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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.

Being back in Utah for a visit…

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I’ve been looking for suitable jobs for me in Utah, as my family would like to move back.  They are Utah at heart.  And I have to admit, I’ve enjoyed visiting again, very much.

Hanging out with Steve Ting again was awesome.   We went to Sean’s Smokehouse BBQ and then to a sporting goods store – Sheels.  Impressive place.   Sean’s Smokehouse – that place is awesome.  The food is GOOD BBQ.  And I’m picky.  Everything I sampled was excellent.   But more importantly, Sean’s supports the RKBA, as evidenced by the decor:

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They have a Hot Wings challenge that I will, one day, defeat.   Great food, did I mention that?  The place is awesome.   Look it up and check it out.

I’ve got a lot of friends here that I would love to go shooting with again… I did get a chance to go shoot some Prairie Dogs with Ben Thompson.  Which was very good and therapeutic.   But to be honest, I just didn’t feel the blood thirst that I used to.  But a couple really good pops with the .17 HMR was satisfying.

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I think I would really love to move back to Utah’s Wasatch Front area.  Probably on the southern side of it.  I tell you what though… Cafe Rio.  Utah has a TREASURE in Cafe Rio.  Chipolte is popular and common – but not nearly as good.  Cafe Rio smokes Chipolte and all the other places like it.  Chipolte’s is good… but the flavors tastes off in comparison.    So you Utahn’s or those that live near one – ENJOY it.  Savor it.  Seriously.  I could go there every other day.

The traffic is bad… but honestly, after dealing with Atlanta’s traffic, Utah’s worse isn’t really all that bad.  Except for Draper.  Draper Utah is just… Retarded.  No where else the NO EYE CONTACT GETS THE RIGHT OF WAY rule is in such effect.  That and you can’t make Left Turns where you need to, but you can make U-Turns where you don’t.   Draper is the model of Bad City Planning.

Vernal has grown and changed in some places and has stayed exactly the same in others.  Basin Sports is still THE place in Utah to buy your guns and gun related products.  But there is no way I could go back and work there again.

 

Things I’m tired of seeing…

scifidoorB18.jpgb3be5c9d-3a99-4b08-93c7-d498e457ca61Larger1. Complicated Doors.
Doesn’t matter if it’s Ancient, Magic, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Alien, Vampires or whatever – the door to something important or even not important… is a complicated fecking mechanism of some sort that opens from the center with improbably numerous pieces and parts that have to move out of the way to unlock and thus allow the door parts to move away in any number of interesting and complicated ways.    Or barring that, they are just Ginsu Blade Fast and Scary… How come they can’t just be freaking doors?  What’s wrong with a regular damn door?  I bet if there really were Aliens out there, interior doors in their homes would be simple doors or maybe a bead-curtain. Not some mechanical device that rivals the workings of a Swiss Watch.  Because Aliens wouldn’t have a Complicated Door Fetish.  They would probably want efficiency… like a latch on one side and a couple sturdy hinges on the other.  The alternative to the Complicated Door is the massively oversized door out of impossibly heavy material and construction.   If the movie is really trying to hard, you will have a Massively Oversized Overly Complicated Door.

2. Crouching Slides that tear up the floor.
Any Boss-Fight anymore has this.  The Hero gets knocked back, but instead of sprawling like he just got smacked down, he slides away from the adversary in a Hero-Crouch Pose that’s solid as a rock, and as he’s sliding, he’s ripping up the ground.  Concrete, Marble, Tiled Floor – whatever it is – it’s getting ripped up in that power-slide.

2.5.  Exaggerated Action Crouching.
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3. Oversized Bladed Weapons.
ikkicon20This was once just Anime stuff, but it’s starting to pop up in other places – such as Tom Cruise’s new Sci-Fi remake of Groundhog Day.  The Hero Chick had a Sword worthy of a Japanese Cartoon.  Let’s leave them in Japanese Cartoons.

