Tuesday, June 30, 2009

"The Cause" or "A Tale of the South"

Inspired by moonshine posts on various sites my mind ran to a friend of the family who lives in Oxford, England, the 'City of Screaming Tires.' He's a literary critic and writes books, which is a fine job if you can get it, but his American forebearers in the 1920s weren't so grand. No, one of them was a bootlegger with a mobile still which he'd move about from location to location in his old Ford truck.

All well and good, business boomed and the product was good, so good that its purveyor felt compelled to sample his 'product' from time to time. You know how it is, quality control is key, and the quality in question was excellent, it really worked, so much so that still, truck and bootlegger ended up driving full tilt into the Courthouse in the center of town. Serious offence and what was he charged with?

An illegal still? No.
'Moonshine'? No.
Reckless drunken driving? No.
Destroying the Confederate War Memorial? Yes.

I'm sure he got time for that and doubtless well deserved. Enough 'Memorials' - off to say Vespers, shoot + ride about on horses.

God bless,


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Pro Patria

On my way to the stables I get to drive through Itasca. It has a Main Street.

It has a sign.

It has a Memorial.

And a little over a thousand people.

God bless Texas.


Friday, June 26, 2009

This Is Not LSP.

It is the gun totin' Pastor from Kentucky, Ken Pagan o. As you probably know, Pastor Ken's organising an 'open carry celebration' in his Louisville church on Saturday, July 27th. As I understand it, this is to show support for 2nd Amendment rights and register a little grass roots, Assemblies of God protest against any attempt by TPTB to take away our guns. The service will evidently feature rousing patriotic music, a potluck picnic and a $1.00 handgun draw, which is a bargain for sure. It all sounds vastly entertaining and, were I in Louisville, I'd probably tip up for the picnic in the doubtless vain hope of winning the handgun. But I like guns - of all sorts, others are less keen and remind me that a "gun service" doesn't sound too Christian, after all, we're supposed to be a religion of peace; Jesus, despite having an especial fondness for members of the professional Roman Army, wasn't a scimitar weilding desert warlord.

So what's to be made of Ken's celebration of the gun? Should we follow his example and take our pistols to church? I have to admit it sounds a little strange, but there is precedent - the Present Arms by an Honor Guard at the Consecration, the sacramental bestowal of Knighthood with a sword, to name several instances of weapons in church; I'd be surprised if Raymond didn't enter the Sepulchre armed to the teeth, alongside Bishop Odo and his fearsome Club. The list goes on, but...

Leaving aside the theology of thing, and there's a fair bit of it, I'm not about to start getting the parishioners to take the sidearms and rifles they're currently leaving in the truck into Mass on Sundays. You see, tempers can get strangely overexcited in church, and I'll leave it at that.

On a completely different theme, someone, or thing, has been ripping off the OBS - see Albert Rasch's excellent Outdoor Chronicles - and for an interesting take on Mein Kampf, Moonshiners and more, have a look at the enormously enjoyable (to me at least) Boomers & BS site.



Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Just Tell It Like It Is.

Spent the last couple of days holed up in the Press Room at St. Vincent's Cathedral, Bedford, developing carpal tunnel syndrome and trying to put out something meaningful about the first Provincial Assembly of the new 'Anglican Church in North America', or ACNA for short. Well, its not shooting, riding, or vicariously connected with your friends catching huge great fish but it was a bit of history in the making - especially Metropolitan Jonah's address this morning. He called for the full communion of Orthodoxy with the new Province. Excellent but what would Anglicans have to do to make this happen? Jonah pulled no punches:

"Full affirmation of the orthodox Faith of the Apostles and Church Fathers, the seven Ecumenical Councils, the Nicene Creed in its original form, all seven Sacraments and a rejection of ‘the heresies of the Reformation.' His Beatitude listed these in a series of ‘isms’; Calvinism, anti-sacramentalism, iconoclasm and Gnosticism. He went on, the ordination of women to the Presbyterate and their consecration as Bishops has to end if intercommunion is to occur."

Nice one Jonah, all good grist for the LSP mill, not that I have a problem with the procession of the Spirit from the Father and the Son, you understand, but what about ACNA?

