section to send in a picture of your ash. I couldn't resist and sent one in.
Ash Hall of Fame

I am still trying to settle on a cheaper, daily type cigar. I tried one bundle called the Original Cubans robusto but find them OK sometimes and not so good another time. I am open to suggestion to try another low cost bundle. There are few things better than sitting on the porch with a drink and a cigar. One of the better things is shooting a steel challenge or workers competition with a nice cigar.

I also like:
Partagas Black Label Prontos
Punch Bolos
Cohiba Pequenos
Hoyo de Tradicion Epicure

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Senate Democrats propose immigration reform

I don't want to hear that you are going to toughen up border security, I want to see it. Then we can talk amnesty and not before. Just because these politicians say that they are going to do something does not equate to any real world actions. Remember the fence that they forgot to fund?

It is time again to complain, loud and clear, to our reps that we want the border secured first before anything else is considered.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

GM's TV Ad

I do believe that GM has further convinced me that my next vehicles will be anything but GM. That ad is insulting at best. A lot of gall bragging that they paid off their $6.9 billion loan. We, the taxpayers, ended up giving them $50 billion in bailout money. GM raided the money from another fund and "payed off" this one for advertising purposes.

I believe that they are also in the process of asking for $10 billion more. Comments from the Treasury Department indicate that chances of repayment are somewhere between slim and none.

I do hope that Ford can stay off the dole so at least one American manufacturer remains independent.

I might be tempted to buy a GM product in the future but Government Motors won't get a sale from me. Let's see, a 69 Vette Roadster with the 427 comes to mind or maybe a 66 Cadillac Eldorado or maybe a Yenko or....there are some great classics out there.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

AZ Immigration Bill

Update - It's signed so the fun begins.

I love this quote.
"I'm disappointed because they are painting all illegal immigrants with a broad brush," Estrada said. "Everybody is bad, everybody is harmful, everybody is hurting the economy. That is not necessarily true."
Estrada is a Santa Cruz County Sheriff. Why sure Estrada, we do paint all of the illegal immigrants the same, as lawbreakers. You note the word "illegal".

This one is interesting also. Poll finds AZ voters like new immigration measure. They like it a lot apparently. 70% of likely voters.

And don't forget one of the most clown-like congresscritters ever to hit AZ - Grijalva.
Let's boycott ourselves. The state needs money but everyone should shun us because of a law passed that mimics the unenforced federal law. The more I hear him speak, the more I wonder what his constituents think of him. I know what I think and am glad that he isn't mine although I can't say I am happy with my critter either.

I like Kyl's comment on the boycott.
"That's very helpful. An Arizona congressman calling for folks to boycott his home state?" Kyl said in the Washington Times. "That'll really help job creation. End of comment."

Monday, April 19, 2010

Shooting Range Improvements

Cheap Shots at Shooting Ranges UPDATED BELOW; AGAIN; AND AGAIN
Bounce over and read the blog comments on the Goldwater Institute's commercial.
I had sent an email to the Goldwater Institute on this topic basically complaining that they must not like hunting and shooting if they wanted politicians involved on controlling our money.

Their (GI) prompt response is below.

Thank you for your interest in this issue. First, let me assure that you that the Goldwater Institute is not anti-hunting. We have been and continue to be a strong advocate for Second Amendment rights, which of course includes hunting as a vocation or personal hobby.

Second, I would like to explain why the $800,000 figure appears in the Goldwater Institute video. House Bill 2002 set aside this money for remodeling and other improvements at the Ben Avery shooting range -- not for regular maintenance. The bill says the money comes from the Game and Fish capital improvement fund. In turn, the Joint Legislative Budget Committee confirms that money from the fund does come from various hunting and fishing licenses.
We are not suggesting that the Legislature “confiscate” the $800,000 for unrelated programs. But in these extremely difficult budget times, is remodeling the Ben Avery shooting range really the best use of these funds to benefit the greater hunting and fishing communities? Keep in the mind that the Game and Fish Department has been forced to delay maintenance and forgo the purchase of vehicles that could be vital for game wardens and wildlife conservationists to carry out their daily duties across the state. Also, these funds could be used to further enhance the fight against invasive species such as the quagga mussel.

