Monday, August 31, 2015

I am in the Big Suck.

Posts and net will be spotty for the next couple, three weeks.

Busy as all hell. Bear with me.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Things are going to get a little weird in a couple of days.

I will be pressed for time and internet range is likely to be spotty for reasons I won't get into here. It'll be the better part of a month and I may may not be posting.

Yesterday I worked South Sudan on 17 meters. That's a first for me.

I THINK I worked Reunion but that's kind of iffy because it was a weak signal in the middle of a pile up and I think I was the last or second to last call he took. It was actually some kind of a double pileup. I did hear him repeat my call sign clearly, though...or at least someone did. Whatever.

I have a lot to do today so I'll cut today's post short.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Yesterday I wandered

 outside and watched the repaving project wearing a white shirt, necktie, white hard hat and pocket protector full of pens. I was also carrying a clipboard.

I wandered around making it a point to stay the hell out of everyone's way, though. The guys knew what I was doing and smirked. They thought it was pretty funny.

I was getting ready to go back home and get ready to face the day when someone further up the pavement company food chain showed up. I have not seen him before.

So I walked up to him and mentioned that it might be good PR to square off the ragged concrete edge of my neighbor's driveway. Then I simply wandered off. I had done nothing wrong nor misrepresented myself in any way.

A couple days ago she had mentioned it to me. Where the concrete meets the pavement is uneven. The end had likely been torn up by some city vehicle some time ago.

Then I simply wandered off up the street and when he was watching me, I wrote something on the pad of paper on top of the clip board. I got to my house and stood there writing.

The minute his back was turned I ducked into the garage, came in and started making breakfast. About the time I sat down to eat it I heard something like a chain saw outside. When I looked there were a couple of guys with a pavement saw cutting the ragged edge out of her driveway.

She'll be a happy camper. I just inspected and they did a good job. It's nice and even.

Update: She got home and noticed right off the bat. I told her what I had done and she laughed herself silly.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Friday, August 28, 2015

Well, I did it again.

Another nosy one gets outraged.

Homeless Depot. Checkout line. Buying one of those switch doo-dads that keeps people from turning something off that you want left on.

"Grandchildren visiting?" asked the check out woman when she sat the item.

"Nope. My wife just had a baby girl," I replied. "I'm a 64 year-old first time father. I married a younger woman."

She wan't smart enough to leave well enough alone.

"How old is she?" the check out woman asked. Her tone of voice sounded like she expected me to say I had married a 40 something year old woman and we had a 'menopause baby'.

"She's getting her driver's license next year and when she graduates from high school we're going to have another five or six," I answered, cheerfully.

Hook, line and sinker.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The road crew outside is at it and they are going a great job.

I see today that my escape route is by going down the street. Yesterday it was up the street but that's OK.

They are doing a pretty good job of keeping things passable while they are working away. I seldom have to even stop when I leave the house.

I will admit that I believe that a part of this is that we are a successful neighborhood. We all have jobs, work etc and have things to do.

I would bet that if they were doing the same job in an indigent neighborhood they wouldn't really try as hard to keep things moving.

Ever notice that stop light cameras are not very often present in wealthier areas? My guess is that the locals wouldn't tolerate it. Instead they install them in poorer neighborhoods where the residents can't afford the tickets yet don't have the clout to get them removed. It really isn't fair. 

While I am no friend of the lazy poor, I do have compassion for the guy that is at least trying. He's the guy that needs a break every once in a while. He's running a little late for work and maybe hits a yellow light a little late. Click and BAM! He's a couple days pay poorer for trying to get to work on time.

I got nailed by one of these damned things in Philly and it cost me $100. 

As soon as I got the ticket I sat down and figured out how I could get rich. If I could invent some kind of polarization plastic that would allow someone directly behind me (as in law enforcement officers) to read my plate yet not let it be readable from a higher angle (as in stoplight camera) I could sell a boatload of them.

The policeman behind me could see my plate as he is supposed to be  able to yet the high angle stoplight camera couldn't.

Of course it would be outlawed inside of a few months so the maker would have to act fast. Too bad I don't know any plastics engineers.

Anyway, while I have no use for the lazy poor I do believe that the poor slob that's at least trying ought to get a break. He's at least making an effort and he has my respect for it.


To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Road repairs going on outside

And of course, everybody is griping about it which is par for the course.

I went out and spoke with the head honcho and said the road looked OK to me and didn't need repaving yet. He said that it is actually cheaper to keep them in good shape than let them wear any more as the repairs later on  are more costly.

I guess it's kind of like changing your oil. Saves having to replace an engine.

Anyway, it is a pain but it will be worth it as they generally do good work here. Likely it will be like a sheet of glass.

I don't mind the inconvenience.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

An assisted dying law

would in no way increase the number of deaths in the world.

Everybody dies.

Letting people go when they want to would alleviate an awful lot of human suffering.

Actually the truth is that in this country this should not even be an issue. However, someone or some group came along and imposed their values on the rest of us.

In no part I'll pin a part of this on the so-called Christian Coalition that has identified with the Republican party. 

Back when, Barry Goldwater said that making a deal with the Christian Coalition would be the end of conservatism in the country and he was pretty much right. It's dragged people like Mike Huckabee into things. He's another one that just ought to go into a hole and disappear.

I basically live my life by Judeo-Christian values. That's my  business. What isn't my business is how my neighbor lives. It's not my job to tell him what to do.

The problem is that somewhere along the way we have given up a lot of liberty by allowing people to impose their beliefs on the rest of us.

The truth is we shouldn't even need an assisted dying law. A civilized death should be listed as a basic human right.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Monday, August 24, 2015

Another day another dime.

I just had a little problem with a wall wart that came with the TV box. It was one of those frustrating deals that drive people nuts. It worked when it felt like it.

I wanted to replace it and knew that going through the TV people would be a hassle. They'd likely try and use it as an opportunity to try and peddle me an upgrade of some sort.

Anyway, I read the model number etc and put it on Google and found out that I could buy one through Amazon.

It's on the way.

Years ago that would have been a royal pain to find but these days the internet makes it easy.

For those that babble about how much money Bill Gates has, think about it. He earned every dime of it. How about the socialists in this world stop trying to take it away from him.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Donald Trump is nothing more than a symptom of a real problem.

Years ago one would have never heard of some businessman stepping up and deciding to run for president in the way Trump has.

If someone had they likely would not have gotten very far.

Right now the RNC is going nuts trying to eliminate him by any means necessary. The Democrats are afraid of him, too.

The truth is that people are sick and tired of both parties. Neither of then really represents the average guy. The people are sick of it.

They are sick of the liberal left and all the politically correctness and they are sick of the RNC trying to palm off people like Jeb Bush, Rubio and the like on the public. 

