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Scary Season.

Omen_ver4October is coming.  The Month of Scary Movies is almost here.  Time to turn the lights off and pull the blanket up to your chin.

The problem is what horror movie to watch?

I’ve not seen a really good new scary movie in a long time.   Some start out good, or at least interesting, and then go straight to “Pants on the Head Retarded”.

I hate jump scares.  If you are a Director, and you have to use them, you suck.  You suck, your script writer sucks, your producers suck.
Found Footage and Documentary type horrors are the worst.  They are as Cliche as the “It was all just a dream” dodge.  It was unique at one time, with the Blair Witch Project and now it’s just a crutch for the unimaginative.

Hollywood is all about doing Remakes… Either remaking older films, or remaking foreign films.  You know what?  If you are going to do a Docu-Footage Horror, don’t.  Do a Remake.  Because with as little artistic credibility as you are going to have, might as well emulate something actually good.

And if you do a Remake… I’m still going to hate you.   Hack.

So what movies are we going to watch this month?   I suggest the old classics.  Black and White.  My top pick?  The Omen.

 

 

 

Build the Want

You’ve got to look at the firearms like how Hooter’s uses their lovely girls. The girls are what brings the guys in, they are not making any money from the girls themselves. Stay with me here. You have a store full of Merch. For most Gun Stores most everything else in that store is a higher Margin item than most every gun you have in inventory.

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Some thoughts…

I’ve really come back to my true handgunning loves…. Hammer Fired Guns with Metal Frames.  1911’s specifically, followed by SIG’s, Beretta’s, CZ’s, and those funky 3rd Gen S&W slab-fisted automatics life the 5906 and 4506 and 1066.   There is just something about them.  Now, the 1911 famously being the stand out Single Action.  It takes the grown for being ruggedly handsome.  If it was an actor in a leading role, it’s character would have 5:00 Shadow and 6:00 AM.

The 1911 remains the pistol of choice for a great many Pistol Aficionados.   It’s just so very good at so many things.  I still distrust 1911’s with barrels shorter than 4″, but that’s a whole other conversation.

Revolvers also fall under the Hammer Fired, Metal Framed catagory.  Interestingly, my attention has been on guns patterned on the Single Action Army, but slightly more modern.  Ruger Blackhawks, and even Colt’s New Frontier.    And with these guns, I’m more interested in the ones with barrels shorter than 5″.  4″ is ideal, I do believe.

I’ve been tinkering a lot on my guns as of late.   Playing the Kitchen Table Gunsmith.  Re-learning a great many things that I had forgotten or have not bothered with in decades.   You can really screw things up doing this.  Especially when, like me, you know just enough to get yourself in a mess of trouble.  Luckily I’ve avoided such troubles and have really pushed the limits of my skills.  The results are simply that my guns are slick and seem to be functioning better than ever.  The one thing I have never forgotten.   Take. Your. Time.  Don’t rush anything you do when you take a gun apart.  Take your time and think everything through.  Every part, pin and spring.

This new Brad Pitt movie coming out has me on edge – I can’t wait to see it.  It’s called “Fury”.  It’s a WWII Tank movie.  The only other one I can think of is Kelly’s Heroes.  (Not just a weird kinda sandwich)  Evidently it’s staring a real and actual German Tiger tank… the last one.  That’s just too freaking awesome.  The Tiger was truly full on beastly.  It’s a good thing the Germans didn’t have them in the same numbers that we had our Shermans.  Hmmm… I wonder if other nations think the same thing about our M1 Abrams tanks?

I heard on the news that an American was just killed in Syria, while fighting FOR the group known as ISIS.  My response was “Good!”  Then the report mention that the Government’s response was to issue a Travel Advisory about American’s going to Syria.  Nothing about Americans fighting along side terrorist assholes… Which evidently is fine, just don’t fly into Syria to do it.

Robin Williams’ death.  The thing that gets me about Robin Williams suicide – was all the good work he did for sick kids and all the good work he did for the troops.  He was liberal, sure, but he was a humanitarian first and foremost.   I’m just disappointed he pulled his own plug when he could have been the next Bob Hope with the USO… he could have been doing so much more with those kids.  And then is struck me.  What would people say about us like that?  What potential do other people see in us that they never tell us?   Suicide is a symptom of a very low, very negative sense of Self Worth.  This is why so many of our Service men and women choose to kill themselves.   And not just Veterans… look at the problems with Teenagers.

So I want to help that.  This Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS… Yeah, that’s all fine and all.  I did it.  So if I did it, you know it’s jumped the shark.  So I have a new challenge.   If you know someone who you think might be feeling down… Boost them up.  Tell them the potential that you see in them and help them reach that.   Warm their hearts with Self Confidence and don’t throw ice water on their spirits.

 

Lawn Mower Rant

North Carolina is blessed with awesome growing weather.   You can grow a lawn on your roof here.  The perfect blend of Rain and Sun and optimal growing temperatures for like 10 months in the year.
This means a lot of lawn mowing.  For some, this is a source of great pride and satisfaction.

