Thursday, July 22, 2021

Mary Magdalene

It's the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene today, who was exorcized of seven devils. We see her in the Gospels at the foot of the Cross and she's the first person to witness Christ's resurrection. In the West, she's held to be the "sinner" in Luke 7:36-50, and the sister of Martha and Lazarus.

The Eastern church believes she retired to Ephesus and lived with the Virgin Mary until her death. St. Gregory of Tours supports this view, but there's another tradition, in which the saint travels to France with Martha, Lazarus, Maximin and others, following the execution of James in Jerusalem. Between them, they convert Provence, with Lazarus and Maximin becoming bishops.

New Advent says this:

When the time of her death arrived she was carried by angels to Aix and into the oratory of St. Maximinus, where she received the viaticum; her body was then laid in an oratory constructed by St. Maximinus at Villa Lata, afterwards called St. Maximin. History is silent about these relics till 745, when according to the chronicler Sigebert, they were removed to V├ęzelay through fear of the Saracens. No record is preserved of their return, but in 1279, when Charles II, King of Naples, erected a convent at La Sainte-Baume for the Dominicans, the shrine was found intact, with an inscription stating why they were hidden. In 1600 the relics were placed in a sarcophagus sent by Clement VIII, the head being placed in a separate vessel. In 1814 the church of La Sainte-Baume, wrecked during the Revolution, was restored, and in 1822 the grotto was consecrated afresh. The head of the saint now lies there, where it has lain so long, and where it has been the centre of so many pilgrimages.


What do I believe? The Ephesus story is more prosaic, perhaps more attune to the spirit of the age. But Provence is romantic, miraculous, and chivalric, so I choose that. You might think otherwise, no rule.

Mary Magdalene, pray for us.

God bless,


Wednesday, July 21, 2021

I'm Covid Confused


Would That be a Carbon Spewing Private  Charter Jet?

I'm confused, Covid confused. We've been bombarded, especially by Democrats, with a barrage of wearing masks is very important because it protects us and others from the deadly Bat Bug. In fact, it's so important that it's federally mandated for air travel. 

Wear a mask or die or kill your loved one, runs the compelling line. Same with getting vaxxed. Get that salvation vax or you'll get the Kung Flu and die, you might even kill someone else in the process. It's like a civic duty.

If Only

That in mind, why did a crew of Democrats fly from Texas to DC without masks and why have six(?) of them, despite being fully vaxxed, come down with the China Virus? That doesn't make any sense, do you see my confusion? 

I don't men to be obtuse, but if masks were important, as the Democrat Mile High Club insists they are, how come they aren't all masked up? Strange, right. And if the all important vax works, how come vaxxed people, see Israel and Democrat jetsetters et al, get the deadly disease despite burning incense on the altar of Big Pharma?


It's strange, isn't it. Let's rephrase the conundrum with a riddle. If anthropocentric climate change is so deadly as to melt ice caps and flood the coastal regions of fragile planet earth, why are the champions of the green crusade buying seafront mansions.

Appalling Bad Taste

Could it be that our elite transnational overlords know something we can only guess at? Don't say Soylent Green. In the meanwhile, mask up, vax up, and OBEY.

Your Old Friend,


Sunday, July 18, 2021

A Short Sunday Evening Reflection


In today's Gospel, Mark 6:30-44, we saw Christ miraculously multiply loaves and fish to feed 5000, a physical feast which points to a heavenly one. The elements of the miracle are telling.

5 loaves for the 5 books of the Law given by God to Moses on Sinai, the law of righteousness and love spoken to by the Prophets. And so there are two fish, for the twofold summary of the divine commandments, to love God and neighbor, as enunciated by Moses and Elijah, the Law and the Prophets.

This Law is fulfilled in Christ, he is the love of God incarnate, righteousness itself, so the bread and fish ultimately represent him. Jesus, the bread of life, will miraculously feed the people of the new covenant with himself, he does so in the Eucharist. I found this helpful, from Benedict XVI:

The dual commandment to love God and neighbor encloses the two aspects of a sole dynamism of the heart and of life. Jesus thus achieves the ancient revelation, not in adding an unedited commandment, but by realizing in himself and in his own salvific action the living synthesis of the two great words of the old covenant: “You will love your God the Lord with all your heart …” and “you will love your neighbor as yourself” (cf. Deuteronomy 6:5; Leviticus 19:18).

In the Eucharist, we contemplate the sacrament of this living synthesis of the law: Christ gives us, with himself, the full realization of the love for God and the love for our brothers. And this love of his, he communicates to us when we are nourished by his Body and his Blood. This is when what St. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians in today’s reading is achieved: “You broke with the worship of false gods and became the servants of the living and true God” (1 Thessalonians 1:9). This conversion is the beginning of the path of holiness that the Christian is called to achieve in his own existence.


You broke with the worship of false gods and became servants of the living and true God. This conversion is the beginning of the path of holiness that the Christian is called to achieve in his own existence. Yes indeed.

God bless,


Saturday, July 17, 2021

Some Kind of Cult?


I'm beginning to wonder.

Is this some kind of...

Bipartisan, across the aisle...


Disturbing, isn't it.


Friday, July 16, 2021

Behold Your Rulers -- Ice Cream Edition


Our millionaire socialist rulers love ice cream, it's just so tasty. Mmmmmm.