I have heard it said before and said it here before that we have two parties. The party of the rich and the party of the low-life. The Democrats have managed to keep themselves in power by giving the treasury away to the low lifes through social programs. The Republicans have done what they can to give the money to the rich.

In short, both parties suck.

Enter The Donald who is not a politician to begin with. He's an entrepreneur. He has his own money and enough of it to run for POTUS pretty much out of his own pocket.

He doesn't speak the language of the politically correct very well and the truth is that a lot of people consider that to be quite refreshing.

He's managed to upset a lot of apple carts and that is generally a good thing. It is actually refreshing to hear a candidate speak with the tact of a Abrams main battle tank.

He also has an interesting slogan of sorts. He wants to make America great again. He's right because we've been on a definite downhill slide for years.

Truth is there has been a vacuum left by both parties and Trump has rushed in to fill it. Had the RNC not simply been 'Democrat lite' and the Democrats not taken a socialist bent Trump would never even been a small blip on the radar.

Yet here he is.

Go, Donald, Go! Keep stirring the pot. It needs it. The scum has risen to the top and the bottom is getting burned. Stir that pot, Donald! 

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Saturday, August 22, 2015

I am typing in short spurts this morning

Because I am using the computer for a couple things at once.

Of course, I am writing this post but I also have it wired to my IC-7200 HF rig. I'm working the rig using a fairly useless program called JT-65. It is more of a propagation tester than much of anything else.

You can only send 13 letters at  a time which makes it rather impractical as a communications tool. One wag said it would take fourscore and seven years to send the Gettysburg Address with it.

Which reminds me that I am going to Gettysburg in a couple of weeks and ought to find out what Lincoln's REAL Gettysburg address was. Probably some fleabag hotel. The same one George Washington slept in. But I digress.

Still, JT-65 is a pretty good propagation tester and I just put another Englishman in my log which is OK even though I have a bunch of them in it.

Yesterday afternoon the Mazda wouldn't start. I think it's fuel as I have not run it very much at all this summer and have not gassed it in months. We'll see.

I hate to take it to the local mechanics and I think I'll try and do what I can before I do. When cars were easier to work on I did most of my own mechanical work.

We'll see what happens.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Friday, August 21, 2015

Donald Trump isn't apologetic

for using the term 'anchor babies'.

The fact that he isn't has probably made him more attractive as a candidate to a lot of folks. He doesn't give a damn about offending people and considers 'politically correct' to be a joke.

Truth is there are an awful lot of us that don't really give a damn about being politically correct. I fit right in there. PC is the enemy of free speech and it is as simple as that.

I consider Trump to be a blast of fresh air and the more the RNC and the DNC are scared of him the more I like him.

The truth as I see it is that Trump is shaking up both parties, neither of which represent the average working person. That is almost always a good thing.

I am getting sick and tired of the RNC trying to palm off RINO of the week on the American people and try and pass him off as a conservative.

I may not agree 100% with Donald Trump but if he makes it as far as the general I will probably vote for him if for no other reason than the fact that he will at least be entertaining.

Keep them scared, Donald!


In other news, when it rains, it pours.

I picked up two new DX entities last night, Reunion and Mauritius.

Reunion I bagged on voice with a 2x2 signal and I hope he got my call sign right in is log.

Mauritius I bagged on CW and has been confirmed by email already. This one I kind of had to work at.

I listened for several minutes and translated his call letter by letter before I put my hand on the key. When I was sure I had gotten his call correctly I waited for an opening and then send my call sign followed by a 5NN signal report.

I got it sent right back to me. Then I emailed him and made sure I was in his log. He actually emailed me inside a few minutes telling me I was in his log.

I have also emailed Reunion but have not heard from him yet.

When in doubt, I now email for confirmation as simply sending a QSL card at what comes to about $5 a pop gets expensive.

I'll have to count my confirmations but I think I'll be pretty damned close to 195. When I hit 200 I'll stop chasing new entities as aggressively as I am now.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Thursday, August 20, 2015

So it is another day

 and that means another post.

I have to get a few things done today and that means I'll be busting my butt around the house. The August burn-out came a little early this year and as a result the lawn stopped growing. Most of us do not water them in the neighborhood.

Still, the lawn needs a going-over and I'd like to do that today.

Right now outside the work crews are getting ready to tear up and repave the street I live on. I do not know why. Maybe some high muckety muck lives down the street and pulled a few strings. Who knows?

I just looked at it a moment ago and the entire street seems to be in pretty good shape, really. It's well above the 'passable' level. It was redone a few years back.

When you think about it, it is nothing more than a waste of money at this point. I don't have Clue One as to why they are doing this.

Off the top of my head I can think of a few places they could spend the money a little better. For example, while it isn't in really sad shape, there is a bridge that could use a good repainting to preserve the steel. There are a few other roads around here that are in pretty sad shape that could use a repaving.

I just wish the local whoevers that are in charge of things would be a little less generous with my tax money.
I just saw a sign I used to put up when I mowed my lawn.

Ground cover readjustment project.
State funds.....................................$0
Matching Federal funds..................$0
County funds..................................$0
Local funds....................................$0
Total............................................. $0

No tax dollars 'at work' here!

I'm going to start using that again.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Kudos to the women that passed Ranger school

They passed it fair and square. It is one course that can't be pencil whipped because in addition to being graded by the instructors, the candidates are graded by their classmates.

Now, of course, the feminists are expecting that they will be posted straight to the 75th Ranger Regiment and likely will start caterwauling if they are not assigned jobs as platoon leaders or given a company to run.

 Not so fast. At this point woman are not being accepted into the regiment but I suppose that can be change easily enough.

 We don't even know what the of these two lieutenants are. Can the Ranger battalion even use them? Part of even being able to volunteer for the Ranger battalion is that one has an MOS that they can use. 

Most (but not all) Ranger officers are Infantry types and it is doubtful these two are. 

Personally as an armchair general I see a pretty good use for these women in the field. The pair of them would likely make pretty good intelligence gatherers in Afghanistan. Afghan woman that wouldn't be caught dead speaking to a male GI are a lot more likely to open up to a woman.

I'd have them gain their weight back run them through a crash course in field intelligence and then deploy them to do just that. They could be loaned out to units on an as needed basis.

Actually I am reasonably sure that there are a number of other women in combat zones that are accompanying GIs on patrols through villages and making contact with indigenous women.

I have no problem with women in a lot of line units. An MP staff sergeant told me that he had groomed a female Sp/4 to be his partner in Iraq a few years ago. He chose her specifically because she was a woman.

