This is why no-one takes PETA seriously

Dogs need your voice right away. Please take a few moments now to send a message directly to the NFL. Michael Vick is going to be released from prison any minute, and in light of recently released government evidence that he enjoyed putting his own family “pet dogs” into the ring with fighting pit bulls, PETA is urging the NFL to make Vick take a test for anti-social personality disorder (ASPD), or psychopathy. Vick seems to fit the profile for ASPD, which includes lying, manipulating others, enjoying others’ suffering, and being aggressive and charming. If Vick has ASPD, the NFL needs to know. That’s because people who have ASPD cannot be truly remorseful and are likely to repeat the anti-social behavior that pleases them. If he isn’t a psychopath, that’s fair enough, but if he is, he shouldn’t ever be presented to children as a hero. He needs to take the test!

Please help us keep the pressure on by sending an automated letter to the NFL today asking it to require that Vick pass a brain scan for ASPD and the accompanying psychological evaluation before the NFL even considers the possibility of allowing Vick back into the league, where he will be in a position to influence many fans, including countless children. Your letter will be sent directly to the NFL, letting it know that we will not rest until appropriate action has been taken. It is reasonable to try to figure out if Vick can be reformed or not.

Please cross-post this e-mail and forward it to others who might be interested in speaking out against dogfighting. Visit PETA.org for more information about dogfighting and to learn about ways that you can make a difference.

Thank you for your continued support and for all that you do for animals!

Sincerely,

Heather Whidden, Activist Liaison
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
HeatherW@peta.org

I unlinked everything but the e-mail address to prevent them getting too many hits. I’m not advertising for them. Now, in regards to “get them tested for ASPD”, frankly guys, you’re talking about someone who already offers themselves up for participation in bloodsport. It really shouldn’t shock you that someone who is comfortable with some level of physical violence (hitting) such as a boxer or football backer feels that some level of violence is sporting and appropriate. More on the point, people who enjoy watching these kinds of things (football fans) probably are comfortable with it also.

Incidentally you can use their “Talk to the NFL” form with your own message. Using PETAs own avenue of attack, I removed the body of their mail and added my own message.

Dear Roger Godell

I subscribe to the PETA newsletter because I hate everything they do and stand for. Personally, I love football, hunting, and man-stuff. It turns me on to be able to talk to the people PETA seeks to slander mercilessly through their own website.

Football is supposed to be violent and competitive. I see nothing wrong with Vick’s behavior as nature is violent and competitive itself. Life feeds on life and it’s been that way for the last million years and I enjoy that fact every time I eat a steak.

Don’t listen to these homos and continue keeping football raw and real. Buy Vick a big bloody steak for me next time you see him and tell PETA to shove it. What would football be without violence? A bunch of men hugging each other.

Post Deer Season Wrapup and One Year Homebrew

The last day of flintlock hunting and I’m empty handed. Not from lack of effort, mind you, but more from the weather. There’s a reason they didn’t fight battles in the civil war when it was the middle of a snowstorm.

My brother and I had been hunting the farm all day. I was using the flintlock but having serious doubts about this being a good idea. The problem was a constant wind (I’ve never winded the flintlock, I had no idea what the drift was) and when they called for six inches of snow, they were talking about “over the course of the day”. It was snowing when we got there, there were periods of hail, and it was snowing at sunset.

I had followed a deer trail from one side of the farm to the other end, the deer was there but having seen no deer beds and nothing but tracks, I doubted the deer was stopping. Given the weather I figured it might have gone to the pines on the far side but it went straight through. I knew the tracks were recent because they were on top of the snow but since the deer didn’t bed down, it wasn’t waiting for me or anything else. I took this as an opportunity to hike around the other areas to check for tracks or beds. Even in the places you would expect to find deer (acorn mast), there were no tracks and no beds. I checked mostly point to point, there’s no sense in line hunting alone. My brother doesn’t own a flintlock and has no interest in it so he was out with a shotgun for small game.

I had resigned myself to sitting on top of a hill in some light cover waiting to see if the deer would circle around. I had about 1h30m until sunset, so I figured it would be cold and boring. It managed to be both. With single digit temperatures in the valley and windchill on top of that, taking off my gloves to type on my phone quickly turned into OH GOD MY FINGERS ARE SO COLD THEY HURT. I was never so pleased with shoving my hands down my pants in public as I was Saturday on that hill.

