Friday, June 26, 2009

Confucius say...

“He who learns but does not think, is lost! He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.”

From the great teacher... Think about it and enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

What day do you bathe?

I study and follow some ancient Celtic traditions. I don't know if it helps in any way, but I figure it sure can't hurt!
I won't bore everyone here with my bathing practices, but I thought that some might find the old Celtic notions of some value.
This is taken from the website Celtic Callings..

Bathing Rituals:
Bathing is popular magick because it is a reunion with the element of water. Baths can be effective in helping the ill to recover. To purify the body, mind & soul add some salt or bath salts to the tub and soak. The salt neutralizes the negativity. Salt also aids in healing. Silver Coins placed in the bath insure money in the future. Collect the first snow of the Winter and add it to your bath. Helps to keep you healthy. Bathing Hours: Morning - increases beauty. Afternoon - luck and fortune. Night - enhances psychic awareness. Bathing Dates: Mondays - just prior to sleep - increases prophetic dreams Tuesdays - Increases passion. Wednesdays - strengthens intellect. Thursdays - brings money. Fridays - helps find love. Saturdays - brings patience. Sundays - brings strength and health. Winter Solstice or Beltane - bath with a penny wrapped in a washcloth -brings good fortune. Add herbs to the bath to help with medicinal or ritual purposes.

Give it a try for any mystical powers you'd like to enhance...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Boredom... And the clay target shooter

There's no question in my mind that clay target games, as with most games in general, are infinitely more fun when one is shooting well. If a person is not breaking many targets, interest can be lost pretty quickly... But, can interest and committment also be lost when one is breaking virtually every target?
Now, I'm certainly the last guy that can lay claim to breaking every target that's been thrown for me, or even close to it, but when I used to shoot lot's of skeet, I could run hundreds with sub-guage tube sets. I don't consider that feat enough to consider myself a gifted shotgunner, since I always opined that I could have a chimp shooting straights before a human given a goodly supply of bananas! Why?? The chimp wouldn't overthink his targets, and he'd be unafraid to miss. Hence, none of the "between the ears" foibles that we humans are often prone to.
So, is an easy game like Skeet still fun when you're breaking all your targets? Where is the incentive to improve? What is the next goal?
I've often marveled at dedicated Skeet shooters for their committment and dedication... pounding away at the same targets day after week, after agonizing year! I've pretty well documented how I suffered from "Skeet burnout," and how many years it took me to be able to shoot the occasional game again and get a little bit of satisfaction from it.
Maybe I'm easily bored, but I guess the answer for me is the ability to break enough targets to remain interested, and not too many to get bored. Thus far, Sporting has allowed me that, although even there, there is nothing new under the sun. But at least the presentations can be broken up a little..

My point?? Maybe I don't really have one, and I'm just offering food for thought on yet another rainy Wednesday....

Monday, June 22, 2009

Making a mark

How does an animal as commonplace as a dog leave it's mark on the fabric of the Universe? What could be done to possibly make a difference in the great scheme of things? How can one dog touch a life and leave an indelible impression? What could possibly be done for that one dog's pawprints to leave imprints on the ages?

Field Trial placements?? It could be one way, but they're soon superceded and forgotten, except for a handful of great ones, and even those are soon surpassed. No, I'm convinced that a dog make's it's mark on time by how much it is loved by it's human family. How much of a difference it has made to the lives of it's human companions. How much the gentle temperament of a dog has allowed it to integrate itself into a family, and how that dog has become an important part of a family..

Dogs don't last long. It's a cruel joke that God has played on man, giving the man seventy years or more, and the dog only ten.... If I made the rules, it would be the first thing I would change... So, we have to make the most of the time allotted.

Sandy came to us at about a year old. She was mishandled as a pup, and given away. She had already made a few stops in her young life. When we met, she was being kenneled and was profoundly unhappy. She'd eat enough to keep herself alive, and no more! Everyone could plainly see that something was wrong with this little 30 pound Setter, but no one could understand what it could be. All the other kennel dogs were happy and animated. I was asked if I could find a home for her... She would not make it as a FT performer because of her headstrong ways, but she had genes that folks would like to tap into, so the proviso was the right to breed her.
I thought and thought for a long time as to where she could be placed, and always came up blank. I soon realized it was because I wanted to help this sensitive little dog myself. So, Sandy had already touched me in a small way.