He was funny about it and described her as 'a real Elly May Clampett that actually cleaned up pretty good'. Apparently she was a farm girl. A part of the reason he chose her is because after he trained her in certain martial arts he'd use her to take down belligerent Iraqi men. 

Apparently there were a number of young testy Iraqi men in his assigned area that were belligerent towards the MPs assigned to the area. After the farm girl had taken a couple of them down the rest of them decided that they didn't want to face the humiliation of being taken down by a woman. A lot of the trouble in his area stopped almost at once. 

If either of these two woman have an intelligence background or something the Rangers can use I can certainly picture assigning them to the 75th Ranger Regiment. 

What I can't see is forcing a social experiment at the risk of lives. Assigning either of these two woman a platoon in the 75th without the proper combat arms background would be a travesty. They'd very likely get somebody killed.

The Navy learned a pretty harsh lesson on social experiments when Kara Hultgreen (call sign Revlon) was killed while trying unsuccessfully to make an arrested carrier landing. Apparently someone somewhere along the line pencil whipped some of her qualifications.

What they should have done is left Hultgreen on the beach and found a better trained woman to qualify. However, the Navy was probably having some inter service rivalry with the Air Force and wanted to have the first operational female fighter pilot on their roster. Hultgreen's faults as an aviator were overlooked and she paid for it with her life.

Back in the day I served with a couple of tabbed Ranger officers, neither of whom were eligible for the 75th Rangers. They were branched as artillery officers and the Rangers had no slots for them as such.

A lot of people do not realize that simply getting through Ranger school does not make someone eligible for assignment to the 75th. They have to have an opening for them. For example the 75th has no tanks so assigning them someone with an armor background is useless. He/she would be just another empty mouth to feed.

While I truly believe there is a definite use for the two women that just graduated from Ranger school I am very leery of assigning them duties that they are not otherwise qualified for.

It's a good way of getting people killed.

These days a lot of Social Justice Warrior types are often pretty generous with other people's lives. I wonder how they'd react to the loss of one of their own children because the Army decided to force a social experiment.

Before we start assigning people to force a social experiment let's at least make sure the people involved are 100% qualified.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Another telemarketer just bit the dust.

They called yesterday and told me it was imperative that I do something to change my credit card interest rate.

"Imperative? That sounds like an emergency of some kind. I better notify the proper authorities," I replied. "Stay on hold. I'll dial 911 and we'll have a conference call." 

I put her on hold as I heard her shouting "No, no, no!"

About fifteen seconds later I returned to her number but she was gone. 

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Monday, August 17, 2015

It's Monday and an hour ago I just got an email

from another ham in Azerbaijan. 

He ran a special event station out of there and I made a QSO with him this past June. He requested $3 for postage and I sent him five because I know what it is like running a special event out of one's own pocket.

He just got his cards printed up and let me know he will send me one as soon as he gets back to Russia.

That's another one that is bringing me closer to my goal of 200 entities.

There is a Kuwaiti that sent me his card and paid for the postage out of his pocket because I made him laugh.

A while back I was battling my way through a pile-up with some guy in California. I didn't really need a California contact or anything but was simply battling my way through a pile-up for the exercise.

The cat jumped up and flicked the VFO knob with his tail changed frequency on me. I found myself in the middle of a pile-up over a Kuwaiti station.

What the hell, I figured. One pile-up is as good as another so I started in and managed to get another Kuwaiti entity in my logbook. 

I didn't need a QSL card from Kuwait on 20 meters so I didn't send for one. However, I did email the other ham and told him of the circumstances regarding our QSO. He thought it was pretty funny and ten days later I got his card without asking for it.

Many of these hams overseas are well traveled, educated men and he and I swapped a few emails. We laughed over Alaskans arriving in Kuwait City in parkas and Arabs in traditional garb landing in Minnesota in January. 

One thing we both chuckled at was how Hollywood has influenced the world. I sent him a link to the old (1925) version of The Thief of Baghdad with Douglas Fairbanks, senior.

We both shared a laugh. While it is pretty inaccurate, it still really is a pretty good movie.

He was pretty quick to rightly point out that the American stereotype is the American Cowboy.  He hit that one on the head.

I told him if I ever get to Kuwait I'd show up dressed like one. Complete with a can of Copenhagen in my back pocket, a Bull Durham string hanging out of my shirt pocket, red bandanna, 10 gallon hat, jeans and boots. 

He suggested I leave the six-gun home, though.

I don't drag politics into it, though. So I didn't say that I could picture the Duke walking into and ISIS camp with a shotgun and telling them, "They'll be no beheading so long as I'm the marshal of Dodge."

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Happy Sunday

And I have things to do today which kind of sucks as there are other things I would rather be doing.

One of the things I have to do is the periodic anti-flea cleanup. Kitty doesn't have fleas and I don't want to have him start getting them so I take a few measures to prevent them.

Part of it is cleaning, of course. The other part is spreading stuff around that is non poisonous and kills fleas.

This is going to pretty much be an all day project.

When I got off the boat this time I took just about all of my stuff with me. I do this every couple of years and clean it up and go through it. Much of it winds up in the trash.

It's amazing how much stuff a guy can accumulate and amazing how much space things take up. Cold weather gear fills an entire foot locker fast as it is so bulky. I ditched a lot of gear and replaced some of it and now it's all in three footlockers. This sounds like a lot and I guess it is until you go through it.

Actually one footlocker is mainly bedding, another bulky commodity.

Anyway, today is a day of cleaning and I'll be at it all damned day. Maybe by tonight I can find a little time to goof off and play radio or something.

Happpy Sunday.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Dad had a few brains.

He must have been a good soldier because a good soldier knows when he has been beaten.

He knew we'd ignore his orders about blowing stuff up most likely because HE disobeyed HIS father about blowing stuff up with fireworks.

What did he do?

He took us aside and showed us how to do it safely.

Smart man.

Thanks, Dad. Most likely because of you I have all my arms, legs, fingers and both eyes.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Friday, August 14, 2015

Sorry, Top. I owe you one.i

So I was on the road yesterday and stopped at a rest area for a burger and ran into a couple of servicemen. They were professionals, not first termers.

A glance at their ranks tole me they were most likely a company commander and a first sergeant.

I am an old soldier that addresses first sergeants as 'Top'. While if I were a serving GI in this day and age I would catch hell for doing this, first sergeants generally grin and actually like the form of address from old men. They know where we're coming from.

Most first sergeants grin when vets address them as 'Top'. It's funny watching the younger GIs cringe when a vet does this. They expect Top to go off on the vet. They are often astonished to see the first shirt grin and accept the title gracefully from an older vet.

So anyway, Top and the Old Man are sitting there and I was passing by and simply said, "Hi, Top, Hello, Sir. How you guys doin'?"

"Pretty good, Sir," said the captain.