Finally, if the state really has no better use for the $800,000, why not simply return the money to people who are struggling to purchase hunting licenses in the first place because of Arizona’s economic downturn? Surely, improvements to the Ben Avery shooting range could wait a couple of years until the economy has recovered, if such improvements truly are a necessary government function.

This is what the Goldwater Institute means when our video says that policymakers should fix their spending priorities before asking voters for another tax increase.

Please me know if you have any other concerns that I could address.

Le Templar
Communications Director
Goldwater Institute
(602) 462-5000, ext. 228
www.goldwaterinstitute.org
500 E. Coronado St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004


I disagree with the basis of the explanation in that there seems to be some initial evaluation assumptions of what hunters and recreational shooters need. I am a hunter and recreational shooter and feel that keeping the Avery Range a top notch facility by continual improvements is very important. I would suggest that it is easier/better to get the newbie involved in shooting first prior to even talking about hunting. A lot of people have standing offers to take the newbie to the range the first time supplying weapons and ammunition for that person for free. It is easier as less money and equipment is required to get started and develop that interest. You need to see if the individual enjoys shooting prior to try to convince them to go hunting. It would be better as you can promote safe weapons handling and marksmanship prior to ever going to the field.

The standing joke is that minute-of-pieplate is adequate for hunting. This is far from the truth as that minute-of-pieplate may be required at 300 yards (or longer) for big game hunting. Minute-of-pieplate at 50 yards results in missed or wounded animals at distance. You can't get comfortable shooting your hunting weapon during the hunt. As my friend Kevin says, "Hunting is taking your weapon for a walk." This is true as most big game hunts should involve one shot. As we hunters say - the fun stops when the animal drops. Many people that never go hunting put a lot of money into the fund via the weapons and ammunition taxes.

I say that better range facilities increase the number of people involved the sports and therefor increase the income to the funds for all topics.

UPDATE
OK - I could not let it go so I responded.

"Le Templar

I disagree with the basis of the explanation in that there seems to be some initial evaluation assumptions of what hunters and recreational shooters need or what is best for them. I am a hunter and recreational shooter and feel that keeping the Avery Range a top notch facility by continual improvements is very important. I would suggest that it is easier/better to get the newbie involved in shooting first prior to even talking about hunting. A lot of people have standing offers to take the newbie to the range the first time supplying weapons and ammunition for that person for free. It is easier as less money and equipment is required to get started and develop that interest. You need to see if the individual enjoys shooting prior to try to convince them to go hunting. It would be better as you can promote safe weapons handling and marksmanship prior to ever going to the field.


The standing joke is that minute-of-pieplate is adequate for hunting. This is far from the truth as that minute-of-pieplate may be required at 300 yards (or longer) for big game hunting. Minute-of-pieplate at 50 yards results in missed or wounded animals at distance. You can't get comfortable shooting your hunting weapon during the hunt. As one of my friends says, "Hunting is taking your weapon for a walk." This true as most big game hunts should involve one shot. As we hunters say - the fun stops when the animal drops. Many people that never go hunting put a lot of money into the fund via the weapons and ammunition taxes.

I say that better range facilities increase the number of people involved the sports and therefor increase the income to the funds for all topics including the mussel. "


GI response:

"Without discounting anything you say about the need for practice (in fact, I’m sure you are absolutely right), the question for us comes down to whether this is a need that absolutely must be the responsibility of government. Or should hunters-in-training pool their own funds to support private, quality shooting ranges? For the record, we ask the exact question about other outdoor activities from golf to batting cages. "

My response:

"This is an unusual response at best and makes me think that you do support outside groups controlling these funds. Who defines that need? You, politicians, I certainly hope not as you seem very confused as to how this works. Hunters-in-training?? You have got to be kidding. Again, we already pool our money and one the most important things to us as a group is the continuation of our sports without interference from outside groups with their own agenda. You apparently feel that you know what is the best use of our funds.

