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VOLUMES 221 & 222 -------- NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020

Uploaded January 17, 2021

Well, let's start with deer season.  Like many other activities, our deer hunting just wasn't the same this year.  As reported last newsletter, the early season passed us by with not a trigger pulled.  Although it is not unusual for the bigger bucks to not show around here until the rut begins in November, there did seem to be an unusual scarcity this year.

In spite of our initial optimism for the late season, November 7 through 19, the situation really didn't improve much.  Still no really nice bucks visiting our trail cameras or the herd of does that hangs around the ranch.  Becoming discouraged by lack of big bucks along with the doldrums associated with accommodating the myriad rules, restrictions, and cautions associated with the COVID pandemic, we finally decided to just not kill any deer this year.  Culling some animals for population control would have been appropriate, but we finally just said, "Heck with it!"

I can finally conclude the home remodel story for now.  Unless we find something still inadvertently not completed, the windup occurred January 13th.  Finishing the trim on the flooring above the stairway was the last item.  Now we'll spend the rest of the winter figuring out where and in what boxes we stored things months ago, and get them back where they belong.  The kitchen portion and new appliances included in the original plan will remain on hold for now and we'll take another look at that in the spring.

Ann's second birthday celebration finally occurred on November 15th.  The original plan was for Jennifer to again bring 'takeout' from Noodle Express on the actual birthday, but this got delayed by a question whether Jennifer's cold was just a cold or part of the pandemic.  Fortunately, she tested negative!

In addition to Noodle Express, Ice Cream Cake from Dairy Queen was on the menu along with a bit more gift opening.

Jennifer and Grandma for 2nd Birthday Celebration

Chicken and Shrimp Osaka from Noodle Express


Done With Birthday Gifts 'Til Next Year

Imagine The Fire If There Were Really That Many Candles!

I also said last time that I would elaborate about the Hornady handgun safe I got for my birthday.  But first a few words about Hornady.

In the early 1940's, Joyce Hornady teamed with Vernon Speer of Speer Bullets to make bullet jackets out of  spent brass rimfire cases.  Then,
Mr. Hornady founded his Grand Island, Nebraska company in 1949.  This was about the time Government surplus ammunition manufacturing equipment became available post WWII, and Joyce began buying some of the bullet manufacturing presses.  Some of that machinery is reportedly still in use today!  At  that point the Company began making precision bullets for ammunition reloaders.

When we lived in Nebraska in the 1970's, Hornady was still primarily a bullet maker, but with the acquisition of Pacific Tool and Die had expanded into reloading equipment such as presses and dies.  Some original Pacific reloading dies still reside on my shelves and work just as well as they did over 50 years ago.

Tragically, Joyce Hornady was killed in a crash of the company plane on the way to the Shot Show in New Orleans in 1981.  It was thought for a while that the Company might fold, but the Hornady siblings, Marval, Steve, and Margaret, did not let that happen.

Now under the leadership of Steve Hornady, expansion and acquisitions have brought the Company into being a major player in a broad spectrum of products, including extensive ammunition lines.  Hornady has also been instrumental in developing several new and innovative cartridges in conjunction with firearm manufacturers.

There are now third generation Hornadys active in the Company.  For more information about Hornady and their products visit hornady.com.

Now to the handgun safe.  As the increasingly anti-gun populace of Washington State continues to pass laws and initiatives that make it harder for law abiding citizens to exercise our firearms rights, we are forced to make some adjustments and sacrifices to protect ourselves.  (I should also point out that these laws and regulations matter not one whit to criminals, who by definition don't follow laws anyway!)

One such rule was propagated via citizen initiative, by a perceived need to lock away firearms so they are difficult to get to when you really need one.  As in "Hold on armed burglar while I unlock and load my gun so I can protect myself and my family from you!"

In response to the confusion about what the law means with regard to 'safe storage,' the WA Attorney General posted some FAQ's on his website.  I reprinted one of those FAQ's in my March/April 2019 newsletter.  I'm gonna repeat it here to illustrate my point:

Question: Does Initiative 1639 require that I keep my firearm in secure storage?

Here is the Attorney General's answer, and I quote:

“No. The new law doesn’t directly require that a firearm be stored in a particular place or in a particular way.  But if your firearm is not in secure storage, and you knew or reasonably should have known that the firearm could be accessed by someone who is prohibited from possessing a firearm, such as a child, under some circumstances you may be charged with a crime.” (emphasis mine)

The ‘weasel wording’ in this one answer shows me the the Attorney General of the great state of Washington struggles mightily to find a way to explain this nonsense.  I thought case law is pretty concrete in requiring that a law be clear and unambiguous so that people understand what constitutes a violation and the penalty or penalties for that violation.  Seems to me this gobbledygook answer makes a perfect case for a challenge as ‘Unconstitutionally Vague’ and hopefully it soon will be.

Here's the conundrum; If I keep a firearm in a bedside drawer for overnight protection and while I'm out grocery shopping a couple of kids break into the house, find the gun, and one accidentally shoots the other while stealing it, have I committed a crime?  Re-read the AG's answer and give me a definitive answer.

Hell no, I don't know either.

At any rate, we felt it prudent to explore ways to comply with safe storage implications, while still having a firearm readily available in case of emergency.  Hornady's RAPiD Safe Nightguard fills the bill nicely.  The safe has Radio Frequency Identification for opening, thus the designation, 'RAPiD SAFE.  The safe can be opened via a 'chip' located in a wristband that need only be waved in front of the clock display for the spring loaded mechanism to pop the door open.

