Saturday, November 20, 2010

LSP in the City

Thought I'd take a well needed break and head North. So I braved the massive unpleasantness of modern air travel - not dissimilar to taking a bus from Cheltenham to Canterbury in the '80s - and checked into Midtown, New York. It was neat looking down on Broadway, in a Bladerunner kind of way.

Always liked the top of the Crown Building

Visited St. Mary The Virgin, on 46th St., between 7th & 8th, where I gave my first sermon, back in the mists of antiquity. It was a terrible homily and I was terrified to give it, but the people were kind and said it was good. A great church in its day, but now given to the strange new religion of TEC, which is a bad shame.

Scary pulpit at St. Mary's

Managed to get to the Met & the Frick too; both are remarkable museums, to my mind, and well worth the visit. Oddly enough, I enjoyed the arms & armour section of the Met...

Imagine the force of armoured cavalry; the sheer kinetic energy alone would be hard to withstand.

Wandered about Central Park too, which didn't seem remotely as dodgy as it was in the olden days, but perhaps my point of view has changed.

So, after a few days of charging about the city I made my way back to Texas and Lonestarism, which I like. Still, I think there's a greatness to New York, if you can get past the armies of Brits shouting "Yah" on their cell phones as they stride down 5th Ave, and the dangerous number of skateboard and scooter riders. A right menace. All that to say nothing of the Pelosianites who seem to have taken over control of the North East, but more of that anon.

Have a blessed feast of Christ the King tomorrow.



Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Best Shot You Never Took In Your Life

Someone's Truck

Running alongside the field where JB's pastured is a dirt road, some grain bins and a large cornfield. A month or so ago the corn fields were harvested and became a veritable dove magnet. There I'd be, unsaddling the horse after a ride, and there the doves would be, in swarms.

Obviously I wanted to get out the gun and have a go, but hesitated to wander off with the yobbish pump action and blast away until I had permission to hunt the land. People frown on unidentified shooters roaming about their land, understandably. So I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the fields in question belonged to a parishioner who was happy to let me shoot.

After making sure (a few days in advance) that the owners of the horselands were alright with the project, I stalked off, Mossberg in hand.

The strategy was simple. Wait for the doves to arrive in their hundreds and shoot them. To that end I walked across a pasture, ducked under a fence, crossed the road, released the safety and... a great clatter of birds erupted from a tree to my front. The avian acrobats dodged the first two shots, but the third went home and a plump, corn-fed creature fell to the ground - just as I hear a great screaming from the direction of the horses. I won't repeat the language but it was strong and directed at the shooter.

I pondered the situation, reapplied the safety, and strode off down-field, thinking with a heavy heart that my riding privileges were about to be revoked. Still the shoot was still on and I figured I might as well see if I could chase up some birds further away. No luck; they liked the area around the grain bins, which I returned to.

Again, a tremendous whirring of wings as countless birds darted out of the trees around the bins, in all directions - just feet away from me. But I wasn't going to shoot and risk the wrath of the horse guardian. Instead I shouldered the gun and watched the quarry speed away to safety; never seen so many of the creatures so close and in the air at the same time.

Frustrating and doubly so when I learned the cause of the screaming. It was all a case of mistaken identity.

It seems a neighbour was in the custom of driving down the dirt road in his pick-up and taking pot-shots at birds from the window of the truck - towards the horses. Bonnie figured that was the source of the shots. Hence the invective; turns out I could have kept shooting. As it was, the one 'bird down' made for a tasty snack.

Moral of the story?

1. Don't shoot out of the window of your truck towards the barn - it spoils it for the rest of us.

2. Tell Bonnie when you're going to shoot.

3. Fresh dove tastes great.

Simple, really.

Hope you've had a blessed Sunday.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Goddess Watch

If you go to the improbably named Ebeneezer Herchurch Lutheran congregation in San Francisco, you can buy a neatly crafted Goddess Rosary. Or save yourself the bother and order online for a mere $35.00, post & packaging included. They have a prayer too, which goes like this:

Our Mother who is within us
we celebrate your many names.
Your wisdom come.
Your will be done,
unfolding from the depths within us.
Each day you give us all that we need.
You remind us of our limits
and we let go.
You support us in our power
and we act with courage.
For you are the dwelling place within us
the empowerment around us
and the celebration among us
now and forever. Amen.

