Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Last Days of Deerhunting.

Watching the blinking red light.

Doe and fawns.

Still sniffing around at the scrape.

More sniffing.

Checked the cams and sat for the afternoon watching up through the brush along a little branch of the creek. Nothing moving. Beautiful afternoon as the clouds broke and I came out with the rising blue moon searchlighting the East and ground mist developing in the fields. Just a few does on the cams. No pigs. Not a buck to be seen. Might sit in the tree a little in the morning. Going to be over soon!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

No Time for Fatwas!

Hot rocks! Another pair of burnt underwear gets it's wings!

No problem at the school where the BVD Bomber was recruited, though his love life seems to have been a little lacking.

How you going to get hot chicks with whitey tighteys? Oh I can't see them under the burka, so it's a moot point as to whether they are hot, or not!

Is that a PETN in your pocket? Or are you just glad to be in Detroit?

Dude....why bomb Detroit?

Janet says no problem, she's on it anyway, just in case!

Don't worry though, the only heads that will roll are those of the innocent citizens killed when the Muslims get their details worked out. Janet will get a raise and the Medal of Freedom!

Islam or Air Travel? Choose one!

Big Security

Every big politician lays it on. Makes them look important, doesn't cost THEM anything and there are a lot of folks to open doors, carry baggage, et. I also wonder if they lay on thick security because they think citizens SHOULD be angry with them for the things they do....

Certainly attacks on politicians are very, very rare...but they layer up like they are attacked every time they step out the door. Are they feeling extra guilty? If they haven't done anything wrong, what are they worried about?

John Deere Bear

Jump down, turn around, pick ANOTHER bale of cotton!

Update: Happens all the time.

Update: Or not.

And of course, the song of Obama's America: Leadbelly

Monday, December 28, 2009

Gaylord Texan Resort

Another shirt with no pockets!

20 degrees inside the exhibit and they issue huge parkas.....with no pockets. You're in Whoville with the gay designers!

Katie with the Grinch.

Overnight at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine. Luxurious joint. We just went up for a long overnight. Room with a balcony overlooking the huge atrium. Toured the Grinch ice show. Watched the Cowboys beat Washington on several big screens. Benign crowd with lots of kids around. Americans at leisure. No guns. The only gun nut I saw was a five year old with a popgun plastic rifle who ran up the sidewalk in the standard combat stance: rifle held in both hands across body. I hope he found something good to shoot at. He was certainly enjoying his combat assault across the atrium.

Coming back the Redhead counted 53 hawks along I635/Hwy80/I-20. Most of them big juveniles with mottled brown backs and chests. Migration time. When we drove out of the flyway, ending east of Terrell the numbers really dropped off.

Update: Busty Escorts of London is reading Blackforkblog! The BIG Guns!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Daily Deercam

First pig ever on any one of my game cams in five years.

He looks friendly. Fuzzy ears.

Lots of aiming black. Look at that tail.

For size comparison, here's a little doe at the same distance.

Not good. Not much corn was down but it was all gone. I thought the ground looked different but it wasn't remarkably so. Maybe he was just a wanderer. Fresh corn down now so we'll see....though the cam is inactive right now because the batteries I hauled over were dead. It's been a nutty year for hunting.

Update: The Unorganized Militia is on it!

Update: Back from overnight trip with the Redhead and going out to reset cam. I will certainly solve this problem the old-fashioned SHOOTING it if I get the chance. The cam is located in the exact center of a pig war 20 years ago. I made them move by killing 37. Haven't seen a one from then until now.

Update: Fresh corn and batteries in place. I'd like to bait them in.......and kill some, especially this big werewolf looking boar.

Our Friends: the Fatwa and HONORARY Texan of the Day!

Some government lists had him, some didn't. Waltzed through security. Nearly got on the ground in Detroit. Like a dozen times before everything failed except the guy a couple of seats over who decided to beatabutta.