For me it’s a bloody curse.  For one, I’m allergic to cut grass.  I’m fine around grass, until it starts getting mowed and whatever the feck it is that comes out of it just about kills me.  Watery, red, puffy eyes, and nose that wont stop running.  So for me, when I start cutting grass, I want it done fast and thorough and none of that bagging crap.  I like a Mower and Mulcher in one.  Know what I mean?   This isn’t much to ask for, is it?  Evidently it is.  Because in the last 5 months I’ve gone through 3 mowers.  This last one, did only half the yard before it just went belly up.  Sure it’s used, but before it started on my lawn we had it serviced.  Cleaned out, fresh oil and filter and a new spark plug.  Tuned up.   Ran like a champ…. In the front yard.  And then the Mower must have looked in the back yard because it just said “Screw this” and shut down.   It will start… and it will run… for about 5 seconds max.  Just like the last two.  Even after getting them professionally serviced.  Even had a new carb on one of them.

All three had one thing in common.   MURRAY.

I’ve come to the conclusion that Murray Lawn Mowers really and truly suck.   They are the Phoenix Arms of Lawn Mowers.   Fine when brand new but a couple boxes of ammo through it and they fall apart.  I will never deal with another one for the rest of my life.   I’ll never deal with another Phoenix – or MURRAY ever again.  Life is TOO SHORT.

 

Longmire on A&E

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THIS.

For some reason, this show just captured my attention.   It’s kind of like a more dramatic Jesse Stone series, set in the West.  The hero of the show is a full sized Ford Bronco… I mean, a Sheriff named Longmire.  He’s not a perfect guy… the classic flawed hero thing.  What’s cool about it, is that it would be too easy to channel John Wayne or Clint Eastwood for the role of a Western Cowboy Sheriff type.   But he’s not doing that.  He’s just a guy that’s holding down his job.  He makes mistakes, but handles his problems the best he can.  He carries a Colt 1911 and a Winchester 94.  He’s a most interesting leading character because of his faults.

Here’s another reason to watch Longmire.
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Katee Sackoff plays a Deputy.  She’s come a long way and really shows her acting talent, especially in the most recent episode.  If you didn’t like her before – you will in this show.   She’s a very good actress.  Surprisingly so.  We remember her from the cocky spaceship pilot in Battlestar Galactica.  Here, she plays a character of far more depth.  She has a list of problems as well, to the point her character should be unlikable… but she is.  Because Katee’s acting makes her believable.   Which is good because not all of the things in the show are believable… because they do throw in a measure of Western Lore Fantasy in there for fun… But overall I think one can relate more to this show than “Justified”… the only other cowboy hat lawman show I know of.

You see a good mix of drama and action… character development and personality conflicts.   Overall, it’s a great show.   I like it a lot.

This Great Nation

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It’s good to be back home.   July was a month spent on the road.  June 30th I pulled out of North Carolina and headed west.  I basically made a loop between here and Utah via I-70 and I-80, up to Rochester New York and then back down to home.   I went through a lot of states and stopped to talk with a lot of good folks along the way.   And I learned a few things.

FACT:  AMERICA is AWESOME.
At none of the border crossings was I stopped and asked for papers or travel permits.  I just got in my car, and drove.  A lot.  Freedom.

FACT:  AMERICA’s Colors are Red White and Blue.
I was pleased to find that even in more “Liberal” areas, people are Patriotic and we love our Nation.  I saw the American flag flying in every State.   I saw it on the backs of trucks and cars.  Proudly over businesses.   And I even saw it inked as a few tattoos.

FACT:   AMERICA has a pathetic Government.
Everywhere I went, Americans have a great love for our Nation, but none for our Government.  Obama is just not popular at all anywhere I travelled…   No where did I hear anything about Skin Color.  It’s all about Policy and no one I talked to had anything good to say about it.

FACT:  AMERICA is BEAUTIFUL.   Even crossing Kansas and Nebraska – two states that normally cause me to flail simply due to the expanse of them… I have to say I found stunning beauty in them on this trip.   Tennessee was breathtaking.   Looking at the expanse of the Great Lakes.  The absolute majesty of the Rocky Mountains.    American is Gorgeous.   PA really surprised me with it’s soft hills and wide fields… beautiful little towns.   Western side of New York is even beautiful.   The Niagara Falls would have been more so if it wasn’t so bloody commercialized.   I’d have loved to have seen it 50 years ago.

Overall, America is one amazing Nation.  And I truly love it.  And I know I am not the only one, who would stand proudly in it’s defense.  I only find it mournful that it’s our Government that we need to defend against.   Bureaucrats with their Policies… CANCER!   And not just on the Federal Level, but on the State and Local.   We need to keep an eye on them.