I guess the oppressive, patriarchal Lord's Prayer just wasn't good enough for them and, while we're in bizarre religion mode, "Vicky" Gene Robinson has announced his resignation so that he can be with his "beloved husband," Mark. But that won't be till 2013.

Odd how demented space creatures have made such inroads into the Church.

Stay on the horse,


Friday, November 12, 2010

Church, Horse, Gun

You'll have to forgive the lack of posts, but life has been hectic with various deadlines and the work of looking after several missions - to say nothing of keeping track of the ever diminishing ACoC and its somewhat larger sister, TEC.

Still, I've managed to increase the amount of time spent in the saddle, which is important. How can you expect to train up a horse if you don't ride it? With that objective well in mind, I'm pleased with the result; JB is certainly forward and fast, whereas she wasn't before. Still, a word of warning. Keep your heels down, LSP, it's no fun coming off at 45 mph...

There's been time for shooting too, mostly plinking about but some dove hunting before the season ended. One bird was extremely large and tasty. I told a parishioner about it.

"It was like an eagle, parishioner."
"Oh, you shot a pigeon."
"No, parishioner. It was a dove, the size of a mighty Condor!"

Protests to the contrary, the harm had been done. Must work out some way to redeem the reputation; perhaps against coyotes.

On the religious front, some of you may be aware that the trad Diocese of Fort Worth and its Bishop, Jack Iker, are the victims of multiple lawsuits brought on by Schori's TEC and its potemkin diocese in North Texas. If you go to TEC's diocesan website, you'll find the litigation they've initiated under an interesting title. "Holy Stewardship," they call it. Nothing quite like redefining words to suit your purpose.

God bless our veterans.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Anglican Church of Canada - Spotted!

The elusive Anglican Church Church of Canada (ACoC) has been spotted, this time over Nowra, Australia.

Appearing to be little larger than a brightly lit soccer ball, the diminutive Church was seen to hover briefly over streetlights before vanishing into the night sky.

Pundits predict that ACoC has resumed its earlier trajectory beyond earth orbit, though some experts believe that the Nowra sighting was a preliminary to a long awaited "full disclosure event."

ACoC's Archbishop, The Rt. Rev. "Fred" Hiltz was unavailable for comment.

Ad Astra,


PS. Some readers of this blog believe I've galloped through a barn. This is untrue.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Get Back on the Horse!

After an annoyingly indoors kind of week the toe healed sufficiently to pull on my boots and get out to the horses. JB's made real progress -- she stands still when tied, walks, trots, canters and, for the most part, goes where's she's asked to. In brief, the last month or so has been given over to instilling forward movement, response to the aids and confidence in each other.

Nothing wrong with that, so to celebrate progress we moved into a larger pasture with plenty of room to gallop about. After a short longe we moved out at a walk, followed by a trot and fastish canter; pleased at that I turned her 'round, barnwards, and asked for speed.

Well, there's nothing like obedience and JB was only too obliging to hurtle at breakneck pace towards a small herd of mares and the general direction of barndom and a thorn tree. I stayed on, just, she ducked, I lost a stirrup, she went faster, I lost a rein and held onto the mane, so she bucked and off I glided into the thorns.

No harm done; climbed back on and galloped about the field in a largish way. Set to do the same tomorrow, it's a great thing to go fast on that horse. Must combine that with a long overdue shoot, and that's no bad thing either.

Stay out of the thorn tree and God bless.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hawking an Atheist!!

According to the Telegraph, Stephen Hawking still doesn't believe in God and states in his recent book The Grand Design, “Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist.”

I suppose I'm being ignorant, but it seems odd that nothing should create something. For that matter, how could a law like gravity exist when there isn't anything existent -- gravity included. Is Hawking saying that something very like nothing existed and out of that came everything else?