"I see a pair of air assault badges," I replied. "When did you guys go through air assault school?"

"Three years ago," replied the captain.

"Lord,"said Top. "Back when I was a Sp/4."

The captain jumped to conclusions and thought I had been through air assault school and simply asked me what it was like back in the day.

I never went through the school but I had a flash of inspiration. Now I am a master of the straight face and if I ever get shot with a ball of my own $hit. I will admit I have had it coming for years.  "Never did," I replied. "But my buddy did. Back then it was like the mounted horse cavalry. The big difference was that instead of being issued a horse, they issued every soldier a pterodactyl to fly them into battle. Each GI took care of him."

Top burst out laughing and the old man looked confused for a second. He gave Top a quick angry look, recovered and looked at me sheepishly. He recovered quickly.

"That long ago, huh?" asked the captain.

The first shirt looked at the old man. "Sir, I'll bet this guy can remember back before the days they started issuing parachutes at jump school!"

Sorry I got you a dirty look from the Old Man, Top.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Captain Kirk! Kardashians off the port bow!

"Spock, lower the shields. Scotty, prepare for warp drive. Mr. Sulu, phasers to full power!"

I wish the Kardashians would just simply go away.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

I just read where the President wants to ban the Gadsden flag.

This is starting to cost me money.

Now I have to go out and buy a Gadsden flag. 

What's next? He going to try and ban the Israeli flag?

I suppose if he tries to do that I'll have to buy one of those, too.

I suppose I could put up Old Glory upside-down, then the Southern Cross, the rainbow flag, the Israeli flag the Gadsden flag and the Nazi flag in that order.

It would be a signal that a family quarrel is in progress.

Then again, the president will leave office in 2016 and maybe his replacement will have better things to do than ban flags.

That's if I don't run out of money first.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Right after I got out of the service

 I briefly  looked into being a game warden of some sort or another.

It seemed interesting but I found out it was boring from a couple of them that I talked to. One of the younger guys actually suggested that if I was looking for adventure, which I was at the time, than I should look to Africa.

Back before the internet people wrote letters and mailed them. I sent a letter to what was then Rhodesia asking about the possibility of becoming a game warden there.

I got a letter back saying in effect that they were looking for mercenary soldiers to fight guerrillas. If I wanted to and made muster I could try out for the Selous Scouts. However, travel was on me.

When I asked a couple people I knew about the goings-on in Rhodesia someone handed me a couple copies of Soldier of Fortune magazine. After reading a couple of articles I decided I wanted no part of that.

The other day someone was mentioning that they'd like to help the animals in Africa by trying to get hunting banned.

I suggested that he donate instead to and anti-poaching orgnization instead and go to the real crux of the problem. After all, poachers are the real threat to African game animals.

(I actually told him that if he wanted to put his ass where his mouth was than try and get on with the anti-poaching people. He gve me a dirty look.)

People are really unaware of the efforts of the anti-poaching patrols that go on these days. It's a dangerous, dirty business.

In some places poachers are simply shot on sight. In other places there is a serious effort made to apprehend them. I guess it depends on the country etc.

Still, when you consider that almost all of these poachers are armed and many feel they have nothing to lose you can see that it is a dangerous line of work to get into.

Still, they do try and save the animals and if you want to try and do something don't bother with the trophy hunters. They generally do more good than harm. They're often why the governments can afford to send out the patrols.

Go to the crux of the problem and donate to tha anti poaching people.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Monday, August 10, 2015

I think I'll pass a lesson on to you young bucks.

Many moons ago I was a young man. Granted, it was many, many, many years ago but that's neither here nor there.

I wanted a date one weekend and was listening to a couple of young women and overheard one telling another, "My daddy says when a guy takes me to dinner to order the most expensive thing on the menu because I am worth it!"

I looked to see who said that and sure enough, it was "Pizza Face" Macallum. Hmmm. With that attitude she wasn't going to get very far. She had best learn to cook, clean and sew as she didn't have very much to look at.

The girl she said that to was a lot more attractive. The attractive girl said nothing but I got the feeling she thought it was a bunch of crap. She just smiled.

Anyway, I ran into a chick I figured I'd like to check out and invited her to dinner and a movie the following Saturday night.

So at dinner this chick ordered a hefty sized steak and a few sides, took two bites and declared that she was full. I cheerfully said that we had time. The place didn't close until one AM and said I was willing to stay.

Of course, she got kind of snotty about it and threatened to storm out. I shrugged and she did get up and leave. At first I was a tad angry until I figured that it was a deal in another way. I had found out right off what she was like and figured it was worth it. I had the waitress doggie bag everything, paid and left.

It was a busy art of town and I knew she would have no problem getting home. I didn't worry about her at all.

I fired up the crap can of the week, my $50 wreck of a car and started dragging the gut on the main.  I swung by a local hangout and ran into a girl I had known for years but had really never paid a whole lot of attention to.

She looked at the doggie bags. "What's that?" she asked.

"Leftovers from a dinner date," I replied. "It didn't go very well. She ordered half the menu and ate two bites. I said something and she got hissy and left."

"Sounds like Tina LaCoste," she said. "She likes to do that."

"Yup." I replied. "Take what you want but eat what you take."

"Stay put," she said and bailed out of the car. She returned a couple of minutes later with a pair of forks and spoons and paper plates.

"Borrowed 'em from Larry at the pizza place," she said. "Now you have a dinner date. I'm starved."

I laughed at her brass and relaxed and we sat there eating off of paper plates in a parked car.

"What are you doing next weekend?" I asked. "Interested in dinner and a movie or something?"

"Let's do one better," she said. "Lets go for a couple of rides at Paragon Park and have a clambake in the marsh somewhere. Park is on you, lobsters are on me."

"I'll dig the clams, it's a deal." I said.

And that's what happened. We had a good time. 

There really wasn't much of a spark between us but we remained friends and for a long time. She became my I feel like doing something with someone occasional date. We did several interesting things together, few of them were what were traditional dates.

One time she just hung around and handed me wrenches while I fixed a car. 

I think she also pissed off Tina LaCoste a little later by telling her that "maybe she wasn't as precious as she thought she was." 

Which is always a plus.

Truth is she taught me about not wasting my time on someone that is either selfish or egotistical. Life is too short. 

As for Tina LaCoste, she married some rich dude and tried to clean him out years later in a divorce. There were no children. I heard she didn't get a whole lot because she was too strung out on coke. Someone told me she died a few years back.  

My advice to you young guys is when you find out that someone is selfish and is simply trying to get into your pocket to see if she can  bail out instantly.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Sunday, August 9, 2015

This post is for some dumbasses I grew up with

that don't have half a brain yet are allowed to vote.

