Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Unthinkable

Yesterday, I did the "unthinkable." I bought a gun.

I did what? I purchased a Glock 17, 9mm. Similar to the sweet-looking gun you see to the left, it is now mine.

Growing up, I came from a non-gunfriendly family, at least in part. My dad disavowed guns as a necessity, while even his best friend, my uncle, owned an arsenal. At an early age, Uncle B showed me his guns when I insisted as a 6 or 7-year-old A-Team enthusiast is wont to do. "Uncle B do you have an M-16?" I remember asking. "No, I have an M-14," which he showed me. And then he showed me the other rifles in his dark, shadowy basement, and how he remade bullets, teaching me the anatomy of ammuntion.

My dad wasn't happy. But I still have the fake reload my uncle made me of an M-16 shell.

I've always taken that experience with me as my introduction to firearms. And when out in the wilderness in Minnesota, I felt safer knowing my uncle was packing.

Everyone has their opinion of firearms, but when trouble arises, even the most outspoken skeptic will feel safer when someone he trusts nearby is carrying.

And therein relies the conundrum, the lesson of Conan, the Riddle of Steel:

"Steel isn't strong, boy, flesh is stronger! ...What is steel compared to the hand that wields it?"

In other words, what I am saying here, is that it's not the gun that's most dangerous, but the person. A gun magnifies a person's decisions, their consequences and his personality. But it's the human will, ultimately, that determines the direction.

When I went to purchase, the conditioning of my upbringing and the anti-gun mantras of the liberal media came to haunt me. But I made the decision that I was going to purchase and that was that. When I arrived at the counter, the place was swarmed by gun purchasers. Some were your typical respectful hunter types, but not a few were punk ass kid thugs I wouldn't trust with a butter knife, but were still able to purchase because they hadn't yet created a record for themselves.

And so when I saw them clamoring for their guns ahead of me, it confirmed me in the decision I had made, and I said to myself, "Yes, damn, I need a gun."

And the Glock came with me.

Over and Out,


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Farm Boss

If that guy is not the Farm Boss, I don't know who is.

When I saw this guy, I was so pumped. It's pretty much how I see myself in 20 years or so. LOL.

And that's a nice chain saw, too, which brings me to the subject of my post: STIHL products.

Because I live in the countryside, and because I work in facilities, I am very much interested to know what are the best brands for various tools. So when I was on the phone with my dad, who has similar interests (not to mention an encyclopedic knowledge of tools), and he noted that my old parish where he works had just purchased a 20 inch STIHL chain saw, I was interested. Wanting to buy a saw myself some day, and needing one for the chuch where I work, I asked: "Is STIHL a good brand? His answer, "It's the best."

Numerous testimonials attest to his claim and what I have found in my short time becoming acquainted with our new 20 inch MS 290 STIHL Farm Boss chainsaw. (Those testimonials are a great read if that sort of thing at all interests you.) Namely, that STIHL makes a fabulous product.

I am relatively new to chainsaw-ing, but I have found that once you are in the groove with your saw, it is a very manly and rewarding action to cut wood. Chopping wood is one thing, wielding a chainsaw is quite another. It gets the testosterone flowing in a huge way, and after cutting up an entire tree, I felt supremely manly. Don't ask me why, I just did, and I think a new wood stove-friendly addiction has just been born.

In other notes of interest, I just picked up Jerome Corsi's new book, The Obama Nation, and suspect that I will plow through it in record time. Corsi is a senior staff writer at WorldNetDaily, and while I sometimes find their news suspect or dubious, I have no doubt that Corsi's work is an authentic piece of scholarly journalism, to which the Obama campaign's 40-page rubuttal remains impervious.


Over and Out,


Monday, September 08, 2008

Inge's Brats

Well, we had our annual fall festival at Holy Family this past weekend. Because of Tropical Storm Hannah, the event was moved inside. That did not stop people from coming, however, or Inge from making her famous brats and saurkraut.

Inge is an elderly women from Bavaria who loves Pope Benedict, is active in the parish, and sponsors the German booth during the festival, where parishioners from every cultural background, come together, cook, and sell their food at festival.

Last year, Clare and I were super-surprised with Inge's cooking, and I kept going back for more. So this past weekend, I knew right where to go. She would not give me her recipe--their are others before me in line for that, but she divulged to me her authentic German source for bratwurt and saurkraut: Rieker's Prime Meats in Philadelpia.

But the goodness does not stop there. The domination gets even better. Inge had leftovers from the festival, and was giving them back to the church to sell or giveaway. Needless to say, I took no prisoners at the opportunity to get some bratwurst. I bought 5 lbs., or 20 premium brats, for 3.29 per pound, Inge's cost, with free shipping and a tub of Inge's kraut! People were scrambling for those things, but at our staff meeting when it was announced there would be some for sale, I exclaimed "Those brats are mine!" I was serious but got lots of laughs, too. That is how I wage war.

I grilled some up tonight and was pleasantly reminded at first bite that, yes, these are the best damn brats I've ever had...

And now I know where to get them.

Over and Out,


PS-Another great thing about our festival is the raffle. First prize, which I think is 5k, went to one of the volunteers who spent his last 10 bucks on the 3 tickets. He's the nicest guy around, and has been volunteering at the Church over the last four months because he's been out of work. When I saw him, I asked him how he was and he said he was still out of work. I said man that's "rough," and he's like "yah...," and here he is walking around with a t-shirt that says Jesus saves, smiling, but suffering inwardly, but helping anyone he can.

Well to make a long story short and festival great, this guy won first prize the next day. Everyone cheers. He starts crying and everyone cheers more. It was genuinely awesome and I am so grateful that this guy, Harrison, won. Thanks be to God!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Random Monday Thoughts

Hey all. It's an update that's actually on time. Yay for Labor Day.

First, a shout out to John McCain for making a great VP choice. I don't think he could have picked a better running mate. Everyone has their fair share of challenges, but to my mind she was the best choice all along and has my full, enthusiastic support. Hip hip for Sarah Palin!

The bathroom is coming along very well. The plumbing is completely finished. The electrical is nearly complete--just have to wire up the new outlet, finish a little more framing and shiming and I'm ready to close this sucker up. Yes, it's been a long windy road, but it's one I'm ready to see the end of real soon.

It's already feeling like Fall out here. We have some early turners. Our black walnut and our neighbor's sycamore have already started to drop their yellowed leaves. I can't tell you how pumped I am for Fall colors this year. I am excited to see what colors the trees in our yard are going to turn. I am also excited for a drop in temperature, so I can wear long sleeves once again and get my wood stove fired up. I will also take that opportunity to get out to my shed and organize it into a worthy workshop.

Last week I mentioned I recommended a 16 0z. (Estwing) hammer for your bag. I have found this to be the perfect size and weight for most projects. However, if you are going to be framing, I recommend a 20 oz. (Estwing). Four ounces doesn't sound like much, but after a couple of swings the difference is clearly noticeable--your arm is tired and your swings pack far more umph. So, if you find yourself framing and doing rough carpentry, step it up to a 20 oz. You'll be happy you did.

Finally, I just want to say that I've seen a lot of hooked up Jeeps this past month and a half on 55. There's an old Jeep trail that goes up to Signal Knob, so maybe that's where they are going. I don't know, but I definitely want to get on that train.

Ok, time to get ready to go chop some wood. In the meantime, have a great Monday.

Over and out.