Back when Alan and I shared a computer, I used to track his enthusiasms through our bookmarks. He researches major purchases with a thoroughness that would shame Consumer Reports, and in those pre-Safari, OS 9 days, when all bookmarks went under a single menu (“bookmarks”), I knew when they started filling up with BuildABoatInYourGarage.com, he was soon to make an announcement involving that very thing.
Multiple users and folders give us all a bit of privacy, and I’m not the prying type, anyway. I guess the joke’s on me if I open his laptop one day and find QuickieMexicanDivorce.com active on the screen, but this latest thing is being announced with books. All over the house are books on sporting clays, wing-shooting techniques and the art of shotgun engraving. This one has been building for a while, since our year in Ann Arbor when we took a trip north and our host gave us each a chance to kill a clay pigeon. Alan was the only one who drew blood:
I don’t know what it is with my husband and the gentlemanly sports. You’d never know he was brought up working-class in a northwest Ohio factory town. By rights, we should have his-and-her Barcaloungers with a freezer full of venison in the garage, and instead we own a million dollars’ worth of Hardy fishing reels, half a dozen graphite rods suitable for catching everything from bluegill to 25-pound salmon, a handmade McKenzie drift boat and an English saddle (that last one’s mine). And now, soon, a shotgun. One of our new shooting books instructs us on the etiquette of firing so as not to hit your beaters, as well as techniques for switching quickly between multiple weapons, the last predicated on the assumption you have an assistant standing next to you with a second gun.
“Who are you going shooting with?” I asked. “Prince Charles?”
Ha ha. Although really, at this rate I think we could be weekend guests of the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall and hold up our ends with only a bit of shopping beforehand. All Alan needs are some plus-fours, or maybe a kilt.
Actually, I’m looking forward to trying out our new weaponry, although with our history of marital squabbles while co-recreating — we nearly divorced on our honeymoon, after discovering our paddling styles were incompatible for a double-cockpit kayak — maybe not.
A friend of mine once had a really bad boyfriend, from whom she had an acrimonious split. Some years later, he married a woman who gave him a shotgun for a wedding present. As a journalist and veteran of many murder stories, she knew that it was only a matter of time before the new husband went back to his cheatin’ ways, and his bride would be driven to take action with both barrels. “I can see it now,” she said, fairly rubbing her hands together. “‘Police say the murder weapon was, ironically, a wedding gift from bride to groom in happier days.'” Cackle, cackle. I’m waiting for this story, too. I remember that guy, and boy did he have it coming.
OK, enough blue-steel romance. Haven’t current events been marvelous of late? “Marvelous” in the “what a great story” sense, that is. The French Poindexter who may end up bringing down a 150-year-old bank single-handedly; the destruction of the Gaza wall after months of surreptitious weakening of the structure; and, of course, yet another lesson why it’s dangerous to mix chess and alcohol.
Which should be enough bloggage to get you chatty folks started, but I do want to point you to a couple of nice considerations of Heath Ledger, starting with Glenn Kenny’s, which has its own links within to explore, and Roy’s.
Please, God, keep me away from the Daily Mail. I have a life to live! But how can one resist it, when they include photos of Sarah Jessica Parker wearing a blue doughnut?
Finally, those of you who spend all day online have probably already seen the infamous Craigslist vagina couch, but maybe you haven’t heard the ne plus ultra oh-snap from my new fave site, Datalounge, where a million queers get together to trade the snark: Once a month you have to stuff a sheep in it for five days.
You’ve been a great audience! Have a wonderful weekend!
Dave B. said on January 25, 2008 at 10:41 am
Getting addicted to trap shooting is more addicting than heroin. From about 1974 to 1981 when I was single, I spent about 90% of my disposable income on ammo, reloading components, and target fees. (The other 10% on beer and women.) Six hundred to a thousand targets a week was pretty common for me on a year around basis. I remember shooting in Montana, S. Dakota, New Hampshire, W. Virginia, and most states in between. My vacations would revolve around different trap shooting events.
In case you’re wondering how I cured my addiction…I got married and lost my job at IHC. I haven’t fired a shot since.
Sue said on January 25, 2008 at 10:55 am
I swear some of your entries are like a fine box of chocolates, so many selections and all of them great. Regarding the sheep comment, here’s something for you: How do you know that your pet elephant is having her period? There’s a quarter on your dresser and your mattress is missing. On a related note: What’s grey and comes in quarts? An elephant.
