Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I only heard the despicable "happy holidays" once this year. Result, as was the stunningly powerful gift of a Spyderco folder from my philosophic friend, GWB.

Shoot straight, stay on the horse and may God bless you all,


Friday, December 23, 2011

North Park Mall

Those of you who know Dallas might say that North Park Mall is "hell with the lid off" two days before Christmas. A right shopping frenzy. Not dissimilar, come to think of it, to downtown Norwich on a Saturday.

Except for the money and the shops.

North Park before the rush
Try not to stumble on those Blahniks, kids.

Note -- next year, provided there is one, get the presents before the 23rd of December.

Just sayin',


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Space Alien Flogs Dead Horse!

Space Alien
Celebrity Episcopalien, Rev. Susan Russell, well known gender politician, priestess and off-world activist, has hitched her Advent star to the dying hippy movement, "Occupy Wall Street." 

In a sermon on the final Sunday before Christmas, Russell stated, “[Occupy] is the kind of movement that we venerate in history, yet many who live comfortably fear it in the present. Occupy is no mere ‘protest.’ The brilliance of the movement is its refusal to be reduced to specific policy demands. Occupy remains an insatiable movement of liberating creativity, an irreducible process for generating justice."

Insatiable... liberating creativity?

You be the judge.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

House Of Gold

As we prepare for Christmas and try to forget the impending fiscal maelstrom and the likelihood of a Deathstar Blockbuster Bonanza strike against Iran, our minds are drawn to the birth of Christ. It's easy, perhaps, for Christians who focus on the transcendent glory of the Word made Flesh to forget the tenderness and intimacy of the event; to say nothing of the Cross and Passion which the Incarnation unfolds into. Austin Farrer holds all aspects together. In The Crown of the Year he writes:

“WHEN Mary laid Jesus Christ upon her knees, when she searched him with her eyes, when she fed him at the breast, she did not study to love him because she ought, she loved him because he was dear: he was her Son. His conception had been supernatural, perplexing, affrighting; it had called for faith in the incomprehensible, and obedience beyond the limit of human power. His nativity was human and sweet, and the love with which she embraced it was a natural growth, inseparable from the thing she loved. She was blessed above all creatures, because she loved her Maker inevitably and by simple nature; even though it needed the sword - wounds of the Passion to teach her fully that it was her Maker whom she loved. The Son of Mary is the Son of all human kind; we embrace him with the love of our kind, that we may be led up with Mary to a love beyond kind, a selfless love for the supreme Goodness, when we too shall have climbed the ladder of the cross.”

I love that.


An Army Of One

Spurred on by SBW's urging to "shoot the Lee" I filled the truck with guns and headed off to a parishioner's range. It was beautiful, just me, the guns and miles of misty countryside. I set up a silhouette and my ancient adversary, a Marlboro Light box.

After a brisk .22 warm up I moved on to the more serious business of SMLE firepower and was surprised to shoot my best groups with that rifle. Shot less well with an AR, oddly. Probably due to a lack of concentration. Neat little rifle though.

Finished off with a blast of the .45. Ferocious fun to see the flaming flash of the shot. Then the heavens opened and I began to wish, and not for the first time, for something in the 4x4 line. Hopefully that will arrive before the impending 2012 apocalypse.

But the Eschaton and lack of four wheel drive aside, I love shooting. Good for mind, body and soul. What did they used to say about America being a "nation of riflemen"? I like that, even if it's no longer true. 

Keep pulling the trigger,


Oh dear... Piers.

Described by some as a "Dark Lord" and "more hated than Skeletor", Piers Morgan isn't just facing dismal ratings at CNN, he's on the hot spot for his role in the the U.K.'s phone hacking scandal.

You can read all about this sordid tale of criminality, vice and gutter journalism over at Guido and, you never know, maybe Piers will have to leave America...

Please send him back for Christmas.

The nation holds its breath.



Friday, December 16, 2011

Hitchens Is Dead

Everyone knows that Christopher Hitchens has died. He was an outstanding writer, drinker, smoker and contributing editor to Vanity Fair. VF gushed this morning:

"Christopher Hitchens—the incomparable critic, masterful rhetorician, fiery wit, and fearless bon vivant—died today at the age of 62. Hitchens was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in the spring of 2010, just after the publication of his memoir, Hitch-22, and began chemotherapy soon after. His matchless prose has appeared in Vanity Fair since 1992, when he was named contributing editor."

Hitchens, unlike his brother, didn't believe in God. Now he will find out. 

I'll say a prayer for his soul.

Dies irae, but remember Farrer's words, Advent is a time when "judgement runs out into mercy."


Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Round about the end of the year, with the thought of presents looming, my mind turns to rifles. One rifle in particular, the Tikka T3. It gets great reviews, it's comparatively cheap, everyone says, "LSP! Get a Tikka!." Then, just as I'm about to leap into the world of Tikka, up comes Churck Hawks' damning review. Here's a bit of it to refresh the memory:

"To add insult to injury, the Tikka T3 is a cheap rifle to produce, but not an inexpensive one to purchase. (Ditto the I-Bolt!) These things cost as much or more than some higher quality, better designed, and better turned-out hunting rifles. The T3's success is a tribute to the ignorance of the modern American sportsman--and the connivance of the sporting press upon which they rely for information."

Maybe I'd be better off browsing the 2nd hand racks...

Good shooting,


Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Smallest Church You Never Saw In Your Life

In an interview with the Washington Post, The Episcopal Church's newly promoted leader, Dr. Budde (pronounced Budd-ee) had this to say:

“We’re like a boutique. We’re the most inclusive church in the world that’s the tiniest church in Christendom. . . . I’m not interested in being the leader of a boutique church.”

If the shoe fits... Budde.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Handful Of Tack

Picked up a handful of tack and headed off for an episode of ride and shoot, only to discover that JB has Pigeon Fever, which is a nasty disease resulting in an abscess. Curable, fortunately. I rode Bebop instead and we had a good old gallop along the edge of a couple of large fields.

I loved that; Bebop can fairly fly along and we had plenty of space for it. Picked up a dog too and that was fine until he decided it'd be a neat trick to bite the horse's back legs while we were running. Bebop wasn't too keen on that game and made several good efforts to kick the dog out of existence -- stay in the saddle LSP! -- but no one, horse, hound or rider came to harm. 

I like a gallop, clears the head.

In other news, Jefferts Schori, boy bishop leaderene of The Episcopal Church, has written a book. She thinks that Our Lord was like a Hell's Angel who took toys to poor people, when not "messing about in boats" or being a "party animal." Well, nothing like a bit of christology to get the mind working...

Stay in the saddle,


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Hugging The Emu

After Mass (Advent II, '28 BCP Lectionary), I visited Miguel and Teresa to bless their house. They have many children and one came flying up to the gate of their 4 acre spread, shouting out "Father, Father! Come in!" Excited little chap. So I drove through and couldn't help but notice an...

Emu. There it was, stalking along, like some prehistoric beast. Miguel came out to meet me and I asked him about the bird, our conversation went like this:

"I say, Miguel, is that your Emu?"
"Yes Father."
"You can hug him!"
"Well, that's quite a thing."

I resisted the temptation to "hug the Emu" as I didn't want to chase the bird down; foolish. Next time I will test the creature's affection.

I'm proud of Miguel and Teresa. He's building their house as they live in it and she's helping him; I'd say that wasn't easy. Very faithful people and very devout. Their daughters tell me of an evil elf who steals the souls of babies.

Holy water will drive that away.


Range Day

Tired of my slothful ways and full of Advent penitence, I loaded some guns into the truck, restocked on Winchester "Whitebox", thank you Walmart, and drove off to a parishioner's 150 yard range. I like it there in the middle of the countryside around Brandon and nicely secluded. Just you and the guns.

Tested out the newly refurbished .22 Higgins (tube magazine, bolt, iron sights) from 50 and 100 yards. It's feeding problems had been solved by my Waco 'smith friend and, considering a bit of rustiness on my part, shot well. A "tack driver"? In the right hands, yes, and I was pleased to see the center of the target pretty much destroyed.

range road
Then it was time for some AR fun. Proper "little heater" that carbine; after a few magazines of target practice I practiced my walk/run and shoot skills, only to discover that I didn't really have many... childish, but fun. I'm tempted to get optics for that rifle, but haven't decided on the most useful. I like the Trijicon Accupoint, or the ACOG, but dislike the price tag. Still, maybe worth saving for.

.45 followed 5.56 amusement. Total enjoyment shooting against spinners from 20-25 yards. Spent most of my effort on the dinner plate; satisfying to hear the pistol explode and see the plate swing off. Had decent success against the next size down, which surprised me because I was badly out of practice. A testament to muscle memory.

It was interesting to retrieve the rounds. After hitting the spinner they flattened off to the size of a nickel and shot off about 10 feet to my right of the target. Doubtless a moral in that if you care to draw it.

Finished off with weapons cleaning in the range's small shooting house and headed back as the sun was setting.

For me, at that moment, all was right with the world.

God bless,