Look, here's another one.


Your Best pal,


Thursday, July 15, 2021


Josephine, though most beautiful, had rotten teeth. Or so they say. There's a moral there, if you care to draw it. Enjoy the March.



Clean It Up


Some shooters have White Lightnings, others have Silver Pigeons and more besides, and I won't say they aren't awesome, because they are. But here at the Compound it's pretty much basic budget guns, and they're alright too, provided they work. Which they do, thank God, but here's the thing.

Unless you clean the gun, no matter how pricey it is, even if it's made by the finest gunsmiths by appointment to the Crowned Heads of Europe or Saudi Arabia or the Bush/Clinton crime family or the Great Xi himself, well they're not gonna work if they're not cared for.

So clean those guns even if they're "workhorses" and hardly about to grace a Beretta Gallery. Admonition in mind, I went to work, all the while checking the news to see what was up in the world. 

Disaster! Lo and behold, since the team went fishing and shooting, South Africa collapsed, Cuba took to the streets, the French rioted along with the Greeks and we have to ask, is the disorder spreading? Maybe we should shoot and fish less?

Smart people are cleaning guns.



Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Smoke That Skeet


Someone once said, famously, Speed is fine. Accuracy is final, and skeet shooting's a bit of both, not that I'm any kind of expert. The orange bird zips out fast and you have to be on to get it. A typically quick, accurate, snap shot.

And how good when you connect and smoke the clay challenger. There's something especially satisfying about hitting that small moving target and watching it dust off. Big fun, but here's the thing, readers.

You may think, because shotgun, that pointing in the general direction and letting loose is going to work, street sweeper style. Think again. It helps to aim. Seriously. Don't forget, in the shotgunnery excitement of all, to aim.  Put that bead on the bottom edge of the clay, "popsicle" it, and squeeze the trigger. A fast movement for sure, but an accurate one.

But what am I saying. All you competition shooters out there have forgotten more about the sport than I will ever know. Regardless, the misnomered White Flyers took a right beating today, not least from the kid. Great result.

Then, after a headshot plinkathon against small steel at 150 yards, .22 WMR, we headed back to base. And what a good day out in the country with guns, just sheer enjoyment. Thanks, CR, for the invite. And now?

Pork chops, Yorkshire Pudding(!), roast potatoes and all the rest. A delicious end to a great day's shoot. It's raining too, another plus. Thank you, Climate Change.

Your Pal,


Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Shoot The Guns


A new day, a new opportunity to shoot, so off we went to the range with a few guns, a 20 SxS, a 12 OU and a Marlin .22 WMR. Idea being to get some remedial shotgunnery in, and then a little plinking with the Marlin.

The range was overgrown and semi-flooded but we made it through, get a 4x4, LSP, and set up on dry ground next to a field, baking under a big Texan sky. The erstwhile Cadet went first, on the 12, and started smoking clays like a good 'un.

I followed up on the 20 and was more or less on, unlike the Specialist who specially smoked the clays with the same gun. Hmmm, improve your game, so-called "LSP." I did, and got in the zone, shooting far better to the right than left, curiously. Perhaps there's a moral in that.

A box of  orange "White Flyer" over, we moved on to the little magnum, shooting off the bed of the truck. Take that, fifty yard adversary, and the kid's offhand was impressive, right in the zone. Nice work. Then it was time to head back to the Compound, a good morning well spent.

I love shooting and file this tale under guns and country life in Texas.

Shoot straight,


Monday, July 12, 2021

Fish And Fossil


"Dad, can we go fishing?" I thought for a moment, for maybe a second, "Yes, we can." Some coffee, two bacon and egg sandwiches and a relined rod later we were on our way to the lake, Lake Whitney. And after a brief pit stop at a lakeside Pick 'n Steal for fried cherry pie and a fishing license for the kid, we were at Soldiers Bluff, casting off.

Would the fish be on? Sure enough they were, right from the get go, with voracious predator perch going at the worms we were throwing into the murky, minnowed water. Tug, snap, light rod down and boom, out comes a fish. The soldier caught first, nice, and I came in not far behind.

And so passed a pleasant hour or so in the Texan sun on the side of the lake, what a lot of fun, especially given a late bite in the last half hour; fish after fish till you started to lose count. Some of them were big too, but all Bluegill. Come on, Bass, get your act together.

As we clambered up the rocks to get to the rig and home, I reminded the world that this was once the bed of a primeval, Mesozoic sea and there were fossils to be found. Sure enough, there was a junior ammonite and some petrified shells, easy to dig out of the clayish strata.

Then, "Look at this!" Lo and behold, there was a section of fossilized shell, sticking out of the rock. Pretty cool, so we went back to the truck to get some tools to excavate it. 

Some well placed taps with the hammer end of an old axe on a sturdy screwdriver and there it was, freed from the rock. "What if there's more?" We tapped away, removing the stone which had once been mud, and there it was, the fossilized spiral of an ancient crustacean.

Great excitement, and the fossil's back at the Compound. The Bluegill, on the other hand, were put back to fight again another day, and maybe to keep. Tasty.

Fish On,


Sunday, July 11, 2021



Years ago, I asked a powerful lawyer, please don't spit, if he'd ever served. He replied in that I wish you weren't here kind of way, "King's African Rifles." Boodles forever and sometimes a picture's worth many thousands of words.

Your Friend,