Dave B. said on January 25, 2008 at 11:07 am
Since your commenters are a bit tardy this morning, I have one other thought. When you mentioned “killing a clay pigeon,” it reminded me of an old “Beverly Hillbilly” show. Granny was wondering what kind of “vittles” she would scare up for supper. Jed suggested she wait and see if Jethro and Mr. Drysdale brought home a mess of skeet. “What in tarnation is a skeet,” granny asked. “A little black and yellow bird that must roost over by the golf pasture. They must be thick because Mr. Drysdale said they were each going to shoot a hundred of them.”
nancy said on January 25, 2008 at 11:09 am
Sigh. The great routines never get old.
Alan tried to interest Kate in a Bev Hillbillies rerun the other night, but she wasn’t havin’ it.
brian stouder said on January 25, 2008 at 2:02 pm
loved the couch. How would one accessorize the room where it goes? Position the couch in a corner, shag rug in front, with a chrome coffee table on either side?
brian stouder said on January 25, 2008 at 2:22 pm
Almost forgot the little ottoman in front (always hard to place that)
Danny said on January 25, 2008 at 2:58 pm
Mary, how is the weather up in your neck? Are you guys getting pounded?
Supposed to start tonight here and big time by tomorrow. I’m hoping to get one last bike ride in this afternoon before we all flee to the Ark.
Joe K said on January 25, 2008 at 3:14 pm
The blizzard of 78 anniversary is today.
I remember walking from our house in Garrett Ind with my late dad and older brother to a bar uptown pulling a sled, cause the old man was out of beer. Sat in the tavern and had a cold one. It was the first time my dad bought me a beer. I was all of 19. and yes I was under age and yes the local police just happened to stop in, took a look and just smiled and turned around.
I miss my dad.
he was also a pilot, and I think about him a lot when I fly, and hope he is looking over me in bad weather.
Blue Skys and I am off to Travers City
nancy said on January 25, 2008 at 3:14 pm
If you click the link, Brian, you’ll see it comes with its own ottoman, so to speak, only it’s a little pillow. No wonder it’s so hard to find.
brian stouder said on January 25, 2008 at 4:33 pm
AhhhhHA! – the little magenta thing…
Looked at the picture the first time all in a rush, and never even saw it!
ashley said on January 25, 2008 at 8:27 pm
When y’all gettin’ polo ponies? I mean, that’s next, right?
nancy said on January 25, 2008 at 8:32 pm
Polo’s a strange sport. The people who most excel at it are shifty, but extremely good-looking, foreigners, and hence, untrustworthy. Note how often Prince Charles falls off. Note how the man he hired to teach his wife riding, James Hewitt, instead jumped right into her saddle instead.
Plus, it’s terrifying. If I’m going to be terrified in the saddle, I’d rather it be while fox-hunting. Tally-ho!
basset said on January 25, 2008 at 11:19 pm
couple years ago I went to the national youth trapshooting championships in Dayton… trap is kinda like skeet, you’re still shooting at clay pigeons but they’re arranged differently.
anyway, the “shooting ground” was right next to the Dayton airport, and the line of shooting stations was literally a mile and a half long and faced the runway. no way the shotguns had enough range to get anywhere near the planes but it still felt weird when a little Cessna or whatever went over.
(hold on a minute while I look up the figures in my old script)
about 17-hundred shooters there, each one took at least two hundred shots a day… over the contest weekend they fired over a third of a million shells, with their standard one-ounce load that’s 21,250 pounds of lead a day falling out on the ground.
so every, I dunno, couple of years maybe the organizers would dig up the top few inches of dirt and sift the lead out of it.
nancy said on January 26, 2008 at 7:58 am
Some years back, the Grosse Pointe Farms lakefront park used to have a small trap/skeet range, set up so the shot fell over the water. Of course there’d be nowhere near the numbers of shooters at your competition, but the range was finally closed over environmental concerns about the amount of lead being dropped into the lake.
Now that shot is mostly steel, there was an initiative to reopen the course last year. The city council tabled it indefinitely over concerns about firearms in city parks. Different times.
