Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fishing is good!

Fully intended to take my daughter hunting this morning. We woke up to a downpour. Cold, windy and wet are not my ideas of good hunting weather. The deer only hole up in thier beds and the only shots are gotten by jumping them in thier bed. We decided to spend the morning in front of the wood stove rather than waste the gas driving 20 miles each way. By 9:30 the rain stopped. Instead of hunting we went and got some worms and headed out to a big pond in a local park. Due to work schedules we didn't get much fishing time in this year. We intend to not let that happen again. Ten minutes after we arrived there was honking in the distance. Shortly there was the first of four flocks of canada geese joining us at our pond. Again I found myself time traveling. When I started hunting it was on waterfowl. A love of owning and using vintage firearms soon ended that passion. Thanks to the mandate of steel shot. Now I find myself soon to be out of work, and having few prospects for full time work. Newer non toxic shot alternatives have been developed. None are cheap, but, some are downright gentle on those vintage gun barrels. There is a huge pile of cedar and basswood planks out in the shop. I think by next fall they could become a rig of hand carved dekes.

Yes fishing is good. It gives you time to put things in perspective. Life is good when your in the woods. The deer will still be there Thanksgiving morning. And we will be there with them


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Remembering "the Grove"

For whatever reason I have been taking little trips down memory lane in recent years. Maybe it's old age, maybe it's reflecting in comparason to current events. Mostly going to one place in time and one particular group of people. At the time I didn't realize the influence that group of people were having on me. Indeed to my peers of that era this group of people was to be despised or worse. We're travelling back to the 1977-79 time frame. Maybe it was my own families economic reality back then. We had just returned from NE Oklahoma. Tails between our legs and pretty much broke. I was in my mid teens and was repeating my freshman year of highschool. Times were tight and if I wanted anything of my own, it was up to me to get a job and get it for myself. Also because times were hard I was expected to pay my parents a portion of my pay towards household expenses. The solution to my problem was the Rochester "Times Union" newspaper.

My dad rented us an apartment north of Rochester on a bay of Lake Ontario. A fairly upscale suburb was developing thanks to the location. My paper route was mostly made up of what we would later come to call McMansions. However right in the middle of it all was a place known as "The Grove". The Grove was a little nieghborhood or community created during the great depression. A landowner about to lose his land leased a bunch of cottage building lots to other people whose economic reality wasn't a whole lot better than his. 40+ years after those leases were created The Grove had evolved into a group of about 12 little houses. It appeared as though the depression never ended  for most of the people living there. I learned quickly appearances don't always tell everything. I also learned poverty can be just a point of view. Frugality and living within your means can appear as poverty to some. I can remeber many cups of hot chocolate waiting for me on cold winters day. I remember being invited in to warm up next to woodstoves. I remember glasses of lemonade in summer, the real deal too, not fron a frozen can or worse a packet of powder. I remember Mr Johnson teaching me how to tune up a car on his 58 Biscayne. I remember being amazed that such a small 6 cylinder engine could even propel such a huge car down the road. I remember bags of tomatoes and other fresh vegetables being sent home with me. I remember Mr Johnsons old johnboat and the motor that bore the same name as his family. I'm sure that motor was almost as old as he was. I remember making extra money splittng firewood for people too old to do it for themselves. Often refusing payment, knowing I would leave with a full belly and/or a mess of fresh filleted fish.  Speaking of payment. I can't recall ever having to chase a resident of "The Grove" for payment for thier newspapers. Sure I remember being asked to collect once a month or biweekly. I always remember that envelope being on time, and more often than not there was a generous tip there too.  I can't say I have any of those memories from the more well heeled customers on my route. Just the opposite.

I have to wonder what the current generation could learn from a place like "The Grove".  Maybe they would decide to pool thier resourses and create a "Grove" of thier own to occupy rather than trying to occupy Wall Street. But alas, it's too late. The occupants of "The Grove" got even older, or moved away and "The Grove" lost it's battle with the McMansion movement.

And that my friends in my oppinion is where we really went wrong.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Got me a date with Bambi!

And I don't mean a stripper or porn star!

It's been a hectic month. Which I'll elaborate on later.

It's been all I can do to get to the range. Had a scope mounted on my little mannlicher stocked 7x57 mauser 98 last summer. Never got around to sighting it in. Went to the range two weeks ago and it wasn't even on the paper at 50 yards. The target backer was so shot up I couldn't tell where I was hitting. Went again last weds, only to get told the range was closed while the local police dept was practicing. Finally got there this morning with a little 1.5" dot on a 2x3 ft piece of paper. Found the girl was putting them dead on elevation, but, 14" to the left. Had to play with the rear scope ring to adjust that out. But, if I can see it, it's dead now. Next saturday is opening day. The freezer is low on meat and my wife will feed me nothing but beans if I don't shoot something.

Come on Bambi! We've got a dinner date!