Tag : holidays

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Hunting in North Dakota and Thanksgiving in South

I had owed my brother a visit to the Dakotas to go pheasant hunting for about three years, so finally made good last year.

And after this post, I will be less than 12 months in arrears on blog posting. Which I get a lot of crap from from just about everyone I know. Constant criticism for my failure to update the blog with the breadth (and depth) of all the fantastic activities in which I take part almost constantly. I sicken even myself with my lassitude.

At any rate, my brother lives in SoDak, but his hunting property is in NoDak. It was like a three-hour drive or something along those lines. It’s apparently cold there in mid- to late-November.

My view on the ride up.

My view on the ride up.

What else? Not much else. When we stopped to get gas, I saw this old car.

2014-11-28 at 10-15-07

I guess that could’ve been plural. Then, my brother’s place where you walk around carrying a shotgun while watching a dog run around looks like this:

2014-11-28 at 11-05-55

So anyway. There were a lot of high weeds and the ground is covered in a thatch of old grass such that walking in it is akin to walking in soft sand. Somewhat taxing. Also, you kind of can’t keep you hands in your pockets while holding onto the shotgun, so you get to go through a fun freezing-numb-burning-okay again process with your exposed hands.

I didn’t catch anything. I think I only fired one or two shots at an actual pheasant (male, not female). I had a pretty good shot at a snowy owl, but I don’t think they’re good eating, even if the actual pilgrims did eat eagles at the first Thanksgiving. Which (probably) wasn’t even a feast of thanksgiving.

Drove back to SoDak for n+1th (n–1th?) Thanksgiving. Then back to NoDak for walking around in fields and following a dog. Then drove back to SoDak. Flight got canceled after I arrived at the airport. The flight the next day also got canceled. Then I got them to put me on a Delta flight, which didn’t get canceled, which, oddly, is the coolest thing United has done for me in the last several years.

After one of the cancellations, went to lunch and took this photo.

Which I like because of who the only person was that was courteous enough to look at and smile for the camera.

Which I like because of who the only person was that was courteous enough to look at and smile for the camera.

Then I flew back to OK and probably taught a class or something.


Happy Guy Fawkes Day, Marine Corps Birthday, *and* Veterans Day

Sorry, got way behind on my holidays. And still haven’t firmed up my Pearl Harbor Day plans. I gotta out-do last year. If that’s possible.


Happy V-J Day

One of the most compelling, uh, *things* (good word, bk!) I found to help understand the war experience was this PBS-compiled collection of WWII artwork (paintings, some sketches) completed by people who were actually there:

They Drew Fire

You couple this collection with some first-hand accounts and I think you’d probably be 80% of the way there (where “there” is as far as someone who wasn’t there can be to comprehending there).

Some relevant-to-the-holiday samples:

For full effect, though, view the whole series on the website. There’s sort of a cumulative thing that happens.


Happy Flag Day; 48 Stars = Older Glory

In case no one else has said it to you yet, Happy Flag Day. Thought this’d be as good a day as any to post a photo of one of my favorite recent acquisitions:

48-star USA Flag 1949

Got this last fall off of eBay. I still don’t get why you capitalize days of the week but not names of seasons. Another post. This was/is part of my WW2 life-as-homage project. Not sure if it’s just the yearning for a past that, due to its being over and done with, seems less problematic than the present or if it’s my yearning for a more symmetrical star-pattern (cuz brother, I *do* yearn for such) but I prefer this older flag to the current one. Seems truer.

For the bored and curious, here’s the box it came in:

Flag Box

Worryingly, the flag on the box has 50 stars, which makes it tough to date my flag. I’m guessing it must’ve come out right around the same time Hawaii was admitted. Or else this isn’t the original box.

I love the “Be American” admonition — talk about coming from a less-convoluted time period. Further, there are no warnings about what the manufacturer does or does not recommend users do with the flag (“not for internal use”, “keep flag away from open flame as it may catch fire”, “avoid jabbing flag into eyes”, “use only under adult supervision”, “flag may not be valid in all states”). I can only imagine what a mess the 1959 court system must have been without such CYA messages on all consumer packaging. Also appreciated is the box’s failure to tout a cross-promotion with NASCAR and/or the Disney Channel.

It seems like, in the modern day, individuals should have the choice to live a 1940s-style life if they so choose. We know what it was like back then — am I the only person out there who’d enjoy spending a week’s vacation in 1946?




Happy VE Day

So I got another two hours left for this headline to remain valid. May 8th, Victory in Europe Day. Hope yours was a happy one.

In the spirit of the day:

  • Favorite WWII European Theater of Operations Book: Up Front, Bill Mauldin
  • Favorite WWII ETO Movie: The Great Escape or Das Boot
  • Favorite WWII ETO Airplane: P-51
  • Favorite WWII ETO Video Game: Call of Duty 2
  • Favorite WWII ETO Brand Identity: Free France
  • Favorite WWII ETO Animal: Voytek the Polish soldier bear

Also, since we’re on it, my vote for the grimmest WWII ETO location –> Mittelbau Dora. If you’re ever in the area and you’re up for it, it’s worth the visit.


New Year, New Robot Friend

Look at him go!:



  • My carpets get reasonably vacuumed without me doing anything beyond pressing a button.
  • Doesn’t try to talk to the TV.
  • Finds corners I didn’t think it could find.
  • Quietest vacuum cleaner I’ve ever heard.
  • Doesn’t break when it hits a wall.
  • Has a gentle soul.


  • Seems aloof, doesn’t respond if called.
  • Does not dance or sing on command.
  • Doesn’t remember where walls are.
  • Goes off in odd directions for no apparent reason; can be frustrating to watch.
  • Won’t clean toilets.

This is one of the best gadgets I’ve ever bought. It, like, vacuums floors without me having to do anything. I’m going from vacuuming once a year (that’s not a joke) to doing it a couple times a week. I mean, you know, “doing” it.