The only responsibility of the state government is approve the budget created by the AZ Game & Fish Commission. The Commission members are recommended to the Governor by a Commission Recommendation Board made up of three sportsman representatives, one member from the cattle/ranching community, and one public member of a non-game organization.
Their duties are:
1 - Assists the Governor to identify prospective AZGFD Commission candidates.
2 - Conduct a public forum for the public to meet AZGFD Commission applicants.
3 - Review applications and make a recommendation to the Governor.
4 - May make recommendations to Legislature on AZGFD Commission qualifications.

I would suggest that the state governments approval is a statement of legality not purpose. The State doesn't fund shooting ranges. Non-profit organization donations and the users pay for the ranges. You want to see the donations go away? Do you want to see the hundreds of hours volunteered to make the ranges better go away? Just move forward with your wonderful ideas.

To take a paragraph from a fellow blogger, "A great reason for a state to encourage the development of shooting ranges is the creation of multi-use facilities for law enforcement training, civilian marksmanship training, hunter education, and competition use. Shooting competitions and firearms training attract tourist dollars too. One way our state reduces the tax burden is through the sharing of the shooting ranges with law enforcement. If we didn’t share the ranges, each municipality would spend millions to create a shooting range for each law enforcement agency. Under our system, the Tempe Police pay a modest fee to use the Rio Salado Sportsmen’s Club shooting range for officer firearms training, practice, and firearms qualification testing. The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office uses the Ben Avery Arizona Shooting Range. Public ranges in Tucson are used by the Tucson Police, US Border Patrol, and by the military."

Your statement, "Why not simply return the money to people who are struggling to purchase licenses in the first place because of Arizona's economic downturn." has some inherent flaws. What people are you referring to, everyone? How would you intend that this money not be distributed to those who have never purchased a license or paid tax on ammunition? It would seem that you are suggesting a redistribution of money to people who had nothing to do with this fund to begin with. Let's confiscate this money and give to everyone.

And here I thought that we as hunters/shooters were pooling our own money to use. If we didn't like the usage of it we would let the Governor and AZ Game & Fish Commission know our thoughts. I guess that I am partially correct on my first assumptions. You are not purposely against hunting/shooting but are unaware of the unintended consequences of this type action."


It should be interesting so I will continue to post it up.

UPDATE AGAIN

GI Response:

Let me back up a second here and explain an issue that’s fundamental to the mission of Goldwater Institute. Any group of people can voluntarily get together, privately pool their resources and accomplish something great for themselves and for society as a whole. This is the right to peaceful assembly that’s protected by the First Amendment. One aspect of this right is if the association doesn’t use the pooled resources to your satisfaction, you can walk away and use your time and money in some other way. In the end, no one can force you to do anything with your labor and personal income without your permission.

However, when government pools such resources on your behalf, it ultimately relies on its coercive police powers to make that happen. The government can compel you, even against your wishes, to contribute to a purpose that you don’t support and never would voluntarily contribute to. If you try to refuse to pay the government, it can use its police powers to take away your income through civil fines or to take away your freedom by placing you in jail.

Because of the incredible and terrible powers present anytime that government takes action, the Goldwater Institute advocates for keeping government involvement as limited as possible, so that we are free to use our minds and our hands and our money to best meet our own needs and not someone else’s.

You can pretend that hunters are merely pooling their own money through the Game and Fish Department to accomplish common goals. But of course, if you refuse to pay the hunter license fees (or even a portion of those fees) because you disagree with how they are spent – and still go hunting – the state is going to fine you and possibly put you in jail.

How does this relate to the Ben Avery shooting range? It’s a question of whether we should empower government to possibly throw hunters in jail who might not want to pay for it, or at least might not want to pay for it in the way that Game and Fish now decides how the funds are used. Sure, the shooting range is used by the police and military, but it probably would be designed much differently if it strictly for their use and not available to private shooters as well.

