Friday, December 23, 2005

Yes, Virginia

The following editorial appeared in the September 21, 1897 edition of the New York Sun.  It was written by one of the editors, Francis Church, as a response to a letter from an 8 year old girl.........


Is There a Santa Claus?

We take pleasure in answering at once thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:

Dear Editor--

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, "If you see it in The Sun, it's so." Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?

-- Virginia O'Hanlon, 115 West Ninety-fifth street.

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except what they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.



Merry Christmas to all!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


One year ago today, I sat down to do my part in proving that a million monkeys pounding on a million keyboards will eventually produce the works of Shakespeare.

So far it isn't working out - the Shakespeare thing, not the blog. I enjoy the hell out of blogging. My only regret is that I don't have enough time to write as much as I would like to.

Happy Blogiversary's also to Wadcutter and Jerry the Geek, who both started blogging this month last year.


Friday, December 16, 2005

The kids are alright

Last night the family and I went out after work to attend the "Winter Holiday Concert" at the kids' school. Kathy is part of the 8th grade choir, so as parents we didn't have much choice. If either of my readers have children, they will understand perfectly. If your kid is in the band or choir, you go to every concert - no matter how horrible they sound in the beginning.

As is the case with most schools where the parents are actually involved, the parents all pretty much know each other. The crowd of usual suspects was gathered in the auditorium well before the beginning of the concert. We were there 30 minutes early and noticed something odd about this concert: no programs. Casually listening around the room, I found that most of the conversation centered on how sad it was that the kids weren't allowed to actually celebrate Christmas at school anymore. I would be willing to wager that you can't find the word 'Christmas' anywhere in the official literature of the school your children attend unless it is a private religious school. Even this concert was the "Winter Holiday Concert" - not a "Christmas Concert" like we had when I was in school. The consensus of the crowd seemed to be that we would hear Jingle Bells, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, and a whole bunch of obscure, non-denominational winter festival music, with several Kwanzaa songs that our predominantly white and hispanic population had never heard of thrown in for good measure. All in the name of tolerance and diversity, of course. Tolerance of everything except traditional Christian values and ideas, that is.

The kids took the stage a few minutes late (which is normal at every school function I've ever seen), followed by their twenty-something music teacher who thanked the crowd for coming to the Winter Holiday concert and introduced the 5th and 6th grade choir. As expected, we were treated to some surprisingly good renditions of Rudolph and Jingle Bells (sung as a round...the new teacher is much better than the tone deaf idiot they had last year) and then the kids and the teacher seemed to pause on stage. A hush settled over the crowd as if everyone knew something was coming. The teacher raised her arms, and on the down beat a chorus of pure young voices welled out from the stage.

Silent night, Holy night...

I've never seen the audience at a middle school choir concert burst into applause at the beginning of a song before. It was wonderful.

From that point on, it was a genuine Christmas concert. Between the two choirs and the school band we were treated to 'Do You Hear What I Hear', 'Joy To The World', 'What Child Is This', 'Hark the Herald Angels Sing', 'Deck the Halls', 'God Rest You Merry Gentlemen', 'Feliz Navidad', and a joyous (and somewhat defiant, I might add) combined choir and band rendition of 'O Come All Ye Faithfull.'' There were a few unknown winter festival songs thrown in to show that the teachers really could teach, but overall this was the closest thing to the Christmas concerts I remember from my youth that I've heard in years.

It was wonderful. The kids enjoyed it. The parents enjoyed it. Isn't that what's supposed to happen?

Afterward my wife and I made a point of thanking the band and choir teachers for having the guts to actually put on a Christmas concert. The young lady said that they "went as far as they could without getting into trouble."

That statement makes me both sad and proud......sad that we have allowed the pc police to invade our culture as far as they have, and proud that there are still people who will push the envelope to do what they think is right.

Who ever thought that singing Christmas carols would be considered pushing the envelope?

Merry Christmas, y'all.


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The only way to win.....

The 20 year old son of one of my friends has managed to get himself into trouble. For the last year or so he has been dating an 18 year old girl with a 2 year old child (not his). The father of the child has fled the scene and won't have anything to do with the young "lady".....probably the smartest thing he's ever done.

The particular young "lady" has been taught that the proper way to get what she wants is to throw a massive fit. Yes, I said taught. Her mother acts exactly the same way. Bow down to my every whim or I will go berserk. For the last 6 months these fits have been getting progressively more violent. The young man has come home to his parents house with bruises, contusion, scrapes, and cuts. Blood has been drawn on numerous occasions. They have broken up several times, but for some reason they keep making up.

To date, he has made 3 mistakes. (Four if you include ever dating this chick to begin with)

First, he never reported any of these incidents to the police. He didn't want to get her into any trouble, and "it wasn't that bad."

Second, he kept going back. Everyone who knew of the situation advised him to drop her like a hot rock, but he's young and in love and knows everything. Besides......if he loves her enough he can make things right. Yeah, sure.

Third.................................he tried to defend himself the last time she attacked him. He pushed her away while she was attacking him and she ran into a cabinet, leaving a mark. You can probably guess how this turned out. The neighbors had already called the police to report the yelling match next door. The cops show up, he answers the door beat to hell and bleeding in several places, the cops see a mark on the girl and he goes to jail. He's out of jail now, but still facing trial for domestic violence with a minimum sentence of 180 days in jail, 3 years probation, and a $5000 fine -- plus a lifetime of misery. She doesn't even have to press charges. In Arizona, the cops are required to make an arrest in cases of domestic violence and the state will press charges.

Beware guys, the feminazi's have managed to convince the politicians and the courts (is there any difference anymore?) that all men are guilty until proven guilty.