Cosmo Panzini said on January 26, 2008 at 8:16 am
Prediction—-your daughter will someday come to love “The Beverly Hillbillies”, laughing out loud the whole time, and right about then will figure out that Mom and Dad aren’t so dumb after all. That show is like good scotch, in that it takes a little time on the planet to really appreciate it.
alex said on January 26, 2008 at 1:57 pm
Chicago had a lakefront gun club which was closed due to lead concerns. It was a cool old facility and it’s a shame they didn’t put it to some other use like reception hall or restaurant. They demolished it.
MichaelG said on January 26, 2008 at 3:46 pm
The CHP has a long unused firing range at their Oakland field office. No, they weren’t shooting skeet. There’s every other kind of shooting in Oakland, but not skeet. We’re going to do some demolition and construction on the site to upgrade some facets of the CHP operation but there is severe lead contamination. Things have already been delayed for over a year because of the contamination. It’s going to cost a bloody fortune to abate it. Oh well. The Hazmat people need to eat too.
LA Mary said on January 26, 2008 at 4:39 pm
We got pounded most of the week, with a break right now. Lots of rain,lots of wind. Getting to work yesterday was challenging, since there were a few small mudslides here on my hill. Once I got on the freeway I was fine unless a good gust of wind hit me. I saw a semi jack knife on the other side of the freeway on Thursday night and it looked like about six cars got into fender benders as a result. It’s supposed to be bad again tonight thru Sunday, so I’m madly doing an sort of outdoor stuff that needs doing.
Dave K. said on January 26, 2008 at 6:27 pm
I never played polo, but back in ’79 I had the privilege of playing rugby with a select group from the Fort Wayne and Indianapolis Rugby Clubs known as the C.R.A.B.S., or Combined Rugby And Bowling Side.
We traveled to Milwaukee, WI the “Bowling Capital of the Midwest”, to compete in the Milwaukee Club’s Invitational tournament played at yes, the Milwaukee Polo Grounds.
I have no idea how that motley crew from the Milwaukee RFC convinced the powers that be to allow us to use this beautiful venue, but it was the nicest pitch I ever played on. (Someone had picked up MOST of the “road apples” prior to our match).
To “little bro Joe”, I miss the old man too, and I’m sure he is watching and smiling.
Danny said on January 27, 2008 at 10:19 am
Dave, that is pretty amazing that they let a bunch of ruggers play at the polo grounds. That is akin to letting the Old Mission Beach Athletic Club (OMBAC) play have their annual Over The Line (OTL) tournament at Del Mar.
Dave K. said on January 27, 2008 at 3:02 pm
Danny, Thanks for the link to OMBAC. If any guys are just browsing, check the “Miss Emerson” link. If you ever played rugby, or attended a rugby party, I won’t have to tell you twice!
Dexter said on January 27, 2008 at 4:44 pm
alex: I used to go past the Chicago skeet range all the time on Lake Shore Drive. I was only actually there once, to pick up a friend on the way to a Cubs game. Yep, I remember when it closed …must be over 20 years ago now.
Nancy: first time blogging with ya…you’ll remember me as the guy who dropped off a VHS tape at the News Sentinel office . It had the David Letterman 10th (maybe 15th?) anniversary show which you and all of FWA were denied seeing due to a late IU basketball game…I had taped it from a Toledo station.
Haven’t poked around this blog yet…are you in Detroit now?
Danny said on January 27, 2008 at 9:27 pm
Dave, an old girlfriend of mine won that contest in the early 90’s. A few years after we had broken up. I saw her on the news. ‘Nuff said.
BTW, the term “Ermerson” is a contraction for “Them are some.”
Brenda from HR said on April 25, 2008 at 11:17 am
the queers don’t need any more judgmental fraus on the DL.
Cristal C. said on April 25, 2008 at 11:48 am
You are a whore, darlin.
greenman said on April 25, 2008 at 1:52 pm
“Queers?” I’m SO glad we’ve amused you but, if “snark” was all you took away from the experience you didn’t look very deeply. Perhaps I took your comment wrong, but in a country where gay couples can have their rights of visitation in a hospital or their rights of inheritance abrogated, I think we have a certain right to be defensive. I’m glad you got a chuckle, but your reference to “queers” seems a little snide. Are you “slumming” on the internet or do you believe in rights for gays? One is a rather rude intrusion and the other is, or should be, a learning experience. I agree with you that DL can be very funny. There is much more to the conversation than that.