Please note that I think you misinterpreted my statement, "Why not simply return the money to people who are struggling to purchase licenses in the first place because of Arizona's economic downturn." I meant the state could return the money to the hunters who paid the fees, not to anyone else. I personally know hunters who have cut back on the game licenses they obtain because they can’t afford all of the fees when they are unemployed or working less than 40 hours a week in a bad economy.

Thanks again for your interest in this issue,

Le Templar
Communications Director

Seems like a slight diversion to me - Look a pony!

My response:

Mr. Le Templar,
You are backing up to a different topic. We are discussing how the money is guided at this point in time not whether the law is good but I will comment on this also. I have mixed feeling about the Pittman-Robertson Act for the same reasons you mention but..............there was a time when licenses and fees were non-existent. Our population increased and the animals we like to hunt almost disappeared. In the 1930, the enroachment of humans on habitat and over-hunting without regulation had caused populations of many game species to almost disappear. You would be lucky to find a white tail deer as they were almost hunted out. Comes along the Pittman-Robertson Act in 1937. It was actually successful and controversial. Many sportsmen decided they liked the idea. A lot were dismayed that the Feds were involved. Both were right.

Later on a repeal bill was drawn to relieve sportsmen from the financial burden of the excise tax. However, because dramatic results could be seen nationwide, sportsmen insisted on keeping the tax in place. Today the nationwide deer population is about 20 million strong. Pittman-Robertson was a rare legislative model for efficiency and a godsend for hunters and animals alike.

There have been difficulties of mismanagement in the past. I believe that another act was passed in 2000 that strictly limited what the USFWS could spend the taxes on and in what manner they can be spent. Is it not always fair to everyone as not everyone is interested in all topics supported by the funds such as game management, non-game management, shooting ranges, hunters' safety, etc. I do not like some of the money used for studies on banning lead shot, minnows, the frantic funny featherless warbler, or...there is a laundry list here however there are ways for me to complain about this and actual effect some change at the state level. There are birders who buy binoculars and complain that some of there money goes to hunting and shooting. There has to be a better plan presented before I can accept the repealing of this act.

Let's go back to the original discussion. There is no valid way to refund these fees back out fairly even if the sportsmen so desired. The competitive shooter buys more ammo in a year than most hunters buy in a lifetime. How could it be fair to give his contribution back to license holders only? There is no valid way to do this that does not leave one group or another ignored. I really get nailed as I like competitive shooting, hunting (elk,deer, mountain lion, dove, you name it), fishing, archery, etc. I should probably get more back than the guy who is just complaining about a license fee. Right?

When I watched the ad the GI basically accuses politicians of lying (Are their lips moving?), then seems to connect increased taxation to the shooting range improvements. They are not connected. I expect that this was not what was intended however that's how it reads.
Sincerely,
Don

GI seems to very responsive in answering so this is to their credit. We'll see what the next response is.

AND AGAIN

GI Response:

Ultimately, we probably will have to agree to disagree on this point. However, I would mention that everything the Goldwater Institute does is guided by the fundamental principles of limited government and economic freedom. We don’t always have to the opportunity to explain those principles in detail when we use various means of communication to discuss the policy issues of the day. That’s certainly the case in a 30-second video. You believe improvements to the shooting range are a justified priority for government tax dollars. We believe the timing is inappropriate, considering that Governor Jan Brewer and many lawmakers are asking for another statewide tax increase because, they claim, there’s simply no other way left to save money (remember that the state already has raised property taxes this year by $250 million).

Thank you for the thoughtful discussion and useful feedback. I definitely have learned a lot about this issue and how funding works for the Game and Fish Department.

My response:

You are correct on the point of having to agree to disagree. You still stand by the assumption that the shooting range improvements are somehow associated with state tax increases. The state cannot touch this fund. You use a misdirected topic to make a valid point about state spending. Whether the timing is right or not, the ends do not justify the means so I am very disappointed in the Goldwater Institute. We can probably call it quits on communicating as it is obvious that you will continue to try to defend this without any new substance.

OK - it becomes obvious that I am really wasted my time here unless some of the readers have gained any insight through these exchanges. If you did gain anything then I am pleased. I will post on this if there is any follow-up.