I have had some people upset claiming I shot a rhinoceros which I did not.

I shot a triceratops.

They have been extinct since about 63,000,000 BC. It was a legal kill of a nuisance animal and allowed by the Bedrock Department of Fish and Game.

The animal had damaged a lot of things in the Bedrock area including a lot of equipment at Mr. Slate's quarry where Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble worked. The BDF&G decided it was a nuisance animal and had to go. At that point in time it was to be another ice age before Triceratops became an endangered species.

When I appeared for the hunt, Mr. Slate graciously shut the entire quarry down for two days both for safety reasons and to help draw the triceratops into the quarry.

 I shot the animal outside of the quarry.

I booked the hunt through Time Travel Safaris.

The story behind Time Travel Safaris is an interesting one. It began when Rocky and Bullwinkle went off of the air.

WHen Rocky and Bullwinkle went off the air, Mr. Peabody and Sherman were looking at a long period of unemployment because nobody was looking for a dog to hire as a quantum physics professor and Sherman was fairly young and hadn't finsished school yet.

Hanna and Barbera in an unprecedented act of generosity gave the Wayback Machine to them so they could start their own business.

They opened a small safari business specializing in Jurassic era hunting.

However, they have had to run their business underground and advertise by word of mouth because they are afraid of getting shut down by animal activists.

This has actually happened twice but both times they have been able to go back and take preventative action to keep from being put out of business.

As I mentioned, animal activists have been trying to put Time Travel safaris out of business for some time now. However, Mr. Peabody and Sherman are too clever for them.

Animal activists have tried to tear down their office several times. Mr. Peabody and Sherman simple hop into the Wayback Machine and run back a day to before the building got vandalized. After their office had been torn down several times the exhausted animal activists simply gave up.

I seriously recommend Time Travel Safaris for anyone looking to hunt Jurassic era big game. I feel they're a pretty good deal as they have managed to eliminate a lot of the safari associated expenses. Fewer people are needed for a hunt.

As for my trophy, I have not shot it yet. I'm scheduling this hunt for next year. However, Mr. Peabody and Sherman did kindly take me back in time to just after I shot the Triceratops so I could take a picture to show my family.

They have meetings open to the public and the next one they are having is in Tulsa, Oklahoma. If you have nothing to do last Tuesday you ought to drop in and check ot out.

Tell them Piccolo is going to send you.

I figure that if you are one of those people that are stupid enough to believe the picture I ought to at lest have the decency to give you a story to match.

For those of you that are too young to know who Mr. Peabody and Sherman are, here's a picture of them and the Wayback machine.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Saturday, August 8, 2015

During the beginning

of the Cecil the Lion babble fest someone photo shopped Steven Spielberg sitting in front of a triceratops prop that he made for a Jurassic Park movie. He posted it on line and from what I hear Speilberg was treated to a double ration of insults and threats.

Of course, the triceratops has been extinct for the past 63,000,000 years or so, give or take.

As usual a number of animal rights people jumped all over Speilberg and he was treated to a number of insults and threats.

Joyce Carol Oates took the bait and sent a comment asking where the conservation laws were to prevent this type of thing from happening.

Here's the original photo shopped picture of Spielberg sitting in front of the triceratops.

Of course, I couldn't let that big shot movie maker have all the fun. I had someone pull Spielberg's head off and replace it with mine. I also had the photo shopper add a rifle, an AR variant.

So there is yours truly sitting there in front of a dead triceratops with one of the most underpowered rifles for dangerous game. Off to Facebook and a few other places.

My family and a few longtime friends are on Facebook and my family chimed in with good natured comments.

An old high school friend lifted the picture and posted it on his page. It drew a few hits, but nothing to write home about.

So I posted it on someone else's facebook page and drew a couple of pretty nasty comments. Someone asked me the name of the safari company.

I told them it was the Time Travel Safari Company and explained that I'll shoot the animal next year and I invited her to come to our meeting that is scheduled for last Tuesday.

Even that went over a lot of heads. I seriously wonder how many animal activists started Googling around trying to find the Time Travel Safari Club so they could start in on them with their hate.

This reminds me of those psychic hotlines. You call them and they ask what they can do for you. If they reappy were as good as they say they are they'd answer the phone something like this: "Hi, Pic. We'll give you the winning numbers to the lottery after your credit card clears and we get $14.95. It'll only take a minute because we called it in just before you called."  

I ought to start a Facebook page for Time Travel Safaris and have guys post themselves in front of downed dinosaurs holding rifles.

"Here's a happy customer from 2016! Next year he'll bag this nice Tyranasaurus Rex back in 63,000,002 BC!"

It would be fun to watch dumb asses see pictures like that and have a melt down and make fools of themselves.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Friday, August 7, 2015

Old School Coca Cola

While I do not drink a whole lot of carbonated beverages, I just finished a REAL Coca Cola. Made with cane SUGAR.

It's like the stuff I used to drink as a kid before they started using high fructose corn syrup to make it with in this country.

Right now you can generally get it in supermarkets although it's a little more expensive because it has to be imported from Mexico.

It's pretty good.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Thursday, August 6, 2015

One of the things I think I am supposed to do

 as a resident of SW Pennsylvania is "Keep my eyes peeled for Indians."

Now back when the order was issued (and hasn't been rescinded yet to my knowledge) it meant keep my eyes open and watch for possible hostility from Native Americans.

I guess times change because I find myself peeking into various gas stations and convenience stores making sure no harm befalls their Indian owners. The one nearest my place has a couple of pretty good guys running it. I like them and don't want to see them have any trouble.

As for the Native Americans, I guess they run smoke shops and stuff. I don't know a whole lot of them and the few I do know have pretty much assimilated and I see them causing no problems to the peace, prosperity and tranquility of SW PA.

I guess the way I see it, is the only Indians I really have to even be remotely concerned with are the Cleveland Indians.

If they make it to the World Series I suppose there is a possibility that there would be welshing on sports bets and a few fights among baseball worshippers.

That's really no biggie. The cops could clean up that mess in a heartbeat.

I ought to write the people at Fort Indiantown Gap and see if I can stand down. It would be an interesting letter to send and they would likely tell me to stand down.

Then again, maybe I don't want to stand down. The guys at the local convenience store are a pretty good guys and I don't mind looking after them.

If I write the people in Fort Indiantown Gap they are likely to get all worked up over nothing and start jumping up and down and carrying on.

They are apt to let their imaginations run wild and figure they have an armed nut running around Pittsburgh hunting for people to shoot. So they might send out a SWAT team or something.

Of course, they will be disappointed because all they will find is an old man that happens to be interested in the welfare of his community. They will feel foolish and try and trump something up to justify the over reaction. God only knows what that will be.