Suddenly, a deer! Hunting goes from slowly poking around to sheer excitement with nothing in between when game is found. My brother was up the next hill over chasing a snowshoe hare when a deer came crashing through the bushes trying to avoid him. The deer was as suprised he was there as he was suprised he nearly got run down by the deer. I had heard the whole thing and suddenly my well placed stand with brush behind me became a liability as I tried to bring the gun around. I finally brushed the snow off the sights and found a lane to shoot through. I pulled the trigger and…

I actually watched the spark blow sideways off the frizzen and fall into the snow. George Washington’s ghost was laughing at me.

I reset the lock rested the gun again, and once again pulling the trigger lost the spark in the wind. I was trying to fire between gusts but deer rarely sit still and my firing lane was crowded anyway. There was a very real chance the deer would spook, especially since the lock isn’t exactly quiet and the delay between sparking and firing is enough to let the deer “jump the string” over enough distance. Given this was about a 50 yard shot, I was worried. One more spark in the snow.

Ripping my hat off, I supported the front of the gun on a thorn bush, aimed, then put my hat over the pan. This time the spark landed in the pan, but didn’t catch. By now the flint and frizzen were getting polished, where the face of the flint matches the frizzen so well it can no longer scrape the surface. Figuring I needed fresh powder I took down the gun and opened the lock to see that my pan had collected a layer of snow with all this false firing. I dumped out the pan and cleaned the rest with my fingers, which were now hurting again since I had discarded my gloves to help with the aiming and priming.

I pulled the powder tube over the pan and pressed the button. Nothing came out. Looking down the tube, it was also filled with snow, and to make matters worse the button to dispense powder bound in the down position. If George Washington were laughing before, his entire regiment was laughing now. I started to look for a place to lay the flintlock before realizing that six inches of snow is more than enough to lose a rifle in. I resigned to holding it across my chest in my elbows while I unscrewed the powder horn’s lid. I managed to dump powder into the pan wholesale (and all over me and the ground with the wind) and shove the horn in the snow upright with the lid laid on top.

Bringing the sites back onto the deer I see… Nothing. The deer probably winded me because she took of running away from my stand and onto the neighbors property, far and away from the longing sights of my gun.

The woods win again.

But all wasn’t lost, my brother shot a squirrel at about 25 yards, I was suprised he connected with it. We took it home as our only prize that day.

Dad always lightly fried up squirrels in butter, but Dad also really sucked at the whole preparing the other white meat. His squirrels always came out too small and cut to hell. There had to be a better way – and there was! In a stroke of brilliance, he prepped the squirrel shirt-and-pants, soaked the blood out, and what could we replace the blood with? BUTTER. How do we get it there? 15PSI. What do we use? PRESSURE COOKERS.

“But butter is insufficient!” you say?
ADD BACON.

The squirrel, now stuffed with bacon and butter, went into the pressure cooker along with about a half cup of water. We didn’t want to completely die. Actually we just wanted to hydrogenate that oil, as hydrogenated oil is the most flavorful of all the oils. Put the lid on, set it for chicken (lower heat) and let it roll for 20 minutes. The result was a forkable culinary delight. I could hear my brothers heart from across the room as he enjoyed the bounty of the woods.

To celebrate the end of deer season, I pulled out my mad elf clone. It had been sitting in the fridge lagering for an entire year, and this was the last growler from last year. How was it? Completely lacking in carbonation, which pissed me off. The growler top gave up at some point and all the carbonation seeped out. However, it wasn’t oxidized. The cherries were completely gone, but it was still tart, and very dry on the finish almost to the point of mouth puckering. It would have passed wonderfully well for a lambic if I chose to blend it. With it’s new status as a barleywine, we both enjoyed a pint before realizing it had refermented in the bottle. The ABV had gone through the roof, and after a pint and a half we were well on our way to being sloshed.

I Had a Wonderful Birthday

I had a wonderful birthday yesterday thanks in a large part to my wife and my parents. Of course, I got the XBOX 360 with the 60GB drive as my Christmas (Yuletide?)/Birthday present, so this was simply a bonus on top of an already excellent birthday. We went to Iron Hill and the food was fantastic as were the beers. The only problem with Iron Hill is that it’s very easy to get pallet fatigue because the food and beer are both excellent. The service occasionally is questionable but otherwise it was a nice sit down with my parents, my brother, and my wife. Thank you all.