Free Speech

"I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this administration, somehow you're not patriotic, and we should stand up and say, WE ARE AMERICANS AND WE HAVE A RIGHT TO DEBATE AND DISAGREE WITH ANY ADMINISTRATION!" - Hillary Clinton 2003



Hillary, would you please go back and hit your husband with an ashtray or something again to get his attention? He needs to be reminded again of your wise statement from 2003. Anything you can do about the POTUS? Thought not.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Bowling Pin Shoot

Sunday morning was perfect weather for the bowling pin shoot set up by Kevin. This was quite a bit of fun but then I am fond of reactive targets. This was the first run so I went along to help setup. There were soooo many people there that you........oh never mind, you could count them on two hands. Left hand, right hand, let's see that's two right?

Never-the-less, it was a good run as we had all the shooting time we wanted, the tables worked well, and we figured out a couple things to try for the next run.

I bowl in a charity league formed by the Shieks Unit of the Shrine. To be more specific, I am one of the people running the league. I spoke with the manager and got us 40 pins to start with. He was curious what I wanted the pins for and seemed to think the the shoot was a fine idea so the first set of pins was free. One of the young men working at the alley had the cases of pins on a two wheel dolly and brought them out to the van for me. He was also very curious as to why I wanted old pins. After explaining to him their purpose he wanted to know if I would bring one of the shot-up ones back in.

I took one of the pins in last night which provided amusement for most of us especially the young man that helped me load up. He was back numerous times to admire it. I also threatened the pins at the end of the alley with similar treatment if they did not fall over more readily when I was bowling. I don't think that worked as I bowled as poorly as ever.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

SB 1200 Signed Into AZ Law

AZ Sportmen for Wildlife is a politically active organization whose mission is to promote wildlife, wildlife habitat, and continuation of our hunting and fishing traditions. Read about them as you might want to join. It takes political funding to keep your rights.

This bill establishes a Game and Fish five member Commission Recommendation Board that:
  • Assists the Governor to identify prospective AZGFD Commission candidates.
  • Conduct a public forum for the public to meet AZGFD Commission applicants.
  • Review applications and make a recommendation to the Governor.
  • May make recommendations to Legislature on AZGFD Commission qualifications.
There is a five year term limit and the person must have been a resident for five years prior. It also allows the Governor to remove a commissioner for cause.
The board is Governor appointed and is to consist of three sportsman representatives, one member from the cattle/ranching community, and one public member of a non-game organization.

Take the time to follow the title link and thank your Reps and Gov. They could use the support as they are still under opposing forces from people like PETA and others who were vehemently against this.

Heaven forbid that you have a commission made up of hunting/fishing, ranching, and non-game personnel. You should only have one that is loaded with people from HSUS. OK - snarkoff.

The anti's want to control the AZGFD money that comes from license fee, hunt tags, watercraft license fees, and excise tax on ammunition, hunting & fishing equipment, and other federal matching funds. The AZGFD does not receive any general fund dollars. This way the anti's can shut down hunting & fishing and control all the money for whatever moronic idea they have next.

More and more of our money is being channeled into non-game species habitat etc. Don't let them take it all while shutting down hunting and ranching. You might even want to contact your reps on the upcoming state amendment that guarantees the right to hunt and fish.

Teaparty Quote

“Remember, judging an entire group by the bad behavior of a few members is called Stereotyping…except when we do it to Teapartiers, then it’s called Reporting.” - Mallard Filmore

I find some interesting articles in the CFP site.

AZ Becomes State #6 on Firearms Freedom Act

Our Gov. Jan Brewer signed this one into effect.

HB 2307 - Arizona manufactured firearms; regulation

It will be curious to see how this plays out in the courts.

" Exempts from federal regulation, any imported firearms accessory, generic or insignificant part or basic materials that are incorporated into, attached to, or used in conjunction with a firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition manufactured in Arizona."

Does this mean that you could use a silencer without paying the federal tax? No more ear plugs?

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Happy Easter!!

Once again, I did not see the bunny but she left me some candy!

I went to the range yesterday to try out some of my hand loads. This has been an interesting sequence. Some Speer 124gr GDHP were put up right at the oal specified in the book. They worked flawlessly in a Witness and a PF9. I also had some Sierra 115gr HPs that did not go so well. Book oal was no good as they did a ftf nose up, shorten the next batch with slight improvement, shortened again with worse results, a little longer than book and still no go. I set them the same oal as the GDHPs and it became even worse. The thought comes to mind that the Witness does not like this bullet. I am out of the Sierra and do not intend to purchase more. The P38 ate up the last batch without any difficulties but I am not loading for that one.

I was also running some Precision moly coats 115gr FP. the first batch would work if there were ten or less in the magazine. Nose down ftf if there were more than that. I set those to a little longer length (same as the GDHP) and they ran great. Fill the mag to capacity and shoot away. While I was testing these I noticed that my little orange fiber in the front site was gone! It looks funny seeing daylight through the opening. I waited out the last two shooters on the range and then started the hunt for the very little orange piece and actually found it! It only took about 15 minutes. Looks like the one end wasn't melted enough and worked its way through. Those of you who have replaced the front sight on an EAA Witness Match Elite might want to take close look at yours.

Friday, April 02, 2010

I Got Drawn for Elk!

ALL RIGHT!!!!!
I got drawn for hunt 3108 which is a muzzle loading bull hunt in unit 6A, November 12-18th. I looks like I will be on my own for this one. It would be nice to have an ATV for toting pieces if this goes well. I don't think a new quad is in the works this year for a variety of reasons so I was checking on the possibility of renting one. That's a little pricey too. Let's see, if I sell the 1978 Yamaha SR500e, part out the 79 Husky 390 OR, and sell a couple of bicycles there may be enough to buy a used quad.

As long as it doen't look like this one!!!!

USPSA & ICORE

Last weekend was fun. We had a steel shoot on Saturday morning. I haven't gone to one in some time. I had worked for about four months in Tempe before deciding that the grass really wasn't greener there and returned to Tucson. The travel and hotel time was killing my fun stuff on the weekends. That's my excuse and I am sticking to it. I shot really bad the 1st stage but recovered nicely and shot the rest of the stages in my usual fashion - average at best.

The group was talking me into shooting a revolver match which I was hesitant to do as the only revolver I can use is a 44 Mag Super Redhawk. I decided that it would be fun anyways. There were about 150 rounds of 240gr SWC bunny farts loaded up that would be sufficient. Sunday morning found me on the range again. By the end of the match, it became obvious that "bunny fart" is a relative term. I still have about ten of those original rounds. They were loaded at 950 fps and could go lower if I really want to do this again. My hand was sore for a couple of days. I should have worn my gloves but neglected taking them. A lot of good nice shooting gloves do if you leave them behind. this was a lot of fun also! I guess I like anything that involved throwing lead downrange. I did find that my light loads with Red Dot powder were very dirty. I think Clays might be in order.

Sunday evening we bowl in a league. My hand was sore, stiff, and little swollen so I proceeded to bowl a really poor series. I would rather shoot than bowl so it was OK by me. I did get to collect about 40 old pins so that we can attempt to set up a pin shoot at the range. It will be interesting to see if it catches on at all - again.

Black Powder Rifle & Crowns

I decided the previous weekend that I just had to go shoot a few round through the smoke pole. I guess thinking about the elk draw here will do that to you. A few days before that was my checkup at the dentist only to find another fractured tooth needing a crown. I scheduled the next day to get ground down for casting and temporary crown. That makes number 5. Thursday I had the work done and Saturday I was on the range.

The temp was on the left and my right cheek is on the rifle stock. I thought that it might not be a good idea to have my face tight to the stock as I was pretty tender yet. Since the rifle has a red dot on it, it isn't a big deal to be a little off in positioning. My face was off the stock for the first shot.

Do you know that just the sound shock wave from the rifle can light up that temporary crown like a Christmas tree for a few seconds? Me either, but I got it figured out now. That smarts. I managed to shoot five times (good thing that there is ample time between shots) before deciding that I just wasn't that tough!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Is This What is Meant by Firearm Education?

I did not know that the US Department of Education needed shotguns.
I also did not know that they had to match the new purchase to their existing inventory. Existing inventory!!!!!

What in the world do they need arms for and why would we want them armed.

Dying of Thirst in the Desert - Oh Wait...

Dying of thirst in a socialized medicine hospital. Click on the title link to read the article.
Do you really want socialized medicine? I do not want any government bureaucrats in charge of anything much less health care.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Rifleman's Prayer

I remember on one hunt being by myself in the boonies for a day or two as my hunting pal had to bail out early. My wife was concerned that I was alone. I tried to reassured her by telling her that if anything happened to me it would not be for lack of weapons and ammunition. This did not seem to actually sooth her concerns for some reason.

I ran across this as gandalf23;

"A Rifleman's Prayer

Oh Lord, I would live my life in freedom, peace and happiness, enjoying the simple pleasures of hearth and home. I would die and old, old man in my own bed, preferably of sexual overexertion.

But if that is not to be, Lord, if monsters such as this should find their way to my little corner of the world on my watch, then help me to sweep those bastards from the ramparts, because doing that is good, and right, and just.

And if in this I should fail, let me be found atop a pile of brass, behind the wall I made of their corpses."

The author is now found and acknowledged at Musings of the Geek With a 45.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Spectator Killed at Firebird

There is some inherent danger being at or around the track. This unfortunate lady was not even track side. It would have been spectacular from where we were sitting but debris would not have been a problem. I have gone down toward the end of the track and watched Funny Cars go by at 300 MPH. My thoughts were that it was neat watching them zip by but that if anything happened you were in the path of fast moving parts and pieces. We sit close to the line so I would expect that the main danger there is blowing an engine/supercharger and getting shrapnel from that. Most accidents take place moving down the track.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I Like the Drag Races

This weekend was the annual trip to Firebird for the NHRA Nationals. We typically go on Saturday which is one of the qualifying days for the Top Fuel and Pro Stock classes. The Phoenix area was not living up to its normal amount of sunshine in the morning. There was a distinct possibility that this was going to be a rain day. We arrived early enough to roam the pits prior to getting in our seats but there was no hurry as no racing was taking place. There should have been Supergas and others racing but the track was wet and it was drizzling. The stand were empty as anyone who was there was in the pits our sitting in their vehicles.

It started to rain harder so we went to the car. I was glad that my friend brought some Hot Rod magazines etc along as it gave us something to read while sitting in the car waiting for the rain to stop.
We had purchased some nice seats in section P2 - A5&6. Note that old hairy butt is not sitting on that wet seat yet.



I was texting my better half for the weather radar. She informed us that it looked like about 45minutes more and then it should at least stop raining. That report was music to our ears and turned out to be correct. Woohoo - the rain had stopped so we went to get something to eat and watch them dry the track. It is kind of like watching grass grow or paint dry.
Since we were bored it seemed a good idea to roam the pits again. This was good timing as we went to Nitro Alley in time to hear the announcement that the schedule had changed to run Top Fuel, Pro Stock and then the rest. I like to be in the pits when the top fuel cars are firing up. I love the smell of nitro-methane in the morning! Nothing like a lot of DBs, burning eyes/nose, and tears running down your face to jump start the day! If you think that we are nuts then you obviously not a fan of the drag races. I would suggest that you never stand at the very front of the crowd when one is firing up in the pits. It is real hard to back away through a crowd that can't see either. It is amazing how much money has to be in the trailers for the cars.


Help - I can't get up! JK. Note the fine expression wondering why that jerk is taking his picture.


The name says it all.





My wife would love this as she has that spot for Mopar & purple.
I am not a big fan of the new Government Motors takeover but this is a fine looking vehicle.
Motorcycle tricks to amuse the crowd from the Geiko group while waiting for the crew to dry the track.

It's time!
You should be able recognize and name this gent if you have spent any time watching funny car drags.
I will not post every picture I took but you get the idea. I like drag racing!