Scary New York Boy Bishop

The last I heard more than a few had a perverse regard for Calvinist anti-sacramentalism - but at least they're not dismal devotees of the Sharia peddler that occupies the throne of Augustine, or fans of the Boy Bishop in New York either; maybe that will save them in the end.

I hope so, much as I dislike the 'heresies of the reformation' and the various detestable enormities of Sola Scriptura, infantile hymns and slavish devotion to Puritan 'divinity'. Despite all that, and far more, I'd like to see ACNA succeed because I think they really do want to believe the Faith, which is no bad thing. Only time will tell if they find it.

More of that anon. Looking forward to another episode of 'Horse & Stable' tomorrow a.m.



Saturday, June 20, 2009

Shoot the Lee!

I've been saving a couple of boxes of .303 British thinking, for some reason, that they were hard to come by, which they're not. This foolishness had stopped me firing my Lee Enfield for the last month or so until today, when the scales fell from my eyes. "Don't be stupid, LSP,'" I thought to myself, "take the SMLE out for a spin, you can always get more ammo."

Struck by this ammunition epiphany, I loaded up some weapons and drove off to my Treasurer's farm for a shoot. First off I stalked the acreage with a .22 looking for rabbits - no joy, doubtless because they were 1/2 a mile away gorging on vegetables in the plot behind the barn.

Nothing daunted I set up a target by some hay bales and fired off a box of .45 ACP to decent effect, somewhere in the region of 3 inch groups at around 20 yards. Shot lower left of target initially but got things together after a time and pulled up close to the center.

Then it was off to the combine harvester with the Lee. The advantage of the CH being that you can sit up high on the machine and shoot safely down on the target from appx. 60/70 yards.
Despite ammo paranoia induced lack of practice, the rounds grouped well, albeit a little low. Used battle instead of peep sights - perhaps an error. But that was less important to me than the sheer enjoyment of the action of the rifle, which I find robust and well engineered.

Shoot over, it was back to church for Vespers and a conflab with parishioners who were setting the hall up for a Father's Day reception after Sunday Mass. They figured it should have a theme and chose "On the Beach." I don't know why and didn't ask, but did congratulate their ingenuity.

Have a great Father's Day.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Stay on the Horse, Mate!

Lamenting the dismal failure of The Administration to do more than give a handringing rebuke (worse the French for goodness sake) to the barbarians in Tehran - and the breakdown of AC in the parsonage, I decided to leave the Sweat Lodge and head for the stables. Several miles of dirt roads later I was there, welcomed by assorted flags, not least the Union Jack. Good to see that flying.

And by 'BeBop', who put up with my novice horsemanship for a few hours while I posted, practiced two point and generally horsed about. It felt good, probably because I'm beginning to get the rythm of the horse and sensibly managed not to fall off. Total enjoyment; the ultimate goal being to go really fast for a long time while jumping over high obstacles. Well, progress is being made.

BeBop looked after, it was advance to contact at the Stock Tank where the opposition were suppressed by a furious hail of bolt action lead. Great fun - message to market: Don't stay at home reflecting on political and air conditioning failure when you can ride and shoot.

God bless,


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Great Offender

This doesn't work anymore, so what looks like a pleasant place to live is in fact...

An Oven.

New compressor coming in on Friday. In the meanwhile experimenting with prising open windows sealed by decades of paint and seeing how they coped in the olden days. Forunately the house was built well before AC - 'climate control' = big windows & the hope of a breeze. Its bearable, just, but roll on Friday. In the meanwhile I console myself with this good comment from Simply Outdoors:

I honestly pray at the start of every hunt; I pray for a safe hunt; a fun hunt; and if something happens to walk by and I am fortunate enough to be able to put it on the dinner table....sweet!

Great intentions which I'll use for sure - unless I melt, which seems likely.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Huge Great Fish 2

The small shark went back in the water but the rest...

...ended up on the plate. Tasty.


Huge Great Fish

Here's GWB with a sizable fish. He'd gone off to Galvestone for some angling action and got it, by the look of things. The catch ended up on the grill. Nice. I understand he caught a small shark too; I'll post the picture when I get it.

This reminds me to stop being lazy and get out on the water - excellent relaxation, exciting when you get something (rare for me) and tasty with it.

Good result GWB.