TSA, HSA, FBI, all that jazz, just show tunes to make us think they are doing something. Now they will double down and you will only be able to take ONE ounce of liquid on board and plastic toenail clippers only! They will be especially hard screening for people in wheelchairs! They will all get raises to promote professionalism! But the threat level will remain Orange and we'll have to listen to twice as many announcements asking us: "Did someone put something in your luggage.......without your knowledge?" (Well....yes.....a TSA circular was stuffed in amongst my undermawears.)

Islam delenda est.

The Passenger that clamored over several folks to get at him: Jasper Schuringa, Honorary Texan of the Day!

Update: He's Dutch and has seen this Muslim stuff before!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

A little flurry of snow yesterday and wind all night then a blue-sky splendid morning. Hope everyone is having a safe and MERRY Christmas!

Update: from last year.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Avatar, Claire Wolfe Festivus and Golden Chains!

The Senate leads us into slavery, Christmas 2009!

The Redhead and I went for our final Christmas shopping. Seems late but we buy food, liquor and chocolate for folks and you can buy those until the moment you hear reindeer on the roof. (Heck, most folks got their Greenburg smoked turkeys days ago.) Then we ate on a wedding gift card at a swanky place for lunch. She bought me, (without revealing the price until it was too late), some expensive shoes. Last we went to see Avatar in 3D. The 3D was OK, though I had heard it was a pain. I forgot about it after a while. The movie is cliched and dumb, (about like the Star Wars with Jar-Jar in it), but really a hell of a shootout and technological feat. Fun to watch. Not as good as Dirty Harry but better than Dances with Wolves. Silverado level.
We came out in the dark and found ice on the back deck of her car.

I read that the Senate voted for health care for all of us before going home for Christmas! Maybe it will be a Claire Wolfe Festivus for the House and Senate while they are home! It DOES seem too late to work within the system but I'm not sure it's too early celebrate traditional American Values! I'm at least going to encourage Texas House and Senate members to sharpen up their pens and get a better a deal for their votes than Nebraska and Louisiana got for theirs. Texans ought to enjoy medicare set-asides, freedom from Federal Taxes and the right to secede by popular vote as a precondition to voting ourselves into slavery. If we aren't going to be free we at least ought to insist on golden chains!

Update: This guy gets it!

And they don't celebrate Christmas either!

Merry Christmas to all!

Apes don't live as long as men. Of course, this is BEFORE Obama gets his health plan forced down our throats, so there's that.

Sorry about the previous lack of good ape posts. It happens.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Daily Deercam

Young buck across the creek.

Little buck at the pasture scrape.

Big Bunny.

Doe poking around.

More does.

Went and checked cams today. Got across a swollen creek just in time to catch a warm December downpour, then double stepped in a deep hole crossing the creek on the way back over. Hadn't had both rubber boots full of water this century. (They hold about a quart each, along with foot and sock.) Glad to see a few deer floating around.

First time I didn't go out carrying a rifle.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Just past the Winter Solstice

Longest night of the year was last night but today didn't seem any longer. It turned warmer out and the lab and studio seem very cold inside in comparison. Water temp around 60 degrees out of the faucet. Shot some film with my 5X7 today and processed it. Was interested to see X-tol developer still hanging in there. I'm sure I mixed it up in September. Shooting Ilford FP4 sheet film. Nice looking negatives of winter woods scenes for a client. Wonderful overcast light and hardly any wind. Just a breeze was enough to make one photo a non-starter on the little hilltop where I was working: a nest of small vines in front of an Oak.

Good time of the year to order film and paper. It doesn't get heated up during shipping.

Return of the Soviets!

My computer and my camera aren't state of the art....but even at middle-aged they are remarkable for their quality and cheapness compared to the earlier versions. I've had five computers and five cameras....each generation a quantum leap above the previous at the same or less cost.

Gosh, how do you think that happens?

My government however gets MORE expensive and less satisfying with every election. This latest juggernaut- after the idiocy of the Clinton years, the Big Government Bush era ending with the final flourish of TARP is a nightmare. Omnibus after Stimulus of unread 2000 page bills. Now health care: a soviet style bureaucratic behemoth steamrolled on top of us in this age of faster/better/cheaper interconnectivity. Passed in a rush by a strict one-party vote with bribes and set asides to buy the last few holdouts.

Private business gets better and better. Government machinations cost more and have to be enforced at the point of a gun. Hmmmmmmm.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Shirts

Leaving the glasses hanging. No pockets and the cheapest white plastic buttons available. 70 bucks.

A no-pocket trivial shirt.

Max-style. Sailing to wedding in a coat and hat. Bonus points for flipped tie and emergency gear.

Holding a hairy dog while wearing wedding dress: Good form!

Happily dressed for marriage.

Chris Johnson and I were right here after sleeping overnight in the same clothes we wear anywhere teaching or downtown.

If it can't be accessorized with a classic rifle or dead mammal, beware!

North Face. Can't go wrong. Presidents 100 at Camp Perry, 2007.

Out looking for antlered things to kill in Swiss Army coveralls. Gunshow or ebay. 20.00.

Too late by now. Most of them are packaged and placed like ready-to-detonate IEDs under Christmas trees all over what we used to call the Republic. I still have to comment.

Katie bought me a shirt to wear at our wedding in Maine. Like any good husband, I agreed to wear whatever she bought. What she bought was a white linen shirt with an indeciperable ornamental embroidered display running up the left side of it. And the clincher: No pocket.

Only a woman would buy a shirt for a man like this. First of all.....embroidery? For men? No man has intentionally worn embroidery in the history of history. Luckily the coat she bought covered it. And the coat had some pockets. So I could conceal a sharp object, suffer through and cope. I'm a cooperative spouse.

She followed it up buying a shirt for a Christmas party last weekend. A polo shirt. A expensive polo shirt with no pockets. Nice lines. Cheap white plastic buttons. Little man on a horse. that cute or what?

So what is this embroidered no-pocket shirtness all about? It can be explained in one or two words: Gay designers. They don't want to ruin the LINE of the DESIGN by the bulge of something stuffed in a pocket. Distorts the little horse and rider. Gay designers are wonderful....for women. They don't understand lifting, carrying or killing. Concealing a weapon? Are you craaaaazzzzy? Guns=republicans!

Contrast the designers at Ralph Lauren, (Is he Ralph or is he Lauren?), with the designers at 511 or Patagonia. 511 has your pockets. Not just ornamental pockets, like at Abercrombie..(setting aside the issue of buying a shirt in a store famous for models shirts).....WORKING pockets. Real pockets to put real stuff in so that when you need the real stuff it will be in reach. Hidden pockets should be USEFUL hidden pockets. Mens clothing shouldn't be designed with "lines" in mind. Men are supposed to wear clothing thats ready for when they pick things up and carry them around.

A few years ago Chris Johnson and I climbed the front shoulder of Half Dome to a spot where Ansel shot his famous "Monolith" image. When we got there at 8000 feet in the Sierras, I noticed that we were both wearing the same thing we were wearing when we had dinner at a swanky Indian restaurant in Oakland two nights before. Same shirts, same shoes, same pants. Now THAT'S some damn manly clothing for you, right there. Restaurant. Sierras. Glasses and pen in the same pockets as always.

Just had breakfast at Cafe Tazza. Well-off guy walks in with two teenagers, one of whom is carrying a 1500.00 purse and the keys to a new red BMW parked outside. He has on Lucky jeans and an ugly nylonish-looking brown shirt with a design that wraps around his torso like the stuff you see on the women's plus size aisle at Walmart. No pocket. You could put this same shirt on any female of any race on the planet and they could walk in the mosque without an iman batting an eye. It's estrogen-based wear. What's he doing in it? Answer: a woman is buying his clothing.

All fall I've worn one of my favorite pieces of clothing. It's a Swiss Army zip-up coverall in fall camo. Lotta pockets, all well located. My cell phone goes in one. Cards for the cam in another. Slash pockets for hands. Thigh pockets for gloves and cam batteries. Knife here, rope there. Zippers at the feet and cuffs to help get you in and out. There is even a zipper between the shoulderblades that opens to reveal a loop of webbing sewn all the way down the back of the legs. No lie: it's a handle to drag a body back into cover. This is a great and functional piece of clothing. Leave no man behind.

So for Christmas or anytime, here's the rules for men's shirts.

1. No designs wrapped around part of it to show off the "line of the body." Men aren't art objects like Elle MacPherson. They aren't Mexican drug lords. They aren't leisure humans. They freaking lift, carry and work for a living.

2. Pockets. Two pockets best. Flaps even better. Don't be fooled by fake pockets i.e. Abercrombie faux-mil tattered beach wear. If it doesn't have a pocket it needs to be useable as a restraint or sea-anchor. Ask yourself: Can he conceal a weapon and carry extra ammo in this? No? Next item, please.

3. One fabric=one shirt. If you can't get blood or oil on it, can't lift objects or force doors wearing it, cut tourniquets or bag deer loins or liver in it its probably the wrong fabric.

4. If it's a "holiday themed" shirt it needs to be flame retardant, at the very least.

5. Is it an advertisement or a piece of clothing? No logos over one half inch. No fake ball teams, bars, events, etc. Don't debase yourself.

6. Can it be accessorized with a firearm or dead mammal? Look OK with rappel rope over the shoulder or life preserver worn on top? No? Pass by, oh traveler, pass by.

7. Will it still look good with a hole torn in it?

8. If an asteroid hit the planet, or zombies rose from the grave, would you have to change to something else? If so: Ride on.

Update: To breakfast brunch, then into the stone-lined creek outside to cut wild saplings and vines growing through the rockwork in the same shirt: A red flannel Patagonia mens medium made in Portugal in about 1977. Color still good. No rips or tears or worn edges. Good flap pockets. Underneath a blue lightweight Patagonia capiline snap neck top from about the same decade. Clothes older than my daughter. The 10-year old rubber boots I deer hunt in. You just can't go wrong with Patagonia, Royal Robbins, 511, Northface.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Gander Mountain had CCI Large Pistol primers but wanted 5.00 per 100. A nickel apiece. At the Tyler Gun Show I found 1000 Wolf LPs for 30.00 flat Yankee dollars. Three cents each.

Seems like the availability is getting better and the prices easing off. There can't be many things cheaper to make than primers. Powder Valley doesn't have CCI 450 small rifle but lists them at 24.50/1000. Natchez lists, (out of stock), CCI Small Rifle for 25.21/1000. Still high. Can't cost a half cent each to make them.

Shipping as well along with that idiotic Hazmat charge of 22.50 per 50 lbs. Thanks again for the good governance!

Naked Emperors

.......besides our political class and environmental scientists...

Avatar evidently sucks. Lefty political propaganda. Dumb story. Too bad. I had high hopes. Early viewers say it's so relentlessly stupid that their BS sensors are burning out before the first act is over. Oh well.

Guess I'll have to hang in for the remake of Deathwish by Mike Caine. That's getting pretty good reviews. He insists its not a remake of Deathwish but the clips show it all: It's Deathwish. Get over it Sir Caine. Jodi Foster had to with her remake of Deathwish: The Brave One.

Missed The Hurt Locker. It gets good reviews as a hell of a movie. Lefty BS, hell of a movie or Deathwish?

They think we're stupid.

Starting Christmas.

Forget lights and cards and lists. Christmas doesn't start until you begin to deliver the LOOT. Today we started. The Redhead and I went to and started buying and delivering. Not only do folks get a turkey to eat, they also have a turkey killed in their honor.

We delivered turkeys to my brother and nephew and families. Hopefully they will eat it and be ready for more at mom's on Christmas.

Greenberg does a hell of a business. I always pause to remember the fabulous Sandra, (Tootsie) Greenberg, my friend from grade, junior high and high school, now gone these many years.

I know the point is to outlive the hell out of everyone else, but too bad we can't pick the folks we are outliving.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Daily Deercam

Bird and squirrel across the creek.

Getting closer.

George Foreman at Tyler Junior College.

Got to watch and listen to George Foreman at Tyler Junior College. Impressive guy.