Nope. I will simply sit here in compliance with my orders feeling much like an abandoned WW2 Japanese soldier on some Pacific island somewhere awaiting further orders.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

I never got into any real trouble as a kid.

Someone once said to me a few years back, "It always seems that when you find a kid that hunts and fishes he never seems to get into any real trouble."

I thought about that a while and I think that for the most part he's right. Kids that spend a lot of time outside doing things like that seem to be too tired to get into real trouble. They also seem to be healthier than kids that are indoors a lot.

A few years back I saw a kid walking up the street with a fishing pole while I was talking to one of the neighbors.

"Oh, my God!" I said to the neighbor. "He's got a fishing pole! He's going to murder a fish!"

The kid was pretty quick on the uptake. He smirked.

"Where ya goin' fishin', Kid?" I asked.

"The lake in West Park," he answered.

"That's a pretty good hike," I said.

"Yeah, well my bicycle's broken," he replied.

"Hop in," I answered and gave him a ride. On the way I told him to bring his bicycle by and I'd do what I could to get him back on the road again.

The next day I fixed a bike. What was equally important is that I taught him how to fix it himself. It was a simple fix, really.  I was mildly annoyed that his father didn't know how to put a chain back on and tighten it.

Anyway, for what it's worth I never did see this kid on TV wanted for anything. For that matter, I never saw his picture posted in the post office as being wanted.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Did you bring enough gum for everyone?

This story goes back to junior high school and I suppose in part it made me what I am today.

One of the few teachers that earned my respect was a teacher I had for home room.

The incident that made me respect him was the good old gum game. He caught me chewing gum and asked me if I had brought enough for everybody.

I knew if I said I hadn't and spit the gum out I'd be good to go. But I realized I had no real after school plans so I went for it.

"How come I have to bring enough for everybody? Sounds kind of communist to me." I shot back.

Of course, I was told to stay after school.

When I reported to him, he simply told me to sit down.

"When you said that making someone bring in gum for everyone sounded communistic it made me think," he said. "It does sound like something socialistic! You were right."

"Still," he continued. "I had to give you a detention because you lipped off about it. You're free to go after your bus leaves."

I thought about this for a second and kept my grin inside. Once in a while if I felt like tking a chance and getting home early I'd intentionally miss the bus and hitchhike. The bus made several stops and had a long route.

If I got lucky I'd catch a ride right off the bat and about one time in three get dropped off at the house. Generally I'd get dropped off at the bus stop, and usually well ahead of everyone else. 

Then he grinned. "It's hard being an individual, isn't it?"

I thought a second. "Yeah, but I think it's worth it."

"Well, at least you're not just another lemming in the herd," he replied. "You're not always right, you know. But at least you try and think for yourself. That's a lot more than I can say for an awful lot of your classmates." 

As soon as bus three left I shuffled out and as soon as my feet hit the stairs I took off like a shot, crossed the highway and stuck my thumb out.

The second car stopped and picked me up. It was Officer Sangetti. He was a tough, hard boiled cop known for being hard. He was also the department juvenile officer.

While I wasn't afraid of him, I knew to treat him with respect. 

"OK, Kid. What did they keep you after school for? he asked.

"They caught me chewing gum," I replied. "And when he asked me if I had brought enough for everybody I told him he sounded like a communist."

He stopped a second and digested it and I was treated to a very, very rare suppresed smirk. "It does sound a little communist," he agreed. Then he went on to tell me that schools have to keep order.

"I just wish they'd let us think once in a while," I replied. That drew a curious look. 

He mentioned to me that a couple towns over they had found a dead guy that looked like a victim of the mob. I figured there was a point he was going to make.

"The best way to avoid problems with the mob is to simply stay away from them and not let them rope you into anything. The best way to keep the police and the mob from chasing you is to not do anything dumb in the first place." I replied. 

"Smart kid," he replied. "Headed home?"

He knew where I lived. He lived nearby and I wasn't too far out of the way.

I said I was and he dropped me off at my door. I had beaten the bus by quite some time and when he drove off I hid out for a while so Mom wouldn't ask me why I was home so early. 

I have to give my teacher credit. He was still a gum chewer catching guy but he never asked a single student ever again if they had brought enough gum for everybody.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Monday, August 3, 2015

in defense of Sabrina Corgatelli

A woman named Sabrina Corgatelli seems to have made the social media news as some kind of a pariah.

She's in Africa now hunting animals and is brassy enough to post pictures on her Facebook page during the midst of the Amazing Cecil the Lion media frenzy. For this at this time I question her sanity. Her timing sucks. 

I don't know this woman and have never even heard of her until a few hours ago but for some reason I feel a desire to defend her actions to some degree.

Personally over the years I've killed a few deer to put meat on the table along with pheasants, a few ducks and a few rabbits. I like game for the most part. It's a good, clean source of meat. I haven't hunted in a few years and get my venison from the generosity of other hunters. I'm grateful for when I get it.

I've also dispatched a couple of sick animals and removed a number of nuisance animals. None of the killing ever brought me any joy. The joy generally came at the dinner table.

I do admit that I like long walks in the fall in the pursuit of pheasants, though. I enjoy the crisp air of fall and simply being outdoors.

I have no desire to go to Africa and shoot any game animals there. If I were to go on a safari I would likely pack a camera instead of a gun.

But that's me.

Let's take a look at what Sabrina is doing over there. She's hunting. So what.

From what I can see she's found a reputable professional hunter (PH) as a guide. She has all the required permits and licenses. She is in no violation of law that I am aware of.

She is actually bringing no mean sum of money into South Africa and creating a number of jobs for the locals on top of providing them with a lot of meat. 

I doubt that little if any of the animals she kills will go to waste. The locals will likely scarf up just about all of the animal that she doesn't take home with her.

The costly fees and permits will likely go toward game management to insure that there will be animals for future hunters to harvest. South Africa is actually smart about game management. They know that hunting brings in big money and do their best to manage the herds.

Permits in South Africa are issued on a basis that will sustain the herd.

Most people do not realize that hunting safaris and photo hunts are what give those animals any value. Without the income they provide the animals, for the most part, would be considered nuisances and pests and would have likely been eradicated years ago.

Back here in the States I listened to a woman that had moved to Florida babble about waking up to find an alligator on her lawn. She flipped and called the police that called whoever the police call to remove alligators from residences.

She made it pretty clear to me that she didn't care how it was removed. Had someone shot it and tossed it in the back of a truck and taken it to the dump that was just fine by her. 

Part of the reason I remember this so clearly is that it was getting close to Earth Day and she asked me what I was doing to save the planet. Go figure.

Once I was doing some work at someone's house and a stray pit bull wandered into the yard. The woman told me she wanted it gone. I was a tad confused. "Do you want me to shoot it or what?" I asked.

