People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Monday, November 26, 2007

On Deer Hunting

I've given you my reasons in the past for my having given up hunting deer. The mystique died long ago. My favorite line is this: It takes some of the fun out of the sport when I can simply walk out in my back yard and club one over the head with a hammer.

You think I exaggerate.

See the cute little creature in the photograph below? He (she?) is about to raid the bird feeder in my back yard. I walked to within eight feet of the animal this morning, snapping photos along the way, before it sauntered off. Unafraid. Unconcerned. At a leisurely pace. A bit annoyed, I think, that I interrupted breakfast. It's momma was about fifteen feet further on.

My choices:

Hunting license, wallet with IDs, topographical maps, aerial photos, toiletries, medicines, toilet paper, toothbrush & toothpaste, soap & shampoo, comb, first aid kit, binoculars & lens cleaner, spotting scope, seat cushion, water and other beverages, food & snacks, watch, knife (skinning/pocket), sunglasses, scents, backpack w/ pack frame, gambrel and pulley, game/meat cloth or bags, bone saw, electronic rangefinder w/ GPS, flashlight (small & large), extra batteries (AA, AAA, C, D, 9volt), headlamp, camera w/tripod/lenses/film/batteries, camcorder w/tripod/light/mic/charger, AM/FM radio, ammo, gun cleaning kit, bipod, camo clothing, fanny pack, gloves, mittens, wool/Nomex rain gear, poncho, cold weather boots, jacket/light/heavy, socks, wool/Polypro thermal underwear, hat, blanket, blaze orange jacket, deskunking kit, space blanket, lighters, firestarter & waterproof matches, compass, handheld two-way radios and chargers, cell phone w/ cigarette lighter cord, signal mirror, survival signal strobe, water filter/tablets, ax, tables & chairs, lanterns w/ extra mantles, cook stove w/ propane, trash bags, shovel for latrine, sleeping bags, pillows, chain saw (w/ fuel/oil/sharpener), portable heater, rope, tree limb loppers, playing cards, tarp/canopy, tent, ground cloth, water jug(s), 5 gallons of water.

Oh, and a gun.

Price tag $4,285.26.


Bird seed - 79¢ - and a pocket knife - $3.88.

Now you understand.

They Did Indeed Fall Off That Turnip Truck

I remember 20 years ago picking up the local newspaper the day after Thanksgiving and finding it to weigh three times what it did on any other day. On that one Friday, it was chock full of advertisements, from every major retailer on the planet, all going after the Christmas shopping crowd. All of whom would be shopping on that very day. This will come as a shock to the people who write for the New York Times but many of those retailers actually offered bargains on the items they advertised. Discounts. They were called "sales."

Twenty years ago. And counting.

To the geniuses (who must live under a rock) at the Times, however, ... shock!!!

Retail Sales Rise, but Stores Relied on Discounts
By Michael Barbaro, The New York Times

Black Friday was big — but with a big caveat.

With stores dangling steep discounts and consumers worried about the economy, retail sales surged on the day after Thanksgiving, yet the amount of money each shopper spent fell, according to two reports released yesterday.

The reports suggest that jittery consumers are flocking to rock-bottom prices and to little else — a boon for discount stores like Wal-Mart and Best Buy and trouble for higher-end chains, like Nordstrom and Abercrombie & Fitch, which are averse to discounting. (link)

Who would have ever predicted? Retailers (other than Nordstrom and Abercrombie & Fitch, perhaps) thought it wise to discount their merchandise on the day that nearly everyone in the USA is out looking for someplace to shop, to spend their entire worldly wealth.

A sudden phenomenon. To the kids at the Times, a troubling one.

To the rest of us (I'll refer to us as normal people), it ain't called Black Friday for nothing.

Perhaps He Should Get Out More

I made mention yesterday of the detestable comments that spewed from the mouth of the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, the other day, to a Muslim magazine regarding U.S. "imperialism" creating "the worst of all worlds." I somehow think Mr. Williams knows nothing about that world. For if he did, he'd be bringing up incidents like this to the reporter for that Muslim magazine:

Ruling Jolts Even Saudis: 200 Lashes for Rape Victim
By Rasheed Abou-Alsamh, The New York Times

Jidda, Saudi Arabia, Nov. 15 — A Saudi court on Tuesday more than doubled the number of lashes that a female rape victim was sentenced to last year after her lawyer appealed the original sentence. The decision, which many lawyers found shocking even by Saudi standards of justice, has provoked a rare public debate about the treatment of women here.

The victim’s name has not been released. She was raped about 18 months ago in Qatif, a city in the Eastern Province, and has become known in the Saudi media as “the Qatif girl.” She was 19 years old at the time of the assault.

Her case has been widely debated since the court sentenced her to 90 lashes a year ago for being in the same car as an unrelated man, even after it ruled that she had subsequently been raped. For a woman to be in seclusion with a man who is not her husband or a relative is a crime in Saudi Arabia, whose legal code is based on a strict Wahhabi interpretation of Islamic law. (link)
The archbishop prefers to overlook this sort of thing and instead decries his own culture (being molded of course by the hated USA). A quote from that Muslim magazine interview:

“Our modern western definition of humanity is clearly not working very well. There is something about western modernity which really does eat away at the soul.”
He prefers the Wahhabi way of life, one must assume.

When we start whipping 19-year old rape victims in the public square, I'll agree with this old fool.

Hollywood vs. America

Kurt Loder on Brian De Palma's anti-America flick that is bombing at the box office (in "'Redacted': Battle Casualty"):
What is there left to say about the Hollywood assumption that Americans are too clueless to realize that war is hell, that the war in Iraq is particularly troubling and that only moral instruction from, well, Hollywood can bring a benighted nation to its senses?

De Palma's use of an abominable crime as an emblem of U.S. conduct in Iraq is a gross insult to American soldiers who've never done such things — which is to say, the overwhelming majority of them. But the director thinks he's courageously lobbing a truth-grenade into the cultural conflict over the Iraq war, and no doubt he's hoping that any attendant controversy will help sell tickets.
If De Palma thought he could exploit the controversy to sell tickets, he lost.

The Bottom Line

From a housewife in Somerset, Pennsylvania:

"She couldn't keep her own home together, so how can we trust her to manage America?"

I'll let you figure out who she's referring to.