Shootin' the Breeze

and random targets

Archive for the month “August, 2014”

Mentoring Manliness

cowboy eating icecream

My wife has recently hinted that I am not in touch with my sensitive side. She recounted two recent events. I do not get her point. See if you do.

We were out to dinner with another couple last Saturday night. We were talking about the other couple moving to another home.

The husband addressed me and said, “I hope you won’t think less of me, but I cried when we left that house.”

Apparently, he wondered whether I understood how he felt. I do understand his sadness at leaving that beloved home. What I do not understand is why he would admit to me that he cried. T.M.I. — Too much information!

I was about to mentor him a bit concerning the inadvisability of sharing his emotions when Sugar squeezed my leg under the table. She can read my mind. So, I shifted to a different take on the topic.

“You wept?” I asked.

“Like a baby,” the man confessed.

“Well, the shortest verse in the Bible is: ‘Jesus wept.'” I thought that would comfort him as well as display my knowledge of Bible trivia. Then I changed the subject.

“Did you see Peyton Manning headbutt that Houston linebacker who put Wes Welker out of the game with another concussion? That sent a message. His teammates love that leadership even with a 15 yard penalty for taunting an opposing player! I loved it!” Now we were on a subject I could enjoy. There is, as you should know, no crying in football. Baseball either.

Today we were at The Forks getting ice cream. More specifically, I was getting a cone. Miss Sugar refrained. She is careful to maintain her figure as my hot trophy wife. The lady behind the counter knows us as frequent customers. She too calls Sugar my hot trophy wife.

“Are you here for your regular — Jack Daniels chip in a waffle cone?” She already knew the answer.

“And what will your hot trophy wife have?”

Sugar answered for herself. “I would not be a hot trophy wife if I ate too many of those, so I better pass.”

Two bearded young men were waiting in line. One of them asked about Jack Daniels chip. I guess he wanted to emulate me. I respect that.

I told him that I recommend it. I teased that sometimes sissies order mint chip or even caramel sea salt. We smiled at each other knowingly.

I said to his buddy, “I apologize for denigrating those who choose other than Jack Daniels, but it looks like you two are seeking guidance about the ways of the world.”

Sugar watched their puzzled faces. Helpfully, she instructed, “Denigrate means to put down.”

We went outside to sit on the porch swing as I ate my cone and Sugar watched me eat my cone with adoring eyes. In hindsight, I regret not offering her a lick.

We then walked to our vehicle, which was parked next to a Nature Conservancy pickup, and in the pickup were the two young bearded men.

“How do you like the Jack Daniels chip?” I asked the rugged man in the driver’s seat.

He could not meet my eyes. Sheepishly, he said, “I was hoping that you would not see me eating my cone here in the truck.”

“What, pray tell, did you get?” I tried to not look judgmental.

“I got cookie dough ice cream.”

The silence was uncomfortable.

The young man in the passenger seat broke the tension.

“I got Jack Daniels,” he cheerfully reported.

What a fine young man! He gets it.

ice cream


This catchy title is not about living in Colorado where pot is legal.

The Stoning of Soraya M. is a movie about a story of an Islamic woman who is stoned to death as the penalty for adultery, despite her innocence. It was naturally painful physically for her to be pelted with hard stones until her injuries were fatal, but the emotional pain must have been even greater because her sons, her husband, and her father threw the first stones. She died knowing they had turned on her. Rather than protecting her, they joined in. They even led the way. They followed protocol.

You might identify with Soraya if you have had the experience of your own family punishing you unjustly rather than supporting you and protecting you.

It is painful when a stranger or enemy attacks you, but much more painful when the stones are thrown by family members whom you believed loved you.

Poor Soraya watched the rocks coming toward her, knowing who threw them and knowing that they intended to harm her.

The stone cold hard truth is that this does not feel like love. It does not look like love. It is not love.

Pasture Protectors

While I was in Cheyenne having breakfast with my cousin, Tom, Miss Sugar went out to catch a horse in our pasture. We have a good system — if you catch one horse, the others follow. Instead of me helping her, she had plenty of other companions — two yellow labs and a cat. Simba and Beau

Yes, one of our cats, Camo, likes to go on hikes with us. He also helps me get the horses. Sometimes they are a mile away. One of the horses, Woody, is interested in cats. He puts his head down by them and follows them. I worry that Woody might trample one, but so far that has not happened.
woody and cat

Beau, the male Lab, and Sadie, are more likely companions. It turns out that it was good they went along. Beau anyway.

Sugar told me when I got home that as she went through the gate between the small pasture into the big pasture, something stealthily came out of the tall grass. It was a coyote. It swiftly charged to within four feet of Sugar, which was very alarming, of course. Camo was walking close to Sugar’s legs and was likely the target of the coyote, who wanted to snatch the cat and run off with it. That was a frightening moment for Sugar and Camo, but there was no need to worry because the heroes were there to save the day.