My wife also started going hunting with me. While the Marlin 39 is only good for small game, it’s all she needs and frankly I’m just happy to have her go out with me. That was a better present than the XBOX. Hopefully we can keep that up as a family tradition also.

Bustin’ Bunnies

Last weekend, me and my father along with Andrew and John went bustin’ bunnies. Rabbit is delicious, and also expensive. Hitting them provides a challenge. I think it was originally John’s idea to hunt as a party in a line, rather then still hunting. We all took shotguns, I happened to also bring along a rifle. The Baikal shotgun, oops, Remington Spartan, performs well and its incredibly solid. The Marlin Golden 39 is also a fantastic gun, with a bit of a burr on the action. Of course, I left the rifle in the truck once I decided we were going to need to stomp some bushes. And of course, if I had the rifle instead of the shotgun, we would have been much better off.

Line hunting is a bit of a pain. The Golden Rule is the slowest guy is the leader, everyone else forms up on him. Not to dump on John, but he never shuts up and he’s always ahead of the line. I understand that he wants to shoot something, and I understand he wanted to give Andrew advice, but talking nonstop just beds down the game faster. Being ahead of the slowest guy is also a big loser – The slowest guy is probably moving slow because he’s stuck in the bush. If he’s stuck in the bush, you moving up drives game down the line towards him. If he’s stuck in the bush, not only can he not see where you are (dangerous) but he also probably can’t get the gun around to fire on the game. Being ahead of the line spells wasted opportunity for everyone. The guy in the bush can’t fire on the game reasonably, and it’s just going to cut through the gap behind the line.  This is exactly the scenario that happened with Andrew. I was hanging back a bit so I could see Andrew, John was running his mouth and well ahead of Andrew, Dad was inline with me. The rabbit Andrew saw ran towards (and behind) John, which means I can’t fire on it, and back behind our line into the bush. If the rabbit gets behind the line, he wins, you can’t move your fire sectors behind you quickly and safely, especially in rabbit cover.

The next two rabbits were lost wholly a result of me and dad using #7 shot. I had taken cylinder and improved cylinder choke figuring we would be stomping on thick bushes, but when we pushed into the valley on the far side, suddenly everything opened up. This is right when Dad flushed probably the biggest rabbit I had ever seen. It was the size of our cat Tricks, the tom, and Dad managed to wound it. Had I the rifle, it would have been an easy 35 yard shot to finish the loping hare off. With an improved cylinder, however, the situation was largely hopeless given the cover on the other side of the basin. We decided to let it lay and mark where it vanished, figuring we would be along to flush it again or pick it up otherwise. Dad left some kind of sign.

We moved along, and finally I flushed a rabbit. I gave it the cylinder barrel as it was 10 yards in front of me, and it ran across the valley. I was really suprised it was still going, but I admit I miss once in a blue moon. I sent the improved cylinder after it. The rabbit slowed, which almost always indicates a hit. I had to swim a thorn bush to get to where the rabbit bedded down, but a rabbit is worth a few thorns. Besides, Kelly could use the practice getting them out. Think of them like At Home clinicals, hon! When I got there… no rabbit. Same problem as my father. There was maybe a drop of blood, but the ground the rabbit was on had many #7 sized holes in the snow and nothing to show for it. We padded around but failed to turn anything up. Since we were very near Dad’s trail at this point, Dad opted to split off. Andrew went high in case the rabbit flushed out the back, while I went low to stomp the bush the rabbit likely went into. Nothing turned out.

Disparaged, I went to help my father track his blood trail, which eventually led into a groundhog hole. Hog holes are of a particular nuisance since groundhogs can clear rocks. The terrain in any of these areas is almost always soft verge laid out on top of shale or another sheet rock. It’s not uncommon to find fossils in the slag left from the hogs excavations. This presents a problem in and of itself. If you reach into the hog hole, the hog may very well not be impressed by this and has very sharp teeth. If you dig the hole, you will most likely hit the hard tan stone. This makes no mention of the roots growing atop the whole mess, woven so much that a sharp shovel is required if not an axe. Carrying such tools is well beyond the pack of even the most dedicated soul. Right then, Andrew happened across the blood from my rabbit well above where me and Dad had been led. Sure as the first, this trail too led to another hole. The lesson: #7 shot is too small, #5s seem to be the order of the day.

By now it was getting dark and we decided to retire. However, there’s still more rabbits yet to be seen up at the farm.