Sunday, August 07, 2016

God, it's been a long time.

Was scrolling through and updating the favs I just transferred from my old laptop to this new one and eventually got around to clicking on a few old blog links. Most of the ones I used to read are ether history, or they're sitting idle, like this one. Makes me a bit sad, thinking back to how much fun I used to have reading and posting, and how many friends I found. Seems like a lifetime ago.

My own relationship with this blog ended abruptly when I lost a wonderful career over it. Something I posted was twisted around and used against me. But I've moved on, and maybe one sign of that would be for me to come back here now and then, however hesitantly, and maybe get back into the groove of it. We'll see. No promises. Can't imagine anyone having the time to play around here too much, so maybe just some pictures to begin with. Now that it's over, here's how I spent my summer vacation.

Our fishing spot up in Canada. Apparently there was a little dust up during the War of 1812.

My best bass.

A decent pike. Last fish of the trip.

The rest of these are from a trip to Florida with Denise's family. We did several of the parks, the space center and went swimming at Daytona Beach. We all had a great time.

Good times were had by all. Now I'm counting the days until the summer ends, but the school year will fly by, just like the last one, and we'll be off again next June. Hope everyone else had a great summer too. Cheers.

Friday, August 09, 2013


One of my old friends, Russell, has recently started a movie blog. Check it out and see what you think.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Posting this for a friend.

He wants to try to get more people to see his friends composition. Here's Disconsolate.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Some stuff I've run across lately.

A cool hummingbird...

A funky cool space ship and the shapely pilot of same...

And a cool shot of a MiG 21, I think cut from one of those Dogfights programs.

All of the above were found at this web site. Just type your search topic into the window and see what comes up. You'll be amazed.

These shots depict various images of Ethiopian resistance: Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia standing his foot on an undetonated bomb shortly after an Italian air bombardment near the capital Addis Ababa, 1935...

 An Abyssinian chief, showing the combination of ancient and modern weapons the Ethiopians had with which to defend them selves...

 and a classic shot of a child soldier wearing a captured Italian hat.

These were all found at this web site. Like the other site, you can surf pictures here for weeks and never see the same shot twice. Were talkin' a MAJOR time killers, both of them. Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Getting back into an old hobby.

A while ago, I saw a video on YouTube posted by Dave Canterbury, who is one of the "Dual Survival" guys on the Discovery Channel. He posts videos on YouTube for his Pathfinder Wilderness Survival School, and being a subscriber, I get an email whenever a new video goes up.

This particular video got me thinking about the old fiberglass bow I had back in the early 1970s, back when my major past time was running through the Missouri woods like an Indian. My buddies and I all had bows and arrows, and we shot holes in all the local trees. In time I got to be a pretty good shot, able to hit even the skinny little saplings from a good distance. But then we moved on base, and eventually away from Missouri, and somehow, my archery stuff didn't make it on the truck. I guess the folks thought it was time that I moved on to other pastimes, like football and basketball. Well, that stuff never took, and I didn't touch a bow again for about ten years.

When I did get back into archery, it was with a heavy compound bow and aluminum arrows. A buddy of mine from work got himself a bow and brought it out to work to show me. Before long I'd gone out to Trophy Archery on the East side of Ft. Worth and bought myself the whole rig: compound bow with a fancy sight system, shooting glove, armguard, and a dozen heavy, 35" Easton aluminum arrows with field points.

I'd go out to Trophy and shoot at their range a few times a week. In time I took the sights off the bow and got back into instinctive shooting. Then I tuned the bow up to it's maximum power, 60 pounds, and had a good, tight group. Of course, that means I was using up a few arrows now and then, hitting the nocks and breaking them, but I never managed to get an arrow to fly down the tube of another. They had a bunch of those "Robin Hood" shots on display above the door to the range, giving us something to, er a, shoot for.

Trophy Archery was a cool store, catering not only to archery, but also to Mountain Man style crafts. Pretty soon I was buying a tanned deer hide and beads, decorating my bow and learning to make all kinds of cool stuff. I slowly drifted away from shooting the heavy compound bow and actually got into carving my own stuff, trying to figure out how the Indians did it.

Then I found an amazing book at the local library while I was working on my Masters Thesis. Mystic Warriors of the Plains, by Thomas Mails. I lost myself in that book for a long time, absorbing everything I could. I got pretty good at making bows and arrows, and beaded quivers, but in time I got more busy with grad school, and then I started teaching on the ships. Of course, you can't take all that stuff with you on the cruise, so I drifted away from the hobby again.

Anyway, having watched Canterbury's video, I started thinking about how much fun shooting used to be. I started looking on the web to see if I could find a bow like the one he found at that Gun Show. Before long, through the wonders of eBay, a new, "vintage" Ben Pearson Fiberglass recurve bow, #3350, was being delivered to the house. It's not the same one he has in the video, but it's close enough. At 30 pounds of pull, it's WAY better than the one I had when I was a kid. Powerful enough to have fun with, with enough draw length to allow me to pull it all the way back to my cheek before I let fly.

At the same time, surfing more archery stuff on eBay, I found a cool old compound bow like one that I've always wanted. Back in those Trophy Archery days, I saw an ad for something called an Oneida Eagle. Those recurve ends just blew me away. Then someone showed up at the range with one and I got to see it in action. I wanted one BAD, but they were just too expensive. They still are. A new one can run you almost $800! But the used one on eBay was going for $50! So I bid on it. I ended up bidding on three of them before I was able to get the one I wanted for the price I was willing to pay.

Meanwhile, surfing other archery videos on YouTube, I ran across this guy and watched a few of his videos. They're delightful. What a marksman he is, and what a relaxed, easy going style of camping and shooting. He not only shoots store-bought stuff, but he makes his own. I love the hell out of that bow he's using. How cool would it be to be able to walk out the back door into the woods and spend a weekend camping and shooting? I think I'd get arrested if I tried that around here, or shot for trespassing.

So, as you might guess, I've slid WAY past the tipping point on this stuff, jumping with both feet back into the hobby I'd drifted away from 15 or 20 years ago. The first thing I did was to cut some old buzzard feathers I've had laying around (for about 15 or 20 years) and refletch an old arrow. You can see it above. It was made to resemble a Plains Indian arrow from the 1800s, to go along with that bow you can see to the right, the feathered end peeking out of it's case. The cat got the original feathers years ago, and it's been sitting naked on my fireplace hearth since then. It was fun to cut the new feathers and get them set on the shaft. My next chore is to find that little box of deer sinew I have around here somewhere and attach the new feathers permanently.

In time I'll be making my own bows and arrows again. But for now, the fiberglass bow will do, and I'm making some arrows with ceder and bamboo shafts (I just finished my first bamboo arrow), with both home made and conventional fletching. And the new Screaming Eagle is a hoot. Can't wait to find a range where I can shoot it.

Anyway, that's enough about that.  I'll post again soon. Feels good getting back into this too. Cheers.