4.  Massive Collateral Damage to Private or Civic Property.
Superman.  Batman.  Pacific Rim.  Star Trek.  Avengers.  Lately it’s not safe to park a car or be in a building or even just in a city where a Super Hero is.  Because he’s going to use it like a Wiffleball Bat or get slammed through it like a missile, or he’ll just throw it.  Whatever it is you have – screw it.  It’s Collateral Damage in the great war against evil.  Geico doesn’t have Giant Monster/Hero policies… but maybe they should.  Because The Man Of Steel doesn’t give a damn you just dropped ink on a 450 dollar a month Car Note for that new Mercedes.   Hero is going to use it to smack the Bad Guy into your Office Building and then toss your sweet new ride you have a 72 Month Loan on.

Politically Guilty Pleasures

10371395_10203158152608078_9202795256193388648_nHad an interesting conversation with Mark Walters that made me think.  He was cranking some music from Cracker and piloting his CamAARo down the freeway.  We talked briefly about music and he saw that I had some Rage Against The Machine in my play list.   Mark went off.  He will not have RATM playing in his ride… just like he wont listen to a lot of other Leftist musicians, (Bruce Springsteen) or watch movies staring well known Super Liberals like Sean Penn, among others.   Yet he did make the exception for  John Cougar Mellencamp, a known Liberal supporter.  We all make our lines in the sand and make our exceptions for whatever our reasons… and that’s all fine.

While I disagree with RATM politically, I have to say the group has some talent and can really jam.  The music gets me pumped.  Gah… Man… Hold on… I gotta knock out 20 pushups…

Okay, what about film… The actor that played Hawkeye in the series, “MASH”.  Alan Alda.  You know him.  I disagree with Alan a lot, but I still like him.  He’s a humanist and has very well reasoned excuses for his wrong opinions… but he’s thought about them and believes them on a (flawed) intellectual level.  I can respect that.  And I respectfully disagree… So while he’s a big time Liberal – I still enjoy his performances.

Sean Penn though – I almost walked out of the movie “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” when I realized that Sean Penn was in it.   But then I stayed because he at least didn’t speak.  (Maybe he did, but I didn’t hear him) Doesnt matter.  He wasn’t really in it.  Just a couple seconds worth of Cameo here and there.  Anyways… I dislike Sean Penn and can’t watch really anything he’s in.   Because pretty much I don’t care for anything he’s in.   It’s not like he’s in Expendables 4 or Terminator 5… so he’s easy to pass on.

But what music or movies are your politically excused guilty pleasures?

A small USA made Device

zippoA small mechanical device that I really like is an Iconic Made in America institution… the classic Zippo wind proof lighter.
Its so simple it’s elegant.   I have to admit a fascination with them.
The company started back during the Great Depression, supplied our troops during WWII, and is still making the same design.   It’s an American success story.  I think its something that every gun owner can appreciate.
If you are unfamiliar with the Zippo Wind Proof Lighter.  Go get one.
I carry one all the time or at least keep one in my car.  Its my good luck charm.

Guns & Ammo and Sportsman’s Channel

This report pissed me off.  I grew up reading Guns & Ammo.  Jeff Cooper and a lot of the prior generation writers were guys I looked up to in the Gun Community.  I wanted to live like how those guys lived.    So when I read this report I was filled disappointment and anger and a feeling of betrayal.
Okay, maybe not betrayal… G&A has had some pretty crappy reviews the last… Oh I don’t know… 10 years or so?  They’ve been taking the pigs to the lipstick for awhile.

Now, last year Dick Metcalf came out in support of gun restrictions.  Did so in an article that was published and the readers quickly raised a ruckus about it, and Dick was rather quickly fired.  Many people question why or how G & A went and published that.  This explains that.  This also explains why Dick felt perfectly confident writing that.  And then not apologizing for it, and in fact, insultingly, doubled down on his statements.   I bet Dick was rather shocked he was let go.  This was worse than Recoil Magazine’s SNAFU, because Recoil apologized and made efforts to Un-FUBAR themselves.    G & A pretty much just “we’re sorry you were upset” and brushed it off.  Sure, they let Dick go… but they were obviously not sorry about this.  They were only sorry people got upset.

Well, G & A and Sportsman’s Channel being in bed with the likes of George Soros… SCREW THEM.  I will never look at G & A or Sportsman’s again.

