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VOLUME 94-----------APRIL 2010

SHOOTIN', HUNTIN', AND RELOADIN'

WITH THE OL' MISSOURI HILLBILLY

April 1, 2010

Happy April Fool's Day!

I received this 'friendly reminder' email on March 31st from my brother Ed, who regularly harasses me when my newsletters are late:

Remember, tomorrow is a very important day. Once more, your public awaits with great anticipation. Our fate is in your hands.
(thought I would get started in a more timely manner this time!)

Toad

 

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APRIL FOOL, TOAD

THE NEWSLETTER AIN'T FINISHED YET!

 

 

 

 

SCROLL DOWN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April Fool Again!  I lied!  Here it is:

 

 

I may have been an April Fool a few days early!  I pulled the travel trailer out of the shop building on March 24th!  With above normal winter temperatures, very little snow, and what appears to be an early Spring, I could no longer resist.

I could live to regret that decision. We still have time for some significant snow storms here in the great northwest until at least early May.  Our RV club's 'first roundup' occurs the first full weekend in May each year and I've pulled the trailer through significant snow drifts to get it out of the shop for that affair the last two years.

If the wild turkey behavior is any indication though, Spring may be here to stay.  As early as the first week of March, we observed a flock of 8 or 9 hens in the front yard accompanied by one lone huge, long-bearded gobbler.  It was evident that the season for procreation was in full swing!

On March 29th another 'herd of turkeys' (go ahead, make a 'spoonerism' out of that) congregated a few yards from the kitchen windows.  These guys were all juvenile toms, I presume from last years crop of hatchlings.  They all had little, short beards and the typical section of longer feathers in the center of their tail fans that commonly denotes young adult birds.

There was not a hen turkey in sight, but that did not deter these boys from parading around in all the glory of spread tail fans, drooping wings, fluffed feathers, and blue/red heads.  I guess they were practicing for the day when they might actually entice a girl friend away from another suitor.

It was good fun standing on the deck, making hen noises with a box call, and listening to the little fellers' frantic gobbles.

We held the first session of our March/April Hunter Education Class at the Elks Lodge on March 30th.  Students will resume classroom sessions on April 6th through 9th, and finish with a field day at Hauser Lake Gun Club on April 10th.

Rick, Jennifer, Ann, and I ventured to Hauser Lake Gun Club on March 20th.  One purpose of the trip was to begin planning the field course for our Hunter Education students.

We'll have our students go through a simulated hunting exercise, crossing obstacles, handling gates, and evaluating whether different shooting scenarios are safe and/or legal.  They will be carrying real firearms with dummy ammunition, and must meet safety and knowledge criteria to pass the course.

Students will also shoot five rounds of trap with one-on-one supervision by instructors and volunteers.  While safety, rather than accuracy, is the key criteria, the mechanical throwers will be set to launch only straight-away targets, so hitting should be easier.

While on site, Rick, Ann, and Jennifer all shot a round of trap.  Although no one was counting, Rick did very well considering he hadn't shot for many years.

Jennifer and Ann are newcomers to the game.  Ann had fired maybe a half dozen shots at clay targets, and Jennifer, never.  For their rounds, the machine was set to throw straight-aways.  Again, we won't talk abut scores, but both need some practice.  Suffice it to say, Jennifer bested Grandma's score for this round!

As an after word, Rick, Jennifer, and friend Gary went back to the club on March 27th for another round of trap.  I understand that Rick didn't do so well, Jennifer broke 13 out of 25, and there was no report on Gary's performance.

I got a chuckle out of a recent news article linked to my ISP's website.  The Associated Press reported that Governor Dave Fruedenthal signed legislation adopting an official Wyoming state code.

AP said, "The symbolic measure spells out 10 ethics derived from a 'Code of the West' outlined in a book by author and retired Wall Street investor James Owen."

"The ethics code carries no criminal penalties and is not meant to replace any civil codes."

Interestingly, I quoted Mr. Owen's "Code of the West" as the hillbilly wisdom in my December 2005 newsletter.  Here's the code:

  1. Live each day with courage.

  2. Take pride in your work.

  3. Always finish what you start.

  4. Do what has to be done.

  5. Be tough, but be fair.

  6. When you must make a promise, keep it.

  7. Ride for the brand.

  8. Talk less, say more.

  9. Remember that some things aren't for sale.

  10. Know where to draw the line.

So, Wyoming law now admonishes residents and lawmakers to abide by this "Code of the West."  My prediction; they probably won't have a problem with residents, but lawmakers being lawmakers, that might be a stretch!

Well, this has taken me perilously close to stepping upon my soapbox again, so why not take the opportunity to further expound?

I've been asking myself for a number of years, "Where are we taking our country?"  I hear, see, or read something nearly everyday that makes me wonder how criminals, sleazebags, slackers, and other ne'r-do-wells have come to have more rights and privileges than everyday, hardworking, law abiding citizens!

Does this sound familiar?

TV News Anchor:  "Authorities are offering a cash reward for information on the whereabouts of (Fill in the Blank) wanted on felony charges of (Fill in the Blank).  Here's (Reporter) with the details."

Reporter with backdrop of video footage of the stolen vehicle that was wrecked during the pursuit: "(Fill in the Blank) was arrested Monday after a high speed chase in a vehicle reported stolen earlier that day and booked into jail on numerous charges, including eluding police."

"(Fill in the Blank) was released from custody yesterday because the prosecutor's office failed to file the required paperwork within 72 hours of the arrest."