Monday, June 15, 2009

Theology, innit.

I know this isn't about guns, horses, dogs, the failed modernist liberal humanist secular project et al., but it is about God, or rather one of His followers - St. Thomas Aquinas, the Angelic Doctor. Maritain has this to say:

"Between Aristotle as viewed in himself and Aristotle viewed in the writings of St. Thomas is the difference which exists between a city seen by the flare of a torchlight procession and the same city bathed in the light of the morning sun."

Here's an excerpt from one of Thomas' hymns, the Pange Lingua, which he wrote for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, in the 13th C. Some believe that the rythm of the hymn comes down from a marching song of Caesar's Legions: "Ecce, Caesar nunc triumphat qui subegit Gallias."

PANGE, lingua, gloriosi
Corporis mysterium,
Sanguinisque pretiosi,
quem in mundi pretium
fructus ventris generosi
Rex effudit Gentium.

The translation doesn't do justice, but...

SING, my tongue, the Savior's glory,
of His flesh the mystery sing;
of the Blood, all price exceeding,
shed by our immortal King,
destined, for the world's redemption,
from a noble womb to spring.

As the legend has it, "Thomas, you have written well on the Sacrament of my Body."

Have a blessed (late) Feast of Corpus Christi.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Aint Seen Nothing Like The Mighty - TRANTER

Everyone knows that law abiding Englishmen aren't really allowed to own pistols, for fear, I suppose, that they'll turn into gun toting criminals. But I'm confused. The crims already have pistols, AKs, shotguns etc. despite the law - so who's being prtotected here? Seems to me like the various 'hoodies', gangsters and 'Gunchester' types that the State (God bless it!) is legislating against. The phrase, "Turkeys voting for Christmas" springs to mind; makes about as much sense as the Archdhimmitude of Canterbury endorsing sharia.

Anyway, it appears you can own a sidearm in England provided its Black Powder. I know this because an Old Friend sent me a picture of his, a mighty Tranter from the nineteenth century. As I understand it, the Tranter was developed in response to Indian Army officers requesting a weapon that would STOP mutineers and rogue sepoys - it did, and no wonder, coming in at a serious .50 cal.

Here's another picture of OF's C&R sidearm, complete with original holster; he tells me that a smith has checked it and pronounced the beast ready to fire. I'm looking forward to some range pictures.

So more on the Tranter later, in the meanwhile got back from the excellent & outstanding St. Michael's Conference to find worthy parishioners had washed carpets in the parish house and the air conditioning's busted. Able to fry eggs on most flat surfaces - the one's that haven't spontaneously combusted that is.



Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Man at Prayer?

Or just another shooter? Perhaps both, who knows, but one thing's for certain - I want to go to the Tiger Valley ranges outside of Waco for a shoot (thanks for the tip Tom).

This week's out though because I'm on staff at the St. Michael Conference (SMC) for young people, I enjoy it a lot and get to teach a class called "Beginning to Pray." The students are pretty keen; one youngster chimed in nervously this morning:

"Father, I have a question. Is it O.K. to pray when you're hunting?" I was pleased and a little surprised because I'd never been asked before, so I asked him what for. "Deer, sir," came the reply. I said it was definitely right to pray for a good shot because God wouldn't want a maimed animal to suffer needlessly. And as for hunting per se - why not pray for a good hunt if you're going to eat what you kill, and/or the action's beneficial to the countryside?

Not the deepest of arguments, perhaps, but it set the kid's mind at rest. I wish him the best of luck when he next goes out with his family to hunt deer. In the meanwhile, I still have a comittment to help with the hogs on my parishioner's land. More on that after SMC...

Archangel Michael - Defende Nos.


Monday, June 8, 2009


Haven't shot pistols for years, not since the halcyon days of the 1980s and the Prince of Wales Division training depot (Browning Hi-Powers). Then I moved to Texas and everything changed, so it was off to the excellent Ray's Sporting Goods in Dallas for some advice and a handgun at a sensible price.

The helpful man behind the counter was just that, suggesting the Berretta PX 4 Storm. It felt good and I meditated on the prospect for a while, trying out other offerings in the same price range - Taurus, CZ, XD, Glock et al. I kept going back to the Berretta, I don't know, maybe it was the look of the thing, or maybe the way it felt in the hand, but I bit the proverbial bullet and made the purchase. I asked for a 9mm, paid for it, bought some ammo and took it back home.