The safe also comes with extra programmable chips that can be attached to something like a cell phone or other object that is normally carried on your person.  A key lock is also provided in case of loss or failure of the Radio Frequency system.  The numerical keypad on the front can also be programed with a code for yet a third method of ingress.

Handgun Safe with Features

Another View of the RAPiD SAFE

(Photos courtesy of the Hornady website media center)

Also in my last newsletter I reported on obtaining a supply of flash drives on which to supply my Powerpoint reloading presentation.  After completing the re-recording of the narrative and adjusting the timing of the slides, I mailed out about a dozen of the programs to friends and relatives asking for commentary about the content.  So far I've only received about four responses, and all were generally positive.

I have listed the presentation for sale on the Reloadin' Stuff page of the site, but so far have simply been giving them away.  One went out to Matt over in Montana.  He had apparently been surfing the 'net and found my reference to the program here on the site.  Matt tells me he is a longtime reloader of multiple calibers and his knowledgeable and thoughtful critique was much appreciated.  Review the short movie demo on the Reloadin' Stuff page if you're interested and drop me a line.

Covid threw a wrench in another tradition of long standing in which I have been involved for 10 or 15 years.  Our Elks Lodge
has been providing some sort of music for the residents' Christmas Party at Lakeland Village in Medical Lake for over 100 years by some calculations.  The music has varied over the years from the days when the Lodge had an actual dance band of the Glenn Miller genre, to more recent years with a few of us playing vintage country music.

With the Lakeland Village campus closed down because of the pandemic, this was a difficult pill to swallow, but one that had to be.  For more information about Lakeland Village and the services they provide, visit the WA DSHS site HERE:

Picture From Last Year:  Dennis Hurd on Drums, Chuck Crowley, Vocals and Lead Guitar, and Me, Vocals and Rhythm Guitar

This next subject would not normally be included on my site, but it ended up being of interest to me.  Many of you already know that a pet nickname I coined for Ann is 'Little Heifer.'  Exactly how, when, where, or why this came about is lost to history and my failing memory.  Much commentary and discussion has been generated around this little nickname over the years.

For example, I have explained many times to those who question my calling my beloved spouse 'Little Heifer' as a term of endearment, that a very key word in this nickname is 'Little.'  Imagine the difference in perception that might occur if it were something like 'Old Heifer' or 'Fat Heifer.'  You can think of your own prefixes but I'm sure you get the point!

The term Little Heifer was recently rekindled in my thoughts by a small magazine Ann received in the mail.  The little booklet was called a 'Holiday Giving Guide' and distributed by an organization called "HEIFER INTERNATIONAL."  The organization is a fund raising entity that says they assist farmers in poor countries around the world by, among other things, donating livestock.  I'm not passing judgment on the organization in any way, but simply found the name to be interesting.  Should you have interest in learning more, you can find them at heifer.org.

At our age, you can imagine that Ann and I are being very careful about any activity that might make contracting Covid more likely.  Other than trips to Safeway, Walgreens, the occasional fast food drive thru, and Walmart
curbside grocery pickup, we stay pretty close to home.  This included celebrating Thanksgiving at home with just the two of us.

We did decide to have some fun with our meal however.  Cooking a turkey or even a turkey breast for just the two of us would have left some serious leftovers.  After all, one can only eat so much turkey!  So, we decided to roast a 'Spamurkey.'  The following photos will explain:

Getting Ready for Our Thanksgiving Celebration

Raw Material for a Spamurkey

These Are Some Necessary Addons

Spamurkey Almost Ready for Roasting

Fresh From the Oven With Dressing

Carved and Ready to Serve

We Had Fun With Some Old Placemats with Stickers to Apply

And there you have our very private Thanksgiving Celebration!

Even though our Christmas gathering included masking and social distancing, we did decide to have our traditional Christmas Eve celebration here with Rick and Jennifer.  Ann again prepared her famous Chicken Bisque Soup that we first experienced at an eatery called Curley's Broiler in Missoula, Montana.  The Bisque, along with Morel Mushrooms fried, frozen, and saved for the occasion, along with various other appetizers made for a wonderful meal, as usual.

I've explained the Curley's super secret chicken bisque a number of times on the site in the past.  Suffice it to say that Curley's national newsmaking refusal to share the bisque recipe challenged Ann to do one better.  She was successful!  I've said before and will say again, Ann's chicken bisque is even better than Curley's was!

Curley's Broiler is no more, being replaced by a multiplex movie theater.  The caretaker of the secret recipe has passed away so we don't know if the recipe even still exists.  Occasionally a reader of these pages will email Ann asking for her version of the Bisque recipe.  Well, that one remains a secret as well!

Here's Our Little Tree for 2020.  (This is the top section of the one we usually set up)

Christmas Table with Social Distancing

You Know the Caption Here

Morel Mushrooms and Other Goodies

Little Heifer's Famous Chicken Bisque

Ann and Jennifer in Disguise

Rick Thought Something Was Funny

Jennifer, or as we've called her from infancy:  JENNIFER JUNE

This month's hillbilly wisdom comes from a quote from Will Rogers:

"You know horses are smarter than people.  You never heard of a horse going broke betting on people!"

Well, it's time to shut down here, so. . . . .
'Til next time, Keep 'em shootin' straight, shoot 'em often, and above all, BE SAFE!!!

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