Spiritual Journey

As you guys know, I’m a Mormon.  I’ve said before that you guys should not look at me as an example of what a Mormon is, as I am not a very good one.   I’m trying to be better.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has always been a part of my life – even when I’ve not been active.  Even when I was far from Active I’ve always had a testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I believe in God.  I believe Jesus was the Son of God.  I also believe when Jesus said in The Bible, in John 10:16:

And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

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I believe he was talking about the people in the Americas, and that Jesus visited these people.   I believe The Book Of Mormon is a record of these people.

The LDS Church started out in Palmyra, NY.  This is where I am right now as I write this.  When I went out to Utah to visit family there and attend a wedding… we decided we wanted to back-track the Mormon Trail.  We went across Nebraska, and stopped at Winter Quarters.  We went from there to Nauvoo, where my wife and I went through the Temple there.  We took my boys to the blacksmith shop there in Nauvoo where John Browning did Blacksmithing and Gunsmithing.  John Browning was the Father of John Moses Browning, the father of Modern Small Arms.  (I am a descendant of Browning through the Stark line)  I wanted to give the Tour Guide a Tour… his illuminations on Browning was filled with incorrectness… but that’s beside the point.  The point is I and We have connection with Nauvoo that’s tangible.  At the Pageant there was a number of Scottish Bagpipers and drummers.  Listening to them stirred my soul.  My wife and I loved it so much… So did my boys.
From Nauvoo, we came to Palmyra and toured the Joseph Smith farm, the sacred grove, and of course the Hill Cumorah pageant.   The sacred grove is an amazing place.  It feels truly sacred in the same way it feels in the Temple.  It’s like an outdoor temple.   There’s a reverence that one should hold there.  It’s not for rowdy kids and loud voices… normal tourists with normal tourist behavior should not go there.   But if one can be respectful… then it’s worth the trip.  Because you can feel the sacred nature of the place.  It was tangible.   I know a lot of people that would do well to spend some time there.

This Journey was a special thing for me… to really get back in touch with LDS History… With MY history.  Because my History is LDS History.  And I am proud of that.   I’ve never denied that and I have never denied the Church.  Though I have had many issues with people in it.   Which is the main reason for past inactivity.

But then a fellow said something to me.  Travis, my Manager at Basin Sports, said “If someone is between you and God… Who’s closer?”  I dismissed the statement as soon as he finished saying it… but it didn’t go away.  It gnawed at me.  It haunted me.  Because it’s Truth.   With a great many implications that are not easy to deal with.  Statements like that are always easy to say but hard to swallow.    Getting back into the Church as an active member after being inactive for so long is… kinda like quitting smoking.   It sounds easy as if it’s just a choice… but it gnaws on your mind… the habits.  The thoughtless ritual of things that go into Smoking and make it difficult to stop.   Same with being inactive.   But I think this journey has really helped me.

I don’t preach on MadOgre.com.   And I don’t argue religion here either.  I will not Bible Bash on the Internet.  (ThoughI have and will Bible Bash in person, face to face.  I was a Missionary for my Church once.)  I only ask that you Respect my Faith as I Respect yours.  Capital R on Respect for a reason.  Capital F for Faith for the same reason.    Mutual Respect is important for civil conversation.   If you disagree with Mormon Doctrine, that is your choice.  If you want to talk about Mormon Doctrine, that’s fine too.  I will send a couple Missionaries to meet with you to discuss those things with you.   However if you want to pull out your Anti-Mormon biggotry and hate – I’ll just delete it with a simple click of the mouse.  Because I’ve heard it all before.  You will not say anything new or interesting or bring up matters that I’ve not considered before.   So don’t waste your time posting it, only to have me delete it offhand.  The LDS Church has asked us not to engage the protestors that stand outside of our Conference Hall and Temples and here at the Hill Cumorah Pageant.  So I walk by them…  I don’t have to put up with it here.  It’s not that I don’t like those people… I support anyone’s right to Free Speech.   But it’s just that I really really want to punch those guys right in their teeth.  I have to actively keep myself from throwing them a savage beating.  You see, I am still not a good Mormon… my instinct is to wreck them instead of forgive them.   Break them instead of bless them.   I have to Try Hard to not hurt them…  I fear that one day I will not try hard enough and one of those guys will get knocked to the dirt with a broken jaw.   Of course I know that such action is playing into their hand… They are like Palestinians.  Knowing that helps keep me from actually lashing out.    But they do so offend me.  The people in Nauvoo and Palmyra… the Non-Members who drove the Mormons out of their homes and businesses in the past are now profiting from Mormons who come back to visit…. Hotels and Cafes and everything else… They are making fortunes now, because of Mormons.   They once Tarred and Feathered us… Literally brought out the Torches and Pitchforks…   Now they roll out the welcome mats because of all the money that floods into the communities…

Anyways…

This journey has made me want to be a better Mormon.  It’s strengthened me and my faith.   It’s been a good thing.