01 December 2007

Army Dorky

I am sitting here in my kitchen, awaiting the arrival of the in-laws.

I just finished the laborious process of assembling my Class A uniform.

Since I have to wear the nice uniform, that means I cannot scam out of wearing the black Army beret.

It's a new beret, so I had to shave the thing. I spent 15 minutes hunched over the bathroom sink, shaving a piece of military headgear.

Now I'm wearing it. Because they need shaping, you know.

Did I mention that the beret is wet? Because they take a shape better that way.


30 November 2007

Pig mania!!!

Okay, not really, I justed wanted to use that as a post title.

The Super Swine Supper Source (henceforth referred to "the feeder") is in place. In fact, it should have spewed forth sweet, crunchy, delicious corn just shy of three hours ago.

First, we filled it. 350 pounds of dry corn fills a 55-gallon drum, for those who might be interested.

Then we tested it.

We were not expecting such immediate success, but the North American subspecies of Blackus Labdumbass is not known for its intellect, and in fact appeared at the feeder while we were standing right there.

Now...we wait. I think next weekend shows promise for camping and hog stalking. This weekend, on the other hand, includes drill and in-laws, so chances are posting will be scare.

29 November 2007

Under Siege

I work next to a bunch of phone sales agents. They're paid on commission, and there's some low flat hourly rate to supplement that when they're not making sales, as I understand it.

Of course, this is the month preceding Christmas, so business has picked up a little.

I'm not sure what sort of paid time off setup they have, but I think someone needs to look into the compensation for "sick days" for them. Because they're dragging in with every kind of coughing, hacking, snurfling and moaning ailment known to humanity.

Apparently, nobody wants to be out sick and miss the opportunity to make big sales. Ugh.

I, however, would love to miss the opportunity to catch all of their nasty viruses.

Alas...fortified with extra vitamin C, dressed warmly and well-hydrated, I'm going to work. I have to stop at Tractor Supply, and perhaps I'll see if they have some sort of agricultural protective clothing that I can wear. Maybe a calving/lambing suit and a respirator, and some sort of dairy barn disinfectant I can spray the entire office with?

28 November 2007

Mr. Perry

The mention of using a spotlight as a hunting accessory in the last post reminded me of a story...

My sophmore year at Small Town High, I took World History with Mr. Perry. Mr. Perry was a big guy, about 1,000 years old, and a character. He had been teaching history since Christ was a corporal.

First day of class he went through the class list, taking attendance.

"Abby [Oldname]?" he barked. "[Oldname]? You Bob's daughter or Chuck's?"

My Dad and my uncle. It was a small town. My Dad and my uncle had been lively (that is, pain-in-the-ass) students and athletes back in the day.

"Bob's my Dad."

Mr. Perry peered at me. "Yeah, I remember Bob."

Mr. Perry had been a coach years ago, and retained the figured. Stoop shouldered and wrinkled, he was a big - not fat, just big - old man. In the summer, he supplemented his income by working as a part-time DNR ranger.

The man had a gift for gab. He taught the Norman Invasion of England in 1066 in two days of lecture. Just stomped back and forth across the front of the room, occasionally gesturing at a map of the British Isles, and telling a story.

It was a good story. You have to be a good storyteller to keep 25 high school sophmores hanging on every word for two days, and he did.

The Norman Invasion, though, was possibly the only subject that I don't remember him working poaching into. Like a lot of small-town woodsmen, he seemed to delight in those who operated just outside the game laws, even if he spent a portion of each year enforcing them.

"So these cave paintings, they'd have deer in them, right? Because deer were a food source for a hunter-gatherer population. Of course, they hunted with spears..."

A gleam would come into his eyes, and we'd know what was coming.

"And now spears, they aren't an easy way to hunt deer. We all know the easy way to put deer on the table..."

And by the end of the year, we could pretty much chant the next part right along with him.

"You get you a million-candlepower spotlight and a good .22 magnum, and you get in the back of a pickup and find somebody to drive you. And you drive these backroads real slow a couple hours after dusk and you shine that light out into the field until you pick up two eyes...."

Mr. Perry also did a mean moose impression, but I cannot for the life of me remember how that came up.

Mr. Perry was a widower, and it was a shame to think of all that personality wasting away alone at the end of the day. However... At the other side of the school, in the library, worked Mrs. Murphy.

She was the benevolent second-in-command at the high school library (which doubled as the town library), a tiny woman who radiated kindness and gentleness. That was fortunate, because the library was run by an ony-slightly-benevolent dictator who none of us were bright enough to appreciate at the time.

A few years after I left high school, Mr. Perry and Mrs. Murphy were married. I smiled when I heard the news - it was nice to think of her being kind to him, and of him making her smile with his jokes and stories.

It was still nice a couple years further down the line, when word reached me that Mr. Perry had died. He left behind, in addition to one very kind woman, thousands of former students who remember not only the Norman Invasion of England, but the best way to spotlight deer.

27 November 2007

Oh goodness

So the gentleman who owns the property where we were hunting was talking to to Mr. Abby. He decided that he liked deer, and was rather bummed about having primarily pigs.

He would not be at all opposed, he said, if the Mister and I employed less-than-sporting measures to try to reduce his pig population.


(we fully recognize that on a rarely-occupied property, effectively reducing an established population of wild hogs is pretty unlikely. They breed like rats.)

We are game to try. So the Mister hatched himself an idea, which is never a good sign. We spent our evening in the garage, and ended up with this -

That would be a Phase I do-it-yerself hog baitin' feeder. If you look real close at the 55-gallon drum, you can tell it originally held grease for a restaurant. How much fun do you think cleaning that was?

Next steps include the mounting of the actual feeding/timing device, possible extension of the legs, and a paint job.

Then, of course, comes the math part, wherein one figures that if said drum can hold 300lbs of dry corn, how often can one run the feeder and for how long before the tank is empty? Ick. Math for grownups.

However, the any means necessary mandate implies, at least to me, that we're cleared hot for million candlepower spotlights. Which really appeals to my inner redneck.

All this is socially acceptable, of course, because feral hogs are an environmental disaster. Like starlings and Asian carp.

25 November 2007


Well, the Guest Dogs just took off, and Jack is wandering around whining, pining for his girlfriend.

It was cute, but at the same time...two young labs is a bit much.

Casey is thrilled she doesn't have to wait two more turns for people food treats. She's used to the normal distribution pattern - senior dog, puptard, ratdog, senior dog... and so on.

In other news...remember Little Broke Dog? We've been calling in and checking on his status. He went up for adoption on Wednesday, and when I called the shelter yesterday, they told me he'd been adopted that morning.

It always makes us happy when homeless dogs get adopted, so bravo for whoever out there has a nice new dog.