"I don't care!" she screamed. "I want it gone!"

I didn't shoot the poor old dog. I simply went out and chased it away.

The bottom line to both of these is that when push came to shove neither of these women really give a damn about the animals.

A lot of big game animals are nothing but nuisances and pests to local Africans. Many herbivores eat their crops and the carnivores tear up their domestic herds.

If you were a farmer and some eland ate up your crop that you were depending on to feed your family you'd want the eland gone, too. If a lion tore up some of the goats you had been raising you would tend to hold a pretty dim view of letting him return for seconds.

In both cases the farmer would likely poison, snare or shoot the animal. I can't say as I'd blame him. I'd likely go after the animal that was harming my livelihood.

In short, a lot of those animals are a detriment to African life. A lot of villagers probably want them gone.

Not to mention that many of them are downright dangerous. Hippos kill about 500 people a year. Rhinos are not very gentle, either.

Now let's enter the murky world of poaching for ivory and rhino horn, both of which have a demand in the world.

Couple the aggravation the animals cause with the demand for ivory and rhino horn and it's pretty sure fire that someone is going to try and supply the demand. 

Throw poverty into the equation and it's a miracle there are any elephants or rhinos left at all.

I know a dairy farmer that hires a local guy to keep his field clear of ground hogs. They dig holes and if an expensive dairy cow steps in one there is a pretty good chance Old Bossy will wind up with a broken leg.

Can't say as I blame him. Good cows are expensive and hard to replace. I'd probably do the same damned thing. He simply wanted all of the ground hogs eradicated.

He's checked in as someone that was against big game hunting, which is odd for a farmer.

Then I asked him if he'd eradicate them or manage the ground hog herd if there was someone willing to pay HIM $10,000 apiece for the right to shoot them.

He didn't answer me but I know what he was thinking.

Enter the hunter that comes into the host country with a big wad of cash and hires a PH who in return puts together the safari and hires local to perform the required chores.

A good chunk of that money goes to the host country government in the form of trophy fees, licenses and so on giving what is generally a poor government some money to hire game wardens, anti- poaching patrols and the like.

These people are the ones that give those animals a value. They are the ones that give the governments a reason to manage the herds and insure sustainability.

A while back Kenya, a former mecca for hunters, outlawed trophy hunting. Ever since they did that their herds have been in a serious state of decline.

People are quick to point to eco tourists that photograph the animals. Truth is eco tourists generally stay in cities and make day trips on guided tours to nearby parks. They don't require the services of PHs and the various other locals that provide services to hunters.

I've read where the average hunter brings in 50 to 100 times the money the average eco tourist does. Eco tourists don't pay any trophy or licensing fees and simply don't spend the money that the hunters do.

It's the hunters that bring in the big money.

Frankly, I'd love to know what Sabrina is paying for her hunt. It ain't cheap. I sure couldn't afford it even if I wanted to hunt in Africa.

Truth is, like it or not, that she's probably part of the solution instead of part of the problem.

As for her detractors, I seriously wonder about them. None of them seem to understand game management. Most of them are sitting on their wallets instead of opening them up and donating a single dime to game management anywhere.

I know that in the States a lot of the states rely only on the revenue that comes in from hunting and fishing licenses and associated fees to manage the animal herds in the state. 

This means that the herds and fisheries are managed and sustained only with money paid in by hunters and fishermen. The guy that doesn't hunt or fish pays little if anything toward managing the wildlife of his home state.

If you want to do something for conservation then simply buy a hunting or fishing license. You don't have to use the license, just buy one. In most states he money will go to the state's conservation efforts.

Many hunters also put their money where their mouth is by joining conservation organizations. One organization, Ducks Unlimited, has done an awful lot in helping maintain the flocks of ducks in the States.

There are others that have done a lot to preserve wildlife, too.

This likely means that a lot of Sabrina's detractors don't have dime one invested in the fish or wildlife of their home state, much less having something invested in African wildlife. They're just running off at the keyboards.

Many of her detractors would likely act like the woman that found an alligator on her front yard or the mother that spotted a stray dog out front. They'd simply want it gone and not care how it was removed.

I wrote earlier that hippos kill over 500 people a year. I wonder how many of Sabrina's detractors would act if they heard that a government was going to kill off a few in the interest of public safety.

Many of you would defend the hippos. "Hippos gotta be hippos" you'd say.

Yet if you were visiting the zoo and someone threw one of your kids into a cage of hungry tigers it would he a different case altogether. I don't think you'd accept an explanation of "tigers gotta be tigers".

I don't know who this Sabrina is and I really don't care. All I can figure is she is living a dream now in Africa and paying for it. She's not poaching or doing anything illegal.

Yet I see a bunch of rabid people wishing death and destruction on her and calling her a bunch of pretty rotten names.

To those that are calling her names and wishing her an early demise, you ought to take a better look at yourself. You look a lot worse as people than the person you are calling out.

How about before you hit 'enter' you take a few minutes to think about yourself and your purity. What have you done to assist in conservation efforts? What other skeletons are sitting in your closet? Think about what you have written before you post it.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Sunday, August 2, 2015

I think that just for the hell of it I'll check in over the Cecil the poor old lion brawl going n these days.

First World problem.

Before I go any further I'm calling this entire mess nothing more or less than a First World problem because we are the only ones with the luxury of time to spend wailing and gnashing our teeth over it.

While we're at it, how about the five elephants that truly ARE endangered in Kenya that were killed by poachers while this ballyhoo was going on.

Truth is, most Zimbabweans don't really even give a damn about the death of a lion. According to some sources, even Zimbabwan government officials had never heard of Cecil's or even Cecil killing until it became big time international news. Doesn't sound like he was too well known to the big shots over there. Lion? What lion? You don't say? Someone killed a lion?

Several locals have asked why we don't get upset when a lion eats a couple of villagers. Interesting point.

When that happens the PETA types defend it by saying lions gotta be lions. Interesting point.

So they eat a couple villagers every so often. So, what? Lions gotta lion.

Next time you're at the zoo and hear some PETA type gripe about the lion in captivity mention that they eat people. If they explain that lions just gotta lion just grab the PETA person's four year old and fling him or her into the cage.

Let me know if their attitude changes. I'd be interested to find out.

I have yet to hear from the #zebraslivesmatter people. I'll let you know when I do. It would be interesting to hear what they have to say. I'll bet they were tickled pink to hear Cecil bit the dust.

Now lets take a look at Dr. Palmer. 

As of now we don't even know if he did anything illegal. He hired a professional hunter (PH) to take care of his hunting trip. It's the job of the PH to make all of the arrangements, get the proper permits and insure the hunt is ethical and legal.