We took Sandy and never looked back! She won't do her birdwork the way I want her to do it! She does it her way! That doesn't always please me, but she atones in so many other ways.
When I call her into me, she comes with a look of total adoration in her eyes and a little wiggle! I know she would do anything for me, and I for her! She's touched my life in ways that are both strange and wonderful.. My life has been enriched by being afforded the opportunity to enrich hers.

So, to me it's quite simple... A dog make it's presence felt for all of time by how much it is loved, and how much that love is returned. And by those criteria, no champion could ever make a stronger statement than my little English Setter... Sandy.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Smarter than your average bear..

and that's pretty darned smart!

This story reminds me of my youth when we used to vacation in Long Lake, N.Y., and the Saturday night fun was going to the local dump to watch the antics of the resident black bears. They never failed to put on a great show, and it was better than sitting in a Drive In movie watching a somewhat boring flick!

Check out the Adirondack Explorer blog for the story of a highly intelligent black bear, and prepare to be amazed!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

An Ancient Relationship

The relationship between Native Americans and wolves is one that has existed before recorded time, and has persisted and remained strong throught the millenia.
A wolf/dog hybrid was recently trapped on the Akwesasne Mohawk reservation near St. Regis in upstate New York, hard on the Canadian Border. The incident has caused some cultural differences to once again be felt.
I'm not a proponent of caging wild animals, even for educational purposes such as in zoos.. Were I one of these animals, I'd prefer euthanasia to a life caged..

Here's an audio clip from North Country Public Radio, an NPR outlet, that offers some insight into the complex relationship between Indians and the wolf..

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Product Endorsement

The staff at "The Bombshell" is specifically prohibited from accepting gratuities, or perks of any kind for product endorsements, chiefly because we consider it inappropriate, and in reality, because no one has come forward and offered us anything. But, there are exceptions to every rule, and this will be one.
A plug for Canon, the folks that bring you great camera gear... I've got an old A-85 P&S from Canon... My first digital camera, and it's probably six years old. Just last week, in shooting mode, the screen displayed purple and green lines.. akin to static on a TV from the old days..
A quick look through google turned up the fact that this is not an uncommon problem with this series camera, and that Canon had an ongoing program to fix these cameras.
A call to Canon confirmed that the repair, and even shipping is free to install a new sensor. The technician explained that the camera was essentially going "blind," and that after the repair, it would, in all probability continue going strong for another six years..
Where can you get service like that today? They e-mailed a pre-paid shipping label the very next day. The only thing I need to do is box it up and drop it off at the local UPS Store..

Kudos to Canon for producing a great product, and for standing behind it!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

"To choke or not to choke.....

.... that is the question"

I guess it's safe to say that my one-time love affair with the now ubiquitous choke tube is over... and has been for some time.
I much prefer fixed chokes... for aesthetic reasons and due to the fact that fixed chokes can, and do deliver better patterns on target. While I have no empirical evidence to support my contention, it exists between the ears, and the key to successful shotgunning resides between the ears. So, if I believe it to be so, for me it is so!
I'm also of the opinion that modern ammunition does not require the degree of choke that was once necessary. I've proven to myself how far .008 of choke in the twelve ga. can reliably break a target, and it's much farther than most people would think..

Changing choke tubes is, to me at least, like changing dimensions on a adjustable stock... We can just get into too much trouble by doing it. It takes one's concentration off of the situation at hand, and becomes a distraction unto itself..

Sometimes when we're not shooting as well as we believe we should, we seek to make a change... and I guess that's OK. But, chokes and stock dimensions that worked before are, IMO not the place to go looking for answers..

Perhaps one of the motivational tapes placed under one's pillow at night... "You are great... You are great... You are great... You ar.....