Imagine my surprise when The Nine turned out to be a .45. Ray's had upgraded me; who knows, maybe they thought a larger caliber was somehow more appropriate. Well, that's what I got and I have to say its been a real joy to shoot - far easier than I'd expected - and accurate too, that is until I get excited by the sound and fury of the beast.

Well done Beretta and well done Rays for providing hours of pure pistol enjoyment. I guess a revolver's next...

Keep pulling the trigger.


Saturday, June 6, 2009

What A Filthy Mess! Canine Postscipt

Dirty, very, very dirty. But don't me wrong, I'm not making a thinly veiled attack on the ethical standards of TEC (The Episcopal Church) and its ongoing legal blitzkreig against Christians. No, not even against its leaderene Boy Bishop, Katherine Schori and the Archdruid of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, not a bit of it - I'm referring to the old Marlin Model 60 pictured above.

It belongs to a parishioner who was complaining that her rifle wasn't feeding or ejecting properly, so she brought it in from the truck and sure enough, it was a tribute to the weapon that it worked at all. Anyway, I gave it a clean while she went off to clean the church - a fair swap, I figured.

A bit of elbow grease later and all was well; then the door bell rang and low and behold! Three policemen with M4s.

"Is there a person out the back with a rifle?"
"Just me Officer. I was cleaning it. You see, I'm the priest."

I showed them the Mod. 60, resisting the temptation to ask for a look at the assualt rifles and off they went - no harm done. It seems that my DWN (Dog War Neighbour) had lodged a complaint. I felt bitter. First its incessant pit bullian barking and now spurious visits by the Storm Troopers, God bless 'em...

So off I went thinking uncharitable thoughts when who should roll up but DWN himself. He didn't look too well but managed to shuffle up for a chat.

"Sorry I called the police, preacher."
"See, I figured you were gonna shoot my dogs."
"No, I'm not going to shoot your dogs."
"See, I don't feel so good..."

And with that, DWN lifts his shirt to reveal a massive scar running the length of his belly. I'll spare you the details but he thanked the Lord that he was still alive and I assured him of my prayers, as he assured me that he wouldn't dial in an airstrike next time I cleaned a rifle at the back of the house.

The dogs still bark but I've increased in charity so it doesn't seem so bad and the Model 60 fires fine. The police are happy with their M4s and have invited me down to their range, which is alright by me. As for TEC, Schori, Williams & the secular humanist project, I'm not so sure, but that's a different story.

Have a blessed Feast of the Trinity.


Friday, June 5, 2009


In Pershore, U.K., the squirrels are running wild, out of hand. So what's to be done? Shoot them? yes, but it's a 'built up area', so MCP traps them and...

They meet their demise.

As I recall, the same mallet/cosh was used against the moles. It's a weighty thing and, at the end of the day, more humane than not. Squirrels end up on BBQ. Well, its not hog, but you get your game where you find it and as SBW reminds us, if you're not prepared to kill what you eat...

On another theme; go to the excellent Boomers site for some well needed Hillaire Belloc + great article viz. Apex rifle. 


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Dog Wars

The thing about country life after the city is that its peaceful; you can see the stars at night, the air's cleaner, there aren't so many cars, you can hear the birds sing and - the dogs bark. A lot, loudly, all the time, in my neighbour's back yard from around 6 a.m. when their pit bull brains are woken up by the Rooster, until around midnight when they're so exhausted by barking that they crash out.
It's an issue here and God fearing folk are taking deperate measures - as you can see, some have opted for poison, which is tempting. Others suggest sniping with .22, also tempting but risky - who wants to end up in gaol for performing a public service? Others again feel that a  Taser might do the trick. Well it probably would but I don't have one.
Whatever, it drove me out into the fields where I managed to stay on the horse, so that was good and even better - MCP has made a song which you might like to watch/hear. Its about the honesty of Great Britain's politicians http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ImmQO3YOaw
These it seems have sunk into a trough of eighteenth century style jobbery, corruption and malfeasance; just throw in piracy on the high seas and the illusion's near complete. Oh, we have that too! So what's missing? "Talent" says my supernaturalist friend and Church Warden, Alan Delgarde.
Maybe, but ah, the dogs are silent. At last. Never underestimate the power of prayer.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Mole Catcher

Years ago, in the hoary antiquity of the mid '90s, I found myself taking a break from parish life and working for a small company in London that was all about something called Lotus Notes. A lot of fun and led by the charismatic IT, Marketing and PR chieftan, MCP - Michael Chapman Pincher. But times moved on and we went our separate ways, me to America and a return to priestly life, MCP to IT Supremacy somewhere in London. Splendid.