 

Slumping Gun Sales?

In an article about slumping gun sales over at TTAGs, Dicks blames the political environment.

Allow me to retort.  Gun Sales may have slowed down overall… that is true.  The reason is not a lack of desire for new guns.  It’s a lack of liquid money in the hands of consumers.  Let’s be honest.  With Obama care and that economic stranglehold, compounded with cutbacks and rising gas prices… it’s tough to justify spending the extra green.  Now let’s add the fact that a lot of the popular guns use ammo that’s hard to find as well… Lots of factors go into an overall slump in gun sales.

But let’s look at Dick’s Sporting Goods specifically.  What could cause them to have lower sales compared to other gun stores?

I’ve been in several Dick’s stores between here in Richmond, VA for various reasons.  I always wander over to the gun counter to take a look.  What I see are the usual suspects of the common hunting guns… A couple Rugers, Remingtons, and a Marlins… A few shotguns.  Nothing interesting.  No MSR’s to speak of.  No handguns, which over the last few years have been the sales leaders.  Concealed Carry is the biggest sales segment and Dick’s is having none of that.   MSR’s have also been sales leaders and Dick’s doesn’t want to sell those in their stores.  So the #1 Rifle in America, they are too good for, so they are getting none of those sales.   Ammo selection was almost nonexistent, as was the Counter Help at the Gun Department.   And then when you could find someone to show you a gun, the person was an asshole that seemed to be put out that you were bothering him/her.   Never before has a Store ever been so well named.    Dick’s has slumping gun sales because they are not serious about being in the gun sales business.   They are more worried about Crossfit and Sports.  And that’s fine… The Gun Industry doesn’t need a store like Dick’s if their attitude is that of negligence and disrespect.

Message to Joe Schmidt, Dick’s COO:   Now, Dick’s could get back into the game.  And it wouldn’t take a lot of effort… but it would take a few new good people in the right places who can make Gun Department decisions separate from rest of Dick’s Corporate Structure.   They need some serious Gun Guys at Dick’s.   And they don’t have that.  Dick’s is wearing the shoes they laced up by their own choice.   Joe, contact me and we can talk about how to fix this.

Open Carry Activists.

Congratulations to the Open Carry Activists in Texas.   You got the rest of us all shut out of Chipolte like you wanted.

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That is what you wanted, right?  Because, I mean, you guys did see what happened with Starbucks, right?  So getting us shunned at one of our favorite Burrito joints had to have been your goal.  Couldn’t you have picked a place we didn’t like to hold your Activism at?  Like Panera Bread, Checkers, Dairy Queen

Seriously, you guys packing the AR-15’s everywhere… You are ruining Open Carry for Everyone.   The guys that insist Open Carry means they can walk around with AR-15’s and not cause problems – are causing problems. You guys are turning open carry into a 2nd Amendment Gay Rights Parade. Something no one cares about – but you throw it everyone’s faces and dare people to say something. I don’t care if you are gay… But Chaps and a Thong is not dignified attire to be out in public in. Same with an AR-15 Rifle. This isn’t Israel. This isn’t Baghdad. And you are not a PMC Contractor… What you are is an insensitive jerk throwing your rights in people’s faces at the expense of everyone else’s. That’s not the Libertarian Way. 

You guys are not helping.

We want to make Open Carry a normal thing.  And within the gun rights community there is enough people who are actually advocating against OC, giving preference to Concealed Carry Only.   Me, I advocate “Carry”.  Open or Concealed, you are talking about the condition of your Shirt Tails, not the guns… but that’s not the question here.  That’s not the problem.  The problem is you Clownshoes who think you need to walk into the diner with a rifle.     You guys are going to bring down a lot more heat on the 2nd Amendment as a whole rather than get the Middle Ground Folks to come over to our side.   “Oh those guys in the Booney Hats and Shorts with the Scary Rifles… Those were Nice Guys!  I want to be like them!”   No, that’s not going to happen.  Instead you are going to turn those people who don’t mind guns – into people voting against guns.

If you gotta have your Rifle with you when you eat out – Go through the Drive Through!