Assuming Palmer didn't know what was going on he is guilty only of being duped by an unscrupulous PH. 

If Palmer did know what was going on he is complicit in the illegal hunt and probably deserves to be punished. We don't know enough to judge things yet, so we really ought to not get so worked up until we find out who is responsible.

From the accounts I have read, the entire poor excuse for a hunt was a botched, unethical affair. Cecil was baited out of a National Preserve which is arguably unethical. (I think it is unethical) He was baited into an area where there had been no lion permits issued, making the kill itself illegal. 

From there he was struck by an arrow supposedly shot by Palmer and wounded. He was killed forty hours later by gunfire by whomever. Hunter ethics demand a quick, clean kill. 

After Cecil died his radio collar was removed which is yet another violation.

So we're looking at a string of crimes here and unless the good dentist was aware of this, it looks like the entire mess drops on the lap of the PH.

I just read where he has had his license yanked and is out on bail.

Truth of the matter is that Good Old Cecil was on the protected list. It's possible that no permits were issued in the area to protect him from hunters.

This doesn't sound lie too much of a hunt to me. It sounds like out and out poaching.

From what I heard, Cecil was pretty popular among the photo safari set and drew a lot of money into Zimbabwe. I have looked on his Wikipedia page and it says he'd allow vehicles to within 10 meters of him.

I have to say that he probably brought a lot more money into the cash strapped country than his trophy fee did. Unlike most creatures (humans included) it seems like he was one of those rare creatures that was worth more alive than he is worth dead.

Cecil's Wikipedia page, according to another source didn't get set up until after he was killed. It smells like the entire ballyhoo is a red herring set up by the media to cover for something else.

Anybody taken a peek at what Congress is doing while we are all glued to our seats over the Cecil drama?

The Planned Parenthood fetus parts scandal seems to have taken a back seat to Cecil. So have several other things.

Of course, the politicians are on this because they never let a crisis, real or imagined, go to waste for political gain.

Now they'll pander to the heart strings of the "He killed Bambi!" set. Laws will likely be enacted and we'll probably send a gazillion dollars to Zimbabwe to get them to outlaw hunting or some such thing.

Of course, the PETA types that want to ban hunting don't realize that the damage done to the herds isn't done by ethical, legal hunters. It's done by poachers.

The money that hunters bring to this paradise on earth is likely one of the only things that finances anti-poaching patrols. without the revenue the animals would probably be extinct.

The PETA types are quick to say that eco-tourism doesn't hurt the herds but that's half the story. It doesn't help them very much, either. Figures I read say that the average hunter brings in more money that 50 to 100 eco tourists do. 

What helps the herds is money to make sure the anti-poaching patrols are on the job. The big money from hunting does a lot more good for the herds than the nickel-dime eco tourists. 

Hunting trophy fees are not cheap, but photo excursions are, relatively speaking. Big game hunting still seems to be where the real money is.

Zimbabwe needs the money badly. Their dollar isn't worth anything. If you want to become a millionaire now it's easy. Buy Zimbabwean currency. Five bucks get you a million Zimbabuan dollars...and you get change from your five. Instant millionaire.

When you realize their dollar isn't squat you can only imagine the quality of the anti-poaching patrols. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that a couple of greenbacks will probably get the patrol to move about 20 miles down the road. 

Meanwhle, there goes a small herd of elephants, killed for their ivory. Or a couple Rhinos killed for their horn. The rotting carcasses added to the endless list of unsolved criminal poaching. 

If it's not an elephant or five, it's another lion or something bagged by an unethical PH or poisoned by a native that's tired of having his goats or maybe his kids eaten.

Incidentally, the villagers are not just upset over the damage caused by the big cats. Elephants are pretty destructive as are giraffes and a lot of herbivores. They eat crops and a herd of elephants can flatten a field in minutes.

Hippos kill more natives than any other species.

Of course, First world people can scream blue bloody murder over the death of a lion half a world away over shrimp cocktails. They'll eat half the shrimp cocktail to save room for the steak which in turn will be half eaten to save room for the cheesecake.

They'll likely finish the cheesecake and lick the plate clean, all the while talking about poor old Cecil.

Meanwhile, back in Africa some villager would kill to have the leftovers and half-eaten steaks and shrimp that have landed in the dumpster. 

Very possibly he's going to be having whatever leftovers that Cecil's cousin left from his prize goat. That's if he's damned lucky.

As for Palmer? Who knows. 

Last I read the feds were looking for him and you can bet your ass they are going to be looking for some thin excuse to ship his ass back to Africa to face trial in some kangaroo court. 

After all, its votes for some dopey political candidate that would likely sell his own monther into white slavery for three votes. To him this is a pretty good deal. He can save his mom for the time he faces a close election.

A quick Google check in Zimbabwean court systems says that theoretically it's a Roman-Dutch based system influenced by the South African system. From a practical point, it's been compromised by Zimbabwe's Fearless Leader, Robert Mugabe.

It looks to me that Palmer is facing a decade or more in an African jail unless he can come up with some serious scratch to cram into Mugabe's pockets. At least that's my guess at this point in time. I could be wrong. Maybe he will go directly to jail and sit there until he can drum up some cash. At which point he will be quietly released. Who knows?

On the other hand, maybe we'd be better off with Palmer sitting in jail someplace. 

Judging from the hate mail Palmer's received maybe HE'd be better off sitting in a safe African jail someplace. Wanting the man dead for poaching is a little extreme in my book.

Truth is I have no idea if he knew that he was being taken for a ride by the PH. Maybe he was, maybe he was a knowlegable party to it. My guess, based on his history, is he was. Still, we don't know for sure.

He does have a history involving a legal bear kill in the States and has a hunting related felony conviction over it. As a result he can't own firearms here.

From what I've read between the lines this guy really isn't much of a sportsman. I've harvested game off and on for decades. I've killed nuisance animals from time to time. None of the killing has ever given me any joy. My joy came later at the dinner table.

Over the years I've met a couple of so-called hunters that didn't enjoy the harvest, the camraderie or the hunt. They drew their satisfaction in the actual killing.

Truth is I think there is something wrong with these guys. I think the only reason they hunt is because it give them a legal excuse to kill something. I think it is possible that Palmer is one of these.

Still, no matter what, he doesn't deserve the death threats he's getting from the whack jobs. There's someting wrong with them, too. Many of them sound like bogger whack jobs than Palmer. The crime doesn't seem to fit what some of the punishers want to give him.

One of the things I am grateful for is the luxury of First World Problems. It's really rather nice living in a country where people have the time and resources to worry about a dead lion in Africa.

Ahh, yes. The #Zebraslivesmatter people have just checked in.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY