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Friday, October 17, 2014

The Hunting Trip- The Sunday Collage

Our annual hunting trip begins.

It is 1:24 a.m. on October 15, 2014. I can't sleep... more on that in a moment.

Each year for the past 6 years, I find myself traveling to the Montana-North Dakota border for our annual pheasant hunting trip. The first two years were rather easy. I simply got in my car, set the cruise control on 80 and arrived in one day- about twelve hours by high speed Frankenmobile.

Then a couple of things happened which changed the course of human events. My father moved back to Idaho from North Dakota which unbeknownst to me initially and later knownst to me each year thereafter- meant that my father and I would be traveling back together to hunt each year. This is moderately tolerable given the fact that my father travels 10 MPH under the speed limit come hell or high water. At no time in his life has the thought ever occurred to my father that his son once picked up a driver's license around 1976 and then logged something north of a million miles in water trucks, forklifts, ambulances, squad cars, motorcycles, and delivery trucks. And so it is, my 76 year old father points us eastward each of the last 4 years, using both lanes frequently, and making sudden swerves only while turning his head to yell at the dog.

Remember the dog in Chevy Chase's movie, "Funny Farm?" The one that takes off and is only seen running through forests from time to time throughout the movie? My father's German Short Hair makes that dog look sedentary. This dog is so high strung that all I have ever seen her do is run away in open spaces, pace back and forth in confined spaces, and whine continually. For an encore the dog chews and shreds everything in sight including seat belts, coats, and anything else you may have left nearby. She rarely stops moving. Occasionally, my father lets out some profane epithet at about 100 decibels which has a calming effect on the dog for about 15 seconds and pisses me off for 15 minutes while I wait for the tinnitus in my left ear to fade away. Today, dad gave the dog a tranquilizer. This slowed the dog down from whirling dervish to pain in the ass.The dog's behavior would be marginally acceptable if the dog had even a remote idea of what we would like her to do. I do not think this dog could find a pheasant if one landed on her head and shit in her ear. This is my fourth year trekking back with dad and the whirling dervish. Gawd help me. How quickly I forget what this trip is like.

Somewhere near Bozeman, Mont. this year and shortly after my father let fly with one of his 100 db outbursts, I began to think that maybe I could drink again. Just this once. Bushmills or Malibu Rum. Just one large bottle couldn't hurt. Thinking it through and then dismissing that as sheer lunacy- my thoughts shift to those doggie tranquilizers that dad keeps in the truck somewhere. I wonder if humans could take them. Finally, we reach the Lazy J Motel in Big Timber, Montana.

Right now Dad is snoring and the whirling dervish is licking her paw non stop. It's 2:56 in the morning. The bed is small and hard like a sheet of drywall only not as comfortable. The sheets feel like cheap toilet paper. Every once in awhile, death I think, might provide some relief but that is selfish. I shall wait until the trip is over.

I remember looking at the clock at 6:08 and then falling asleep. I wake up at 6:27 when my father gets out of bed and announces that he can no longer sleep and it is time to leave.

To Be Continued...

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

TSA, Bringing the Love

10/14/14. This is a four year old piece from the FG archives. I thought I'd repost it because it's just as good today as it was back then. It received a whopping 75 views. The background music was nice. Brian

Well today ends my disco week marathon. Thinking rockin' country week next week. So while all you people were doing useful things, like swilling beer, practicing self love, and sleeping...I was putting this gem together.

As a career cop, nothing pisses me off more than the Transportation and Safety Administration. Months after the 9/11 attacks, these termites infiltrated my ski resort home town. I tried to play nice with these guys. Let me tell you how they select the TSA hierarchy. Potential candidates for upper level jobs are asked to undergo a CAT scan. If they see any evidence of common sense as demonstrated by electrical activity in the frontal lobe- you are summarily disqualified, your transfer is denied, and you are sent back to your job at the post office.

One of the first acts of the TSA swarm was that they ordered us to import bomb sniffing dogs and check all of the cars in my airport parking lot or have them all towed away. I had two initial thoughts. Kicking the snot out of one of these guys was not possible- they had exercised caution by using the phone. Ok, I had three thoughts. My second thought, was since I had no bomb sniffing dogs, was to just lie and tell them that we had searched the cars at some future point. My third thought was just what the hell did flying planes into the WTC have to do with bombs in cars? Cars parked in some rural airport months later?

This is the kind of shit that the Federal Government dreams up. I should have made my stand right then and there. I wanted to. But then the TSA threatened the Airport Manager with shutting down the airport. I was pretty sure between the Airport Manager and a few angry, jet owning millionaires and billionaires- that my big plan and I would crash and burn... so to speak.

Common sense has no place in the TSA. That this bureaucracy has claimed 50,000 employees is mind boggling. However and true to form, the TSA has now completely gone full idiot. Confiscating our money to pay for this lunacy. See through clothing body scanners and grabbing folks' in private places. We didn't get here on a winning streak.

Here's a great site:

I clipped this piece from one of a few articles I have read. Pilots with courage, and now as it turns out, free time.

Anger over the screenings hasn't just come from passengers. Two veteran commercial airline pilots asked a federal judge this week to stop the whole-body scans and the new pat-down procedures, saying it violates their civil rights.
The pilots, Michael S. Roberts of Memphis and Ann Poe of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., have refused to participate in either screening method and, as a result, will not fly out of airports that use these methods, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Washington.
Roberts is a pilot with ExpressJet Airlines and is on unpaid administrative leave because of his refusal to enter the whole-body scanners. Poe flies for Continental Airlines and will continue to take off work as long as the existing regulations are in place.
"In her eyes, the pat-down is a physical molestation and the WBI scanner is not only intrusive, degrading and potentially dangerous, but poses a real and substantial threat to medical privacy," the lawsuit states.

Unfortunately, the formation of the TSA, was a perfect example of government seizing control of a situation, exploiting it, and seizing upon an opportunity to intrude into our privacy and creating a money sucking bureaucracy that will never go away. Maybe one day the sheep will catch on. Let's hope it's soon.