"(Fill in the Blank) (show picture) is (height, weight, hair, eyes) and is now wanted on a felony warrant.  The thirty-three year old has a 20 year criminal history, a 3 page rap sheet, and is well known to area law enforcement."

Don't that just about make you wanta' puke?

What is a person with that kind of criminal history doing running loose on the street, so he's able to steal a car?

Who the hell made the rule that these creeps must be turned loose if the paperwork isn't filed within 72 hours?

See how upset you've made me?  And I'm only gettin' started!

I saw one of those emailed internet jokes some time ago that prompted me to concoct this little story:

The scene is a major college football stadium, or NASCAR track, or any other venue you might dream up where literally thousands of people are gathered.

Suddenly the PA announcer asks for quiet, and proclaims, "Our vendors will now pass among the crowd with free soft drinks for everyone!  All soda today has a special additive that is guaranteed to cure any ailment that may afflict you, and will positively, without fail, restore your mind and body to perfect health!  You will be required to drink your sodas!"

Listen carefully, as this is heard innumerable times throughout the gathered throng:  "Let me the hell out of here, I'm on disability!"

Now maybe I'm off base here, but I see these kinds of things as problems!

I find something wrong with coddling criminals.  There comes a time in a criminal career when the perpetrator should be permanently removed from society.  In my judgment, this comes a lot earlier than our current criminal justice system seems to find appropriate.

I also find something wrong with people who are physically and mentally capable of being a productive, working member of society, who choose to find ways to "be on disability" and live on your and my tax dollars.

What happened to the concept of paying one's own way in our society if able to do so?

What about the recently passed national health care overhaul?

Didn't you just love Speaker Pelosi's comments about how the public is really gonna' like the new law as soon as they find out what's in it?  What happened to the concept of being sure your constituents are consulted and informed about legislation of this magnitude before voting on it?  I'd be willing to bet a substantial sum that Speaker Pelosi, and the vast majority of our Senators and members of Congress haven't yet read the full text of what they voted on!

Laying aside the fact that I believe this legislation is nothing less than a huge boondoggle and not in the best interest of our country, I particularly object to the WAY the legislation was forced upon us.  What a conglomeration of back-room sleight of hand, bribery, threats, and innuendo!

Let me refer you to last month's newsletter, where I published the contents of a supposed letter to the President.  Further research into where those thoughts came from, reveals this, according to Snopes:

"Doctor Roger Starner Jones is a seventh generation Mississippian and his extracurricular interests are golf, hunting, fishing and college football. He specializes in emergency medicine at The University of Mississippi medical Center.  This Letter to the Editor, written by Doctor Jones about health care in America, is from the August 29th edition of Jackson, Mississippi’s newspaper, the Clarion Ledger."  (I'll repeat the letter here)

"Dear Sirs:

During my last night’s shift in the ER, I had the pleasure of evaluating a patient with a shiny new gold tooth, multiple elaborate tattoos, a very expensive brand of tennis shoes and a new cellular telephone equipped with her favorite R&B; tune for a ring tone.  Glancing over the chart, one could not help noticing her payer status: Medicaid.

She smokes more than one costly pack of cigarettes every day and, somehow, still has money to buy beer. And our President expects me to pay for this woman’s health care?

Our nation’s health care crisis is not a shortage of quality hospitals, doctors or nurses. It is a crisis of culture – a culture in which it is perfectly acceptable to spend money on vices while refusing to take care of one’s self or, heaven forbid, purchase health insurance.

A culture that thinks I can do whatever I want to because someone else will always take care of me."

Perhaps Dr. Jones postulates the real solution to the healthcare problem rather than an estimated $1,000,000,000,000.00 piece of legislation, the contents of which, no one really knows!  (Yes, a Trillion Dollars has lots of zeros)

Before I get off this box, I gotta' mention those TV commercials about the importance of completing the U. S. Census questionnaire we received in the mail.  Something about providing the information being necessary to insure that your state/district/community gets its fair share of federal dollars.  I believe the figure is in the neighborhood of $1,400 per person.

Has everyone forgotten that those federal dollars are your and my tax dollars?  I like the concept of leaving the dang funds in my state/district/community in the first place, and then they wouldn't have to be redistributed!

I'll bet you're sorry you got me all worked up about this, ain't ya'?

Well, let's return our thoughts to Spring.  We've had some nice days, but only once or twice have we broken the 60º mark so far.  The golf clubs have been removed from winter storage, but have made it only as far as the shop floor.  Call us fair weather golfers, but we are reluctant to venture out until the temperature consistently flirts with 65 or 70º.

Ann and I graduated from North Harrison High School in Eagleville, Missouri in 1960, so this Spring marks our 50th class reunion.  The alumni banquet for all graduates is traditionally held on the Saturday before Mother's Day.

We've attended only a couple of our alumni banquets since moving to Washington State, but we do plan to go back for this one.  We are looking forward to seeing our former classmates, many of whom still live in the general area.  There were only 30 in our graduating class and 4 are deceased.  A get together is planned at the local community center prior to the evening banquet.

We do plan to take our clubs, so maybe we can get in a a little golf while on our journey.

I still haven't shot the new Smith & Wesson 1911 that I pictured last month, but if the weather continues to warm up, that will be on the agenda soon.

This month's hillbilly wisdom again comes from one of Ann's cookbooks. Author Unknown:

"Flattery is the power to describe others as they see themselves."

Well, It's time to shut down here, So . . . .

'Til next time, Keep 'em shootin' straight, shoot 'em often, and above all, BE SAFE!!!!!

THE OL' HILLBILLY
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