Who are the heroes? Beau and Woody!

Sugar described that Beau quickly sized up the situation and ran to the rescue. The coyote had to decide whether to continue toward the cat and Sugar, or head for the hills. It chose to head for the hills, or, actually, for the trees by the river.

It did not get far into its retreat when Beau caught up and bit it on its hindquarters. It yelped and kept going. Sugar called Beau to come to her and, thankfully, he did.

Then Woody took over. Woody is a buckskin Quarter Horse from cutting horse breeding, which means he has the instinct to “hook on” to cattle as they move. Good cowhorses are “controlling,” making cows go where the horse’s rider intends. Woody, however, does not limit himself to cattle. Nor does he require a rider. Remember how he follows the cat? In another post I wrote about him chasing pronghorns (antelope), the fastest land animals in North America, and keeping up.

Woody chased that coyote right out of the pasture. The critter escaped being trampled when he ran under a barb wire fence.

Beau and Woody, together, saved Camo and Miss Sugar from that mangy coyote, and I am right pleased that they did. 3amigos

Deer Sighting

Sugar and I see pronghorns (antelope) at our ranch nearly every day. Sometimes we see whitetail deer in the hay meadow. I have encountered elk while riding a horse in a canyon at our neighbor’s ranch. Once we saw a moose by the highway while driving to town.
Last weekend we saw wildlife in an unusual place.

We had stopped in a little town in Wyoming, Medicine Bow, population less than 300 as I recall the sign said. We parked in front of a church. We got out of the truck to stretch our legs. Sugar walked up the street toward a house next to the church. It had a fenced yard.

“Look,” she exclaimed, “They have a pet deer.”

I looked. Sure enough, there was a deer laying in the back yard. It was very still. I told her it was a statue. She pointed out that it was chewing. Sugar quietly approached the fence. She wanted a better look. She has a way with animals.

Suddenly, the deer rose up and jumped over the fence.

“Dang,” I thought, “Sugar scared the pet deer out of the yard. Those people will be upset.”

But there were no people to upset. The house was vacant. There was a foreclosure notice on the door.

Then Sugar noticed something else. There were twin fawns emerging from the garage to join their mother. The mother deer and her babies had made a home in the unoccupied house.

The foreclosure notice indicates that those deer had not made their mortgage payments for awhile. Deer can be very irresponsible financially.

30,000 Selfies

As I was waiting in the Department of Motor Vehicles with ticket number 234, which meant I was there for awhile, I sat across from a family consisting of what appeared to be a father, mother, and their daughter, Kim Kardashian.  I know what you are thinking.  You are thinking that Kim K’s father is deceased.  You might also be wondering why she would register her vehicles in Colorado.  So allow me to clarify that this young woman was not actually Kim K of reality TV fame, rather, she was a Kim K wannabe.  

As the purported father read a book, the mother was talking to her daughter about, well, about the daughter.  The daughter was in her late teens or early twenties.   She was not so independent as to go all by herself to the DMV.  However, she was willing to accompany her parents and to bless those of us in the general public with her presence.

As she talked to her mother, she did not look at her mother.  Instead, she arranged her head in various cute poses and tried varying facial expressions as she took pictures of herself with her cell phone.  Suddenly elated, she informed her mother (and the rest of us in the large waiting room) that she was five pictures short of 30,000.  That inspired her to quickly take five more pictures of herself so as to reach that noteworthy goal.

I couldn’t keep my mouth shut.  I inquired with true interest, “How long have you had your cell phone?”

Unabashed, she happily answered, “I got this about eight months ago.”  She said it like she had accomplished something admirable, like climbing Mt. Everest.  She also volunteered to me that she and her friends seldom text because a person’s facial expression says so much that they simply send selfies to each other.  She was pleased to have the opportunity to clue me in on what the cool kids do.  

I quickly did some math in my head.  I commented, “If you had your phone for ten months, that would be about 100 selfies a day, for 3,000 per month, but you did that in only eight months.  Wow!”

The selfie-taker proudly exclaimed, “I know!”

Her father jumped in, “That sounds about right.”  I suppose he was agreeing with my estimate of relentlessly taking selfies at a rate in excess of 100 per day.

I am writing this as sort of a public service announcement.  I want you, Dear Readers, to grasp the pace which must be kept in order to properly stay up with the champion narcissists.  Not just everybody can take 100 plus selfies a day.  It takes dedication.  It takes someone who enjoys looking at herself or himself.  It is a difficult task indeed.  If one misses a day, one would need to take 200 pics the next day just to keep up.  

I am fixin’ to take my first selfie. This illustrates my latest grooming project — a hybrid tribute to Wyatt Earp and Hulk Hogan with a dash of Wild Bill. Soon, all the cool dudes will copy it.
Only 29,999 to go. As a competitive person, I am thinking that if I cut back on my law practice, I could maybe break that little gal’s record. I think I could do it in seven months. Try to top that!

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