Look, I’ve OC’d long guns many times.  I’ve slung Tactical Shotguns, AR’s, PSL’s, a Sterling SMG, and rode through town on motorcycles.   But the one thing I never did was was stop and go into a place of business with it, because I knew that even in rural high desert Utah, that was just not acceptable.  Even while “Perfectly Legal” it’s just not acceptable behavior.  Much like wearing a thong and twerking out on Main Street…. Sure, it’s legal.  But it’s also not acceptable behavior.

Hollywood Should…

The title of this post was going to be What Hollywood should make instead of doing Remakes, but that was long and awkward.   Moving on:   Here’s my list of Movies that need to be made.  If Hollywood isn’t making a Remake, it’s pulling books from the Teen Age Girl section at the book store.  And that’s fine… for Teenage Girls.   What about us Blokes?  Us guys that want something made fresh.  What do we get?  214 different reboots of Comic Books, Giant Monsters, and Giant Robots… I want something NEW on the screen… Because there are a lot of fun books out there that would make awesome movies.
Also – this is a list of freaking awesome books that if you have NOT read – You need to because you are missing out.  Read the books or get the Audio Book.  But take this stuff in and glory in the majesty.

1.  Monster Hunter International, by Larry Freaking International Lord of Hate Correia.   And all the follow on MHI books.  One good solid movie for each book.  The director should be Guillermo del Toro.  Casting choices can be argued in the comments.

2.  The Iron Druid Chronicles, by Kevin Hearne.  One of my favorite series of books, written by someone I don’t know.  They are wonderfully clever, funny, daring, and truly very interesting books that hold my attention cover to cover.  The Director for this… Maybe Wes Anderson, because of the quirkiness factor.

3.  Grimnoir Chronicals, by LFILOHC.  The three books in the GC series are epic.   They have tenderness in parts, and loads of action, iconic characters, and they have a solid universe… world building is important here.   I think the Coen Brothers for this… they could really add the gritty texture these movies would need, and give it that edgy feel.  Again, each book it’s own movie to be released 2 months apart.  None of that year long wait.

4.  Dead Six, by Mike Kupari and LFILOHC.  Both books.  The action and pacing of these books needs a Director that can keep up.  Now, I know who you guys would probably go to on this… But I’m thinking it needs some more flair than that to do these Characters justice.  I want the physical action to really blow you away.  I’m thinking Ridley Scott is the man for that.

5.  The Uprising Saga, by George H Hill.  Uprising Italia by Zach Hill as well as the other books coming by other authors.   I’d like to say Michael Mann or some other ultra realistic director to get that jaw dropping gritty reality, but no.  That’s not right.  Because Uprising is literary junk food that should not be taken too seriously…  Quentin Tarantino.  If Dead Six is a perfectly grilled Porterhouse, then Uprising is a Microwaved Hot Pocket and a Mountain Dew Kickstarter to wash it down.  It’s what Walking Dead SHOULD HAVE BEEN.  And by the way, I think someone at AMC read Uprising… A Governor that takes over things with an eyepatch?  Really?    (Just kidding, I know the comic book predates Uprising…. but still)

6.  Armor by John Steakley.  Since we are talking about new films and not remakes… there’s no hope of a reboot of Starship Troopers.  This is like the same thing but from a different perspective.   James Cameron can do the alien world and military might better than anyone in sci-fi.

7.  Old Man’s War by John Scalzi.  This book is probably more special to me than it should be…. but it really resonated with me.  From a movie making standpoint – this movie would be impossible without the right director.  J.J. Abrams made me like Star Trek.  If he can do that, he can do this.

8.  At the Mountains of Madness, by HP Lovecraft.  Directed by Guillermo del Toro.  The movie Guillermo has been wanting to make… Let him do it!  If anyone does this movie… it should be Guillermo.  No one else can do it justice.  For God’s sake not Tim Burton…

Other books I want to see on the screen…  The Stars my Destination, American Gods, Redshirts, and The Horus Heresy series.

What do you want to see made and who should direct it or be in it?  Also, what do you think of my picks and who should be cast?