Perhaps; Hawking goes on to say, “It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the Universe going.” Who did? The "laws of science", which we can call 'God' if we like, but beware, "it wouldn't be a personal God that you could meet, and ask questions."

Fine, but by way of warning, surely it's the case that people come to resemble the various 'gods' they believe in. Given that, what would the impersonal law god of science look like?

Still grounded from gun & horse -- annoying.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Total Disaster.

Completely failed to make it out for opening day of Dove season. Why? Managed to rip a toe open on a swinging door.

Useless. No tramping about the country in search of birds -- no charging about on horses either, at least for a few days.



Friday, August 27, 2010

Horse & Steak

Back in Texas, which means horses -- mine appears to have regressed and now thinks she doesn't have to be ridden -- and steak. The latter's alright, but how to fix the former? Much more riding, daily if possible, and lots of patience. Well worth it, as the offending quadruped's a joy when she's going well -- very fast, powerful and smooth in her gaits. When she's being difficult... different story altogether, but whoever said life'd be easy?

Viz. steak -- I prefer a charcoal Weber, after using a propane thing in Canada. Regardless, dove season's right round the corner and with it the opportunity for some mixed grill and a chance against the avian acrobats.

On a different theme, two Metroplex lesbians tried to enroll their daughter at St. Vincent's Cathedral School in the diocese of Fort Worth, only to be rejected. Now, like it or not, diocesan policy is pretty clear about its trad stance on sexual ethics and St. Vincent's reflects that in its teaching. So why would two people try to enroll their child in a school that's openly against their lifestyle? Surely Jill and Tracey Harrison weren't trying to use their child to make some sort of political capital? I mean, its not as though two people who made the effort to go to Canada in 2006 and get married might be lesbian activists, or anything like that.

Just a thought.



Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Down by the River

Visited 'Red's' sister's place, which is just off the Detroit river in downtown(ish) Windsor; it's a converted attic with a neat deck overlooking the rooftops and trees. Beautiful and remarkably lush after Texas.

She shares it with her 13 year old son, Thomas. He's been learning a kind of 'Britspeak' in my honour and says "Good Lord!" after hairy scrapes on Halo 3. I've taught him that garage is pronounced garridge. We'll see if that sticks.

Regardless, a few more days here then it's back to Texas, the countryside and searing heat; it'll be good to get back though I have to say I'll miss Canada -- a bit of a cross between England and the U.S., I always think.

Cheers and belated blessings for the Feast of the Assumption.


Friday, August 13, 2010

Motor(way) City

Life has a strange way of sending me to Detroit, but I'll spare you the backstory... regardless, after the trial of modern interstate air travel -- not dissimilar to catching a bus from Victoria Station to Canterbury in the '80s in terms of time and discomfort -- I clambered off the plane and into Motor City to see an old friend before going across the river to Canada.

'Red' was using a crowbar to jimmy up great slabs of concrete from his back yard when I arrived. He's fixing up his house you see, which is hard work at the best of times; till then it'll be a little bit Fight Club -- the house should look good when it's done though.

Remarkable city, Detroit; I'm in Windsor now, but if I get the chance I'll venture back across the river for a tour and some pictures, hopefully before the place reverts to wilderness.

Missing guns and horses -- must check out the local range, don't think there's much of a riding opportunity here, annoyingly.



Friday, August 6, 2010

Horse & Dog

Back in the far off, halcyon days of mid '90s London, when bushcraft and associated pursuits were still a concept in the mind of SBW (great blog) and King's Cross seemed like a good place to go dancing -- well, I would have raised a quizzical eyebrow if you'd said that I'd be a country parson in rural Texas. How things have changed, thank goodness.

These days I like nothing better than to get up for one more perfect sunrise, say the Divine Office and head off to the not so distant lure of...

ferocious dogs.

Highbrow Throroughbreds,

and a brisk workout in the equine way; good for mind, body and soul, especially when allied to guns of all sorts. But more of that anon.

Hunt 'em up.