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VOLUME 115-----------JANUARY 2012



January 2, 2012

Just typed the date on the line above and hit 2-0-1-1.  If I follow my usual pattern, I'll still be doing that when 2012 is nearly over.

Our 2012 Hunter Education Class schedule has now been posted on the Hunter Education page.  Click the Hunter Education button to get the schedule and more information.

Christmas has come and gone, with memories of New Year's Eve parties fading away.  Most likely there are some who lost all memory while their party was in progress.

Our Washington family Christmas was celebrated as usual, with a supper featuring Ann's famous Chicken Bisque soup on Christmas Eve.  This was followed by gift opening and piles of wrapping scattered about the living room.  Here are some festive scenes from the evening.

Loot In Abundance

The Stockings Were Hung

Christi and Jennifer

Ann and Rick

The action then moved to the garage, where some other stuff was hidden.

Rick and I Unpacking a Big One

Ann Tearing Into Her New Golf Clubs

Jennifer and Her White Tiger PJ's

Ann joined a golf league last summer, so she needed all new equipment to match her newly honed skills as a result of playing regularly.

New Clubs and Cart

I bought a wood tool chest a few years ago to store the more delicate of my reloading paraphernalia, and loved the old fashioned look.  Ann ordered me the center section and bottom rolling cabinet to complete the ensemble.

Wood Cabinets for My Reloading Equipment

Christmas day was rather quiet, with the kids returning for the afternoon and evening.  We all gathered for more grub.  This time it was roast pork loin with mashed potatoes and gravy and all the trimmings.  (Is it any wonder people avoid scales for weeks after the holidays?)  Dinner was followed by a rousing game of Balderdash.  Rick won again, of course.

Little Heifer and I have spent the past several New Year's Eves here at the ranch house, in bed long before the new year chimed itself into existence.  This year we were cajoled into going to a party.  The Elk's Lodge has held a 'New York New Year's Eve' party for the past several years, where the ever aging Lodge membership could welcome the dawning of the new year on New York time.

Dick Wood, one of my fellow Lodge Trustees, purchased the head table for the New Year's party at one of our fundraisers a few weeks ago.  Since I was the 'Auctioneer' at that fundraiser, he had some ridiculous, unfounded claim that I coerced him into the purchase!  Whatever the reason, he and wife Kathy invited Ann and I to be their guests along with four other friends..

We had a great time, danced more than our feet were comfortable with, and concluded that there are advantages to partying from 5:30 to 10:00, and being safely home before all the revelers hit the streets and highways in the wee hours.  Thank you Dick and Kathy!

New Year's Day was also a traditional one here at the ranch.  Rick, Christi, and Jennifer were here for a prime rib dinner.  This year I cooked the prime rib roast on the new 'infrared' CharBroil grill.  Turned out OK, and the six pounder left plenty of leftovers for later.

The prime rib was accompanied by salad, twice baked potatoes, baked beans, corn, hot bread, and the obligatory black-eyed peas for good luck in the coming year.  This was all followed by raspberry pie with Cool Whip topping.  They managed to roll me to my recliner in the living room after dinner.

If you were thinking that you made it all the way through this newsletter without the mandatory soapbox stuff, you are wrong!

According to an Associated Press story dated December 22nd, ATF has served search warrants on several law enforcement officers with Sacramento area law enforcement agencies.  The investigation focuses on whether, "officers are selling weapons that are not available to the general public."

A little background:  California legislators passed a law in 1999 banning so called 'assault weapons.'  Any previously owned firearms that became illegal under the law were supposed to be 'registered.'  They could be kept, but could not legally change ownership within the state of California.

In 2001, law enforcement officers' organizations lobbied for, and the legislature passed, an exemption to the ban which would allow, "City police officers, county sheriff's deputies, California Highway Patrol officers, state game wardens, school police officers and other law enforcement personnel" to buy assault weapons with their own money.  The reasoning behind this move was to let officers buy weapons their departments could not afford as a way of keeping up with "Criminals increasing firepower."

But wait, California!  These so called 'assault weapons' were declared illegal if they weren't registered and owned by law abiding citizens!  Are you implying that the criminals these officers encounter have such assault weapons?  Furthermore, are you really so dumb as to think that declaring something to be illegal really deters criminals from such activity?

Now the issue is, 'Can the officers keep the guns when they retire?'  There is legislation being drafted, that would let retiring officers 're-register' the guns and keep them when their active career is over, even though they would be illegal in the hands of ordinary citizens.  This is in response to an opinion by Governor Jerry Brown when he was Attorney General, that said the guns could not be legally owned by an officer after retirement.  (The 2001 law is acknowledged to be ambiguous in that regard.)

Now back to the Sacramento search warrants.  This investigation will eventually play itself out, but did you note it is in the hands of the U. S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.  Ain't this the same outfit that gave us 'Operation Fast and Furious' which illegally provided guns to criminals in at least two countries?  Don't get me wrong.  I'm not blaming the field agents who do the actual investigative work, but it is becoming more and more clear that higher-ups in the justice department have their fingerprints all over ordering the moves that created this fiasco.

Another California story that hit the news last month concerned an ex-journalist named Steven Glass.   In the late 1990's Mr. Glass was a bright young star on the national stage in journalism, when it was discovered that his stories were being fabricated.  After disgrace and dismissal from the writing field, Mr. Glass attended law school at Georgetown University.

After obtaining his law degree, Glass passed the California bar exam in 2007.  The Committee of Bar Examiners rejected his application for an attorney's license because they judged him "morally unfit!"  Imagine that.  He was judged morally unfit to join the ranks of a group of lawyers, because he lied and wrote about it?  This is being played out in the courts with conflicting views as it has progressed up through the pecking order.

Only in California, folks; The state that passed over 700 new laws last year in an attempt to regulate their citizens' lives to a degree that they would be incapable of by themselves!

This month's hillbilly wisdom comes from a quote by H. Jackson Brown Jr.:

Inflation hasn't ruined everything.  A dime still can be used as a screwdriver.

Well, It's time to shut down here, So . . . .

'Til next time, Keep 'em shootin' straight, shoot 'em often, and above all, BE SAFE!!!!!

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