As an aside, I predict that this will actually make things worse for women in the long run. Sooner or later, the more unsavory portions of society are going to figure out that the jail time is the same for a bruise as it is for a broken arm. At that point, their line of thinking will be "If you're going to jail anyway, you might as well make it worthwhile and really beat the snot out of her." This is wrong. I'm not advocating this position. I'm just making an observation here.........

Anyway, here is my advice: at the first sign of trouble, walk away. Not the second time, not the third time, the first time. If anything other than voices is raised, walk away. Don't defend yourself unless your life is in danger. If your life is not in danger, just let them beat on you until you can get out the door. If they do anything at all that is even remotely threatening, walk away.

And call the police as soon as you are out that door.

If you're dating and in a public place, walk away. If you're dating and at her residence, walk away. If you're dating and share a residence, walk away. You can always buy more stuff. Stuff is not worth it. If you're dating and she is at your residence, walk away. Call the police, ask to have her removed, and file charges against her for trespassing.

If you're married the advice is the same: walk away. Just go. Leave everything. Call the police to report the threat (or actual occurance) and file for divorce as soon as the court opens in the morning. Use the police report in the child custody hearing, get custody of your children, and make her pay you child support.

If you're thinking that this sounds very much like the advice given to women who are victims of domestic violence, it is. Men can also be victims of domestic violence, but with a twist. After they are victims at home they become victims of the courts.

The only way to win this game is not to play.

Don't ever give a violent woman a second chance. There will always be more women. If you can't find another woman, turn gay. Just don't ever give one a second chance. They'll ruin your life and laugh about it. Don't think of it as turning tail and running. Think of it as saving your life. The deck is stacked against you and you will not win. The only way to handle this situation is to have every guy in America walk out every time some tricked up bitch decides that she can get away with hitting/scratching/biting/throwing/whatever. Walk out. Every time. After enough guys have gotten up and walked away perhaps they'll figure out that the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction and that the women should start playing fair.

Probably not.

I sure am glad I'm not bitter over my divorce.


Monday, December 12, 2005

Good night Tookie

In just over 60 minutes, Stanley Williams will be executed.

This is a good thing.

All the lefty, tree-hugging, liberal moonbats who are crying for Tookie tonight need to remember one thing: the death penalty is not a deterrent. It's a punishment.

If you kill people, we'll kill you right back. Stupid hurts. Of course, if they wanted a "deterrent" they would put the executions on prime time TV with 'twitch by twitch' commentary.

I'll bring the popcorn.


ps: - Amid all teeth gnashing and hair pulling of the msm and liberal elites about how horrible it is that Stanley is actually going to pay for his crimes, our local rag is running a story about a porn star at a city council meeting as top billing. HA! Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Tookie.

pps: - wasn't there a skit a few years ago (SNL? SCTV?) where the governor's wife forgot to cook dinner, so she asked a condemned prisoner to hold the roast while he was in the electric chair?


Sunday, December 11, 2005

7 wonders meme

The 183cm, 88kg, gen-X honky dude over at Wadcutter has spewed meme on me....the seven wonders meme. Ok, here we go:

Seven things to do before I die:

Seven things I cannot do:

Seven things that attract me to......(my wife):

Seven things I say most often:

Seven books (or series) that I love:

Seven movies I watch over and over again:

Seven suckers I want to infect:


Saturday, December 10, 2005

cheap for a reason

Our SCTP team is provided with 100 free shells per month per student. The shells are Estate "Super Sport" shells in both 12 and 20 gauge. I've noticed that Kathy and Nathan's scores improved greatly when they used my reloads instead of the Estate factory shells and became curious. Cutting apart one of each gave me at least part of the answer. The Estate shells use a two piece wad assembly instead of the one piece wad commonly used by Winchester and Remington (and by me when I reload). I haven't patterned the Estate shells yet, but I plan on doing so at the first opportunity. The tilted, smashed post on the Estate wads does not inspire great confidence in me. I'll post the results after I pattern some of them.

I've posted pictures of the Estate 2 piece wads with a Winchester wad for comparison below.

12 gauge wads

20 gauge wads

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

When to start

A lot of parents ask me what the right age is to start their kids shooting. There is no magic's a matter of maturity and strength. The young lady pictured below is level headed, mature, safe, and quite a fine shot - even though she's barely taller than her shotgun.

Take your kids to the range....they'll love it!


The future

Gun writers, both MSM and Bloggers, frequently choose "the future of the sport" as a topic. Lots of people talk about it, some write about it, I'm working on it.

I have seen the future of our sport. It's called the Scholastic Clay Target Program. The last ATA registered trapshoot I attended had 43 shooters....including myself and my two kids. My copies of the monthly skeet and sporting clays periodicals list competitions with even fewer shooters, including one with only 5! Last weekend the Arizona SCTP had it's first "fun shoot" of the year, and 146 kids showed up to shoot!!!!!!

As usual, the Buckeye Buckshots were there. There are few things in this world more enjoyable for me than to see a bunch of farm kids in muddy boots whip up on the pretty city boys.

The kids took home 10 trophies, including 2 first place age-group finishes! Woo Hoo!


Here again, gone again

I apologize for my extended absence......things have been rather busy around here lately. I hope both my readers had a good Thanksgiving with their families. We had Thanksgiving twice - once with 22 friends (60 pounds of turkey!!) and a second time with just our immediate family. A good time was had by all.

I finally got a chance to hit the range again with my Boomershoot rifle, a mere 8 months after starting the barrel break in. This time I had an assortment of handloads to try out instead of surplus junk. The average center-to-center group size for the day was .776 inches, with a best group of .396 and a worst of 1.047. This is with "starter" level handloads, though. Three kinds of powder and 5 different bullets, all loaded to SAAMI overall lengths. I'm going to take the top two performers (average group sizes .483 and .595) and do some further experimentation. I'll let you know how it works out..........


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