Then things changed; after a cataclysmic '07/08 we both ended up living in the country, Texas and Pershore respectively, each suffering from multiple, vicious back wounds. Anyhow, I visited him a few weeks back and as we hadn't seen each other for years it was straight down to a riverside pub to swap grisly knife in the back stories whilst admiring the sunlit pastoral idyll that is that part of Worcestershire. Beautiful. Then I noticed that my erstwhile guv'nor's hands were strangely calloused, as though he'd become a Son of the Soil, which is exactly what had happened.

When the IT thing ended MCP was thrown back to Pershore, his wits and the land. The Corporate World had turned his back on him - not so the country and he found new employment as a Trapper, a mole trapper. I understand it started off in a small way and then moved up; when I was there the business was expanding to rabbits and now, evidently, squirrels.

So, when I wasn't busy taking pictures of Aghas, myself in the mirror and enjoying the excellent company and house of Mr. & Mrs. MCP, it was down to the new office - the mole fields.

These had been digging up land used to pasture race horses and had to go - 12 traps per beast, which seemed intense but I gather they're pretty wiley. As were the rabbits who were conspicious by their absence; no doubt sensing the risk of death they were keeping their heads down. Still, nothing daunted, we set up a trap at the warren and paused for a moment's reflection. I asked my friend if he'd changed his theological point of view from believing that "it's all down to carbon boys" to something else: 

"So what d'you think about God these days?" After a long pause and gaze at the field he replied, "Well, I spend a lot of time on my knees right now..."

Excellent and well done - I'd say that the Deity has shown uncommon kindness; after all, what's better? Hideous corporate world, or living in a beautiful house in a country town whilst carving out a new niche in edible (rabbit/squirrel) pest control?

Massive respect to Michael and Becky Chapman Picher.


PS. More from the MCP homestead later.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Horse Latitudes

Left the big city this morning to get back to the country and some riding. All well and good; there I was in the paddock practicing posting and two point. Very nice and only natural to move on from there to bigger and better things, like galloping - fast. So I did, faster and faster and faster and Bang! There I am on the dirt with a thunder of hooves about the head. 

Horse 1, LSP 0.

Trainer deeply impressed by "rodeo".

Nothing broken bar pride.

Stay in the saddle.


Monday, June 1, 2009

The Horned God

Thanks, SBW, for this. Sure beats the Ridgebacks we have to contend with out here - the thing is, the ubiquitous attack dogs are going feral.

Don't forget your truck gun.


Hog Wild

Celebrated the Feast of Pentecost yesterday at the Missions and all was good, with no one bursting inappropriately into 'tongues', except for the Assistant Priest who was heard to mutter from time to time in Latin. You know the kind of thing, perhaps, "Te Igitur..." Well, that was fine by me but conversation over iced tea after the service was better. I'll paraphrase:

"You know, Father..."
"Yes, my son?"
"I have this problem and its gettin' kind of serious."
"Yessir. You see hogs are coming through from my neighbour's land and tearing things up. Saw several big ones on the track just last night. 240 pounders, I reckon; didn't have a gun so I shooed 'em off in my truck."
"Ah Hah!" I replied and quick as a flash a worthy parishioner took up the cause.
"You gotta get rid of them! We'll take care of that for you."

For sure we will and the plan's simple. Lay out some post hole bait then go up against the tuskers with hi-power weaponry. .45 Beretta, scoped up 7mm Mauser (I think) and the venerable Lee Enfield should do the trick for me. Not sure what my friend'll use - something in 30-06 or .308 probably. 

So stay tuned and fire up the mental grill for some home cooking.

A joyous Feast of the Visitation to you.