Spent two days photographing workers inside Good Shepherd Hospital in the town next door. Nice folks every one. Young nurses, doctors, retirees stepping in as volunteers, housekeeping, IT, maintenance men, security, lab techs: the full catastrophe. Most folks looking forward to Christmas. Candy in a jar on every desk, decorations and a dozen times I had to move signs advertising a sale of 5$ jewelry in the lobby. Only made two bad photos out of the 50 or so people I worked with. Not bad.

Glad to have the experience and the work. Christmas nearly here.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Daily Deercam

Little Spike in the rain. Notice the rub on the right side.

Little buck is interested....but not the does.

He's broken off his brow tines. Still fighting.

Youngster at the scrape.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Cannons cannot hide.

Dahlgren cannon from the Civil War USS Westfield.

Update: Sorry about the helicopter pig hunting link. I left it, because if the South had bacon supplied by helicopter pig hunting they would have won the war. Don't laugh, two Confederate Cotton Clad boats ran the Westfield aground. No word on the use of banjos in Texas nautical combat, but you can bet that they were there.

More USS Westfield. Cannon and artifacts going to the Conservation lab at Texas A&M.

Thursday PM

Doe and yearling fawn. I'm sure the doe is bred and the youngster glad to have the rut over.

Coat bristled up for warmth.

Walked across the creek for a little afternoon sitting and watching. Nobody around. Young raccoon came down the creek just a few feet away as I sat and texted. The cold water didnt seem to bother him at all.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Little bucks bopping around.

Tight horned buck from across the creek.

Bent horned 1 1/2 year old. One of the twins.

Bent horned kid far across the creek.

Youngster looking around.

Couple more tiny spikes. Coyote. Squirrel. Coons. No does. No big bucks.

Ran the cams in the slanting December evening light. Jumped a deer coming back across the creek but just saw a white flag waving a few flashes across the bottom. Big bucks back in their thickets.
Acorns plentiful everywhere.

Ansel Adams Moonrise, Hernandez

Gotta love big black and white silver gelatin prints. This is a really tough negative to print.
I love the moon in photographs. You can get it two days before the full moon as a moonrise and two days after the full moon as a moon set. Seems it's always bigger in your imagination than in the photograph.
Ansel Adams `Moonrise' print sold for $360K in NYC       NEW YORK - A 1948 print of Ansel Adams' iconic photograph "Moonrise, Hernandez,  New Mexico" has sold for $360,000 at an auction in New York City.  Swann Auction  Galleries said the rare print was bought Tuesday by a U.S. collector who wanted  to remain anonymous.  Its pre-sale estimate was $350,000 to $450,000.  Made in a  range of subtle grays, the signed print shows a nighttime moon over a  cloud-fringed mountain range with a graveyard in the foreground.  A later print  of "Moonrise" sold at the same auction for $48,000, just over its high estimate  of $45,000.  The sale prices include a buyer's premium of 20 percent. 

Taken on Halloween, 1941 with his 8X10 camera off the side of the road. I could have bought one for 250.00 in 1774 at his Yosemite workship. I've got the poster instead. Makes a nice Christmas present.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Happy Holidays from the Quds force.

The guys Obama let go home to a heroes welcome in Iran. They have been back for a bit now.

Sweating the exam

In the two photography courses this year I repeatedly assured the students that all they had to do was come to class, do the assignments and they would pass with a nice grade. Last week we actually reviewed the exam....their exam. They put their names on them and I took them up at the end of the class to pass out again on exam day.
Their semester grade and work was completed before the exam but it's a school requirement to take a written exam to pass the course. It's a rule but not MY rule. I'm good with all that.
So, folks made lists of the correct multiple choice letters, a couple tried to sneak the exams out without returning them after the review, one student made an anagram of the letters to the answers on the whole test. There was more effort made to game the system than it would have taken just to know the information. Multiple choice? Even an illiterate dog from another planet gets 25%.

I must have forgotten something about the terror of the semester-ending exam.

Just drove by the campus. Kid standing out in the rain in pajamas and fuzzy slippers waiting to cross the street. Some of us are carrying guns.....they are going to exams in PJs.

You belong to US! Jury Duty in Smith County.

I usually just toss my jury duty notice. Sounds like it's going to get interesting.

Jurors can be held in contempt for failure to appear when summoned for jury duty. The fine for not appearing for a jury summons is up to $500. Each jury summons provides an advisory explaining the penalty for not appearing.

"The reason we are taking this step is to make sure the system is fair to those that did show up for jury duty," added McCabe. "Jury duty is an important part of our legislative system and due process. It is illegal to ignore the summons."

Starting in January, jurors who receive a notice to appear because they have failed to respond to a jury summons may choose to complete an enclosed form and submit a $100 fine in lieu of appearing at the hearing.

When I do go, I'm 2-0 on hanging juries in municipal court. I don't care about guilt or innocence, I care about government power vs citizens rights, mercy, justice, hard-headedness.....that kind of stuff. I'm always a shoo-in for foreman and you would have to shoot the pope in front of Jesus to be found guilty of a traffic violation in front of a jury of mine. Sure I'm a nut. You don't think nuts have peers?
Sounds like we are going to the championship round. Wonder if you can volunteer for jury duty?

Monday, December 7, 2009

December 7th.

Japanese Zero takes off to attack Pearl Harbor, December 7th, 1941

Pearl Harbor story. I was thinking of posting a story about a Japanese Mini-sub that has lived in Fredricksburg, Texas at the Nimitz Museum for a long time, but this seems a little more up to date.

Wonder if the crew did get away?

Are Japanese Midget subs actually crewed by.....midgets?

Deer in town

I'm the last person to be surprised at deer in town, after all, I think I have the top two biggest bucks ever killed in the city limits around here somewhere, but I'm not talking about a brushy part of town, contiguous with some creekbottom winding into urbania. This doe is reported just a few blocks from here in the middle of nowhere, deer-wise.

It's not the time of year for a doe to be separated from the herd. Not like the Spring when they find a private place to fawn in.

But these neighbors are reliable. They have a doe they have seen twice in their back yard right here in the Azalea District. I'm tempted to quit mowing the side yard and put up a feeder.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sunday AM: Who ELSE didn't get photographed?

One of the twins. Crazy antlers. Looks healthy though and has made it to December without being blasted by some enthusiastic hunter. Maybe he'll grow to be a big atypical. Interesting split-base double on this side and palmation on the other.

Little buck about an hour before I got there. Not the one that later walked under me. The width of his antlers is very close to legal shooting width, but he's just a youngster. Nice genetics.

37 degrees in the tree with a rare East wind. I sit on the west side of the three-foot trunk so I had a little shelter. Overcast. 37 is about as cold as I want to tree sit. Little buck wandered out of the center of the field soon after I got set. He must have been out in the grass when I came up the pipeline. Not shootable at all, just a little 1 1/2 year old bopping around. He was downwind but never quivered a nostril. Walked as close as he could get to me without climbing the ladder. I'm usually tempted to drop a pine cone on them this close but there just wasn't anything at hand. Could have bombed him with the water bottle or given him the cold shower but I just sat. He checked the licking branch at the scrape. Scrape was full of fresh doe do. (scattered, not clumpy) Now at the computer I'm finding zero files of him or the doe. Hmmm. Who else didn't get photographed? I'd take 100 files of moving grass to missing one of a whole deer standing there. He was glossy and healthy. Nice little deer. Three years from trophy status. All of them.
Called it off at 9:00 as the wind picked up and a mist set in. Went to meet my redhead for breakfast at Cafe Tazza.
Its a cold gray day out.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Deer here and there

Big Roughed-up buck. I think this is the buck I didnt take a bad shot at a couple weeks back.

Running coyote.

Shootable buck butt.

I dont think this is the same buck as above.

Little buck.

Two does but only seven legs.


Hadnt seen this guy in a bit.

Buck from across the creek wandering. If I had gone out this morning I would have seen him. Not shootable.