Enjoy the weekend... and pray for some sun!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Midnight Ramble

A little different take on things today, for we'll touch down a bit on the world of Music, and an opportunity for New Yorkers..
I don't know how many folks remember the great Levon Helm, of The Band, but Levon hasn't gone anywhere and is still masking great music. Some may remember Levon Helm as the character Jack Ridley, the flight engineer for Chuck Yeager in The Right Stuff..
Levon has gone on to many things musically, and still works with the loosely connected Levon Helm Band..
Well, Levon calls central New York home, and has a large timberframe home and recording studio in, where else, Woodstock, N.Y.. Here, he and his band and musical guests perform "Midnight Rambles".. kind of homey jam sessions. Anyone could possibly show up to jam with Levon and the band..
I've been wanting to get to one of these "Rambles" for some time, but like a lot of things I want to do, it's been put off. But, be aware that this trip is on the "bucket list' of things to do.

Check out Levon Helm's website, and don't forget to go to the audio/video area and click on some of the audio clips..

And, for those that may ever be in the area of the Catskill Mountains, shoot me an e-mail and possibly we can attend a Ramble together with the wives.. Seem's like it would be a helluva night!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Interesting news from "New Britsky"

Connecticut Shotgun is based in New Britain, Connecticut. My daughter presently lives in New Britain, Connecticut. New Britain was a manufacturing town, think the Stanley works where CSMC is currently housed, with many immigrants of Eastern European descent, hence the "New Britsky" moniker.
The news?? It seems that there have been "leaks" to the effect that CSMC will pull the plug of the highly successful and popular RBL series of SxS's.
Longtime readers here will recognize the fact that I'm currently waiting for an RBL-16... the 16 ga. iteration of the series, and the ga. that will undoubtedly see the fewest numbers.
So, I guess it would be disingenuous for me to act the spoiled child and be upset at the news. Quite frankly, if this rumour became fact I'd be quite ecstatic. I'd be in possession of another gun with low numbers that would hopefully be in demand...

We'll see how this all plays out, but it will be interesting, for myself and our friends at Cold Duck, to watch the rumour mill from the sidelines..

Friday, June 5, 2009

New kid on the block

And you thought the internet contained all the information you never wanted to know before?
Along with the 16 ga. Society website, there is now a 28 ga. Society for aficianados of the impressive little 28's.

It seems there is a niche site for every nuance in the world of the Internet..

Spend some time perusing the sites, and if you find they have any value for you, join up and participate.

Isn't that what we're all here for??

Enjoy the weekend...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Will wonders never cease??

It seems that the National Skeet Shooting Association, the governing body of Skeet shooting in the U.S.A., has finally acknowledged that the 16 ga. shotgun still exists! Certainly with no help from the N.S.S.A.!!
While it's true that there is nothing to prevent a Sixteen from being used in the Twelve ga. events, I'm unaware of anyone that has ever actually done it, although Hal Hare may do it on a limited basis..
Anyway, it's good to see the "red headed stepchild" of the N.S.S.A. finally get some recognition from them..

Read all about it here....

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Roll crimps

What is more classic in the world of shotshells than a shell that's been roll crimped?? The only item that I could think of would be a paper hull that's been roll crimped.
I've been attempting to get into the world of the roll crimp for some time, and now that there is buzz that Lyman will be once again offering their superior roll crimp heads, there appears to be one less obstacle standing in my way.
To further add to the appeal, there are folks that are using the PAINT program that comes along with Microsoft products to create unique covers for the overshot card as pictured here... Will this extra touch make one's ammo more lethal?? I doubt it, but it would sure give the guys at camp something to talk about while sitting around the fire watching wet steaming dogs dry off at the end of the day..
I'm always attracted to things that are unique and different, and I'm exploring the PAINT program myself to see if there's a way I can personalize my ammo.

Don't forget to click the pic to see the beautifully formed roll crimps and the folk art covers..

Monday, June 1, 2009

Thought for a Monday morning..

What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.

from the Blackfoot Tribe

Enjoy your Monday....