Shootin' the Breeze

and random targets

Archive for the month “November, 2015”

Miss Sugar’s Kangaroo


Miss Sugar loves animals.  Well, many species of animals.  Some, not so much.  Rodents are not on her list of beloved animals.  I know what you are wondering, Gentle Readers.  You are asking, “What about kangaroos?”

It is interesting that you should ask that very question.  I know the answer.  Sugar once tried to love a kangaroo, but it did not work out.  I shall explain.  Pay attention.  What I am about to say might prove to be of considerable value to you in your future dealings with kangaroos.

Sugar saw an advertisement for a feed store that was selling baby kangaroos.  I have been to many feed stores.  I have never seen kangaroos at any of them.  Sugar and daughter Michelle went to see the kangaroos.  Michelle wanted one.  They were selling for only $600  each.  There were four to choose from.  Those of you familiar with the market for kangaroos know whether $600 is a good deal.  T his was Sugar’s first shopping trip for a kangaroo.  Michelle’s too.

At the feed store, Sugar, who has a way with animals, used her charm on one of the kangaroos.  She usually makes animals feel comfortable.  When I say animals, I am referring to dogs, cats, horses, and even cows.  Surprisingly, Sugar’s technique did not charm this particular kangaroo.

It grabbed her with its front claws, stabbing Sugar’s biceps.  As it held Sugar, preventing escape, the cute baby kangaroo kicked Sugar in the stomach with its powerful hind legs.  Sugar fell backwards.  Her arms were bleeding.  Everyone in the feed store laughed as Sugar jumped up, saying, “That thing attacked me.”

And that is how Sugar saved $600 and that is why we don’t have a kangaroo.

I’m okay with it.

Kick-boxing Kangaroos

Observations on Recent Events

Allow me to make a few brief comments about things that are obvious.  I do this because people smarter than me and more powerful than me are saying things that cause me to wonder whether they are missing some points and why.

Not all immigrants are the same.  There are those who want to come to America to assimilate.  They want to become Americans.  There are others who locate here and then want America to change for them, such as by adopting Sharia law.  There are people who come with the idea of attacking America by posing as refugees.  ISIS has admitted it uses this strategy.  These are not widows and children.  These are military age men who, in the case of Syria, choose to leave Syria rather than fight ISIS.  Some are part of ISIS.  It is not wise to welcome them just to look friendly.  It is okay to be suspicious.

I have read that President Reagan allowed many refugees into our country so we should follow his example.  Those were largely refugees who were fleeing Viet Nam.  Remember the “boat people”?  They did not want to live under Communism.  Churches helped them resettle.  In hindsight, we see that these immigrants from Southeast Asia did not commit any terrorist acts that I am aware of.  So, that turned out to be a good decision.  It resulted in many class valedictorians who are of Vietnamese descent and who are now proudly Americans.

On the other hand, it is not a coincidence that terrorist acts are being committed by men from the Mideast who declare that their murderous acts are in the name of Allah.  Having been told that, is it not stupid to pretend that we don’t believe it is dangerous to our own safety to bring in Islamic men who fit that profile?  President Obama wants us to feel ashamed to say we don’t want them here.  His job and sworn duty is to protect the people of our nation.  That does not require leading sensitivity sessions about not hurting the feelings of foreigners even if they pose a threat.  It is odd that a week after the Paris attacks, which we now know were done by terrorists who were refugees betraying France after being allowed to come there, that we are lectured to ignore what we just witnessed.

It is also interesting to me that Saudi Arabia is not welcoming refugees from Syria.  Is that because the Islamic terrorists would rather come to Europe and America because Saudi Arabia is already a Muslim nation?  Saudi Arabia is not a target.  Or, if that is not the reason, why would another nation with a similar culture not help fellow Muslims?  Why should America do what Saudi Arabia won’t.

President Obama has tried to shame us by saying “That is not who we are” if we are wary of Syrian refugees.  I disagree.  Who we are is a nation which has been attacked by Islamic terrorist and does not want to have that happen again.  We have our own widows as a result of those attacks.  We need to be protective of our own children.  This is an issue where a political correctness argument falls flat.

You are not paranoid if they are really after you.





Circles of Tolerance

Tolerant people

Are  not tolerant

Of intolerant people.

That is where

The tolerant draw the line.

It is politically correct

To be tolerant about

Shooting cops.

It is not politically correct

To “profile” terrorists.

It could offend.

And we can’t tolerate that.

The Arrogance of Immaturity

A young man was shot and killed as he broke into a store after hours when the owner was there because he feared looting during a night of protesting/rioting.  The next day, 600 students at a high school walked out.  You are probably assuming that the dead burglar was a student at the school.  He was not. None of those who walked out told me that they knew him, yet walking out seemed to them to be somehow a noble tribute to a sad end, ignoring the criminal endeavor.

Sounds like the situation in Ferguson last year but it was decades ago (I won’t say how many) at my school.  It was before the Make My Day laws.  It was purported to be about race too.  Even then, I did not see the connection with race because the more obvious reason for the burglar’s death, however sad, was his attempted burglary.  I am pretty sure the store owner would have shot anyone who broke into his store that night regardless of color.

A few years later, when I was in college, student organizers promoted a Student Bill of Rights.  I only remember one “right” that was part of a package of rights needed by us oppressed students.  That was the right to have girls visit the boys dorm without the rule at the time which required the dorm room door remain open.  It was a rule that was difficult to enforce because if a door was closed, how would a passerby know it contained a female visitor?  Oh, I seem to recall the girls had to sign in.  It was very oppressive to our right to privacy while entertaining in the location of our beds.  I was 18.  Before attending college, when I lived at home with my parents, as you might imagine, I could bring girls to my room in the attic whenever I wanted without checking in any of the long line of girls who desired to visit me behind closed doors.  If you buy that, I have ocean front property in Arizona.  Not.

Nevertheless, I was persuaded by the campus leaders to be outraged that the college would try to play the role of my repressive parents. “In loco parentis” it was called.  That was something up with which we could not put.   We demonstrated as an orderly mob at the home of the college president.  He did not resign.  He did not even come out to greet us.  Our demands were discussed later but never granted.  I did not complain to my parents, who were 300 miles away, about the unreasonable dorm rules.  I did not expect them to understand.  They would not understand why I and the other college protesters were offended by rules that implied we were not yet adults.

Several years later, the guy who was student body president and led the demonstrations for the Student Bill of Rights, was shot and killed at an armed standoff outside some textile factory fighting for the rights of workers.  I do not know enough about the cause to judge its righteousness, but I do not believe armed conflict was the solution for the textile workers.  Knowing the fellow who died leading the “movement,”  I realize that he was following his long-felt need to rouse the oppressed.  On one hand it is admirable.  On the other, it was tragic because he died unnecessarily due to his choice.

The students at the University of Missouri were successful in recently forcing the resignation of the university president.  I do not understand why that was necessary.  I am not smart enough to grasp why the university president is responsible for all offensive language on and off campus, nor was he obligated to endorse the Ferguson riots.  I certainly am not smart enough to follow the logic of the Yale students in their concerns about Halloween costumes at fraternity parties.  I have, I suppose, become less sensitive over the years.

When my father was 18-22, he was in the Army, in England, France and Belgium during WWII.  He had better things to do than stand up for a Student Bill of Rights concerning dorm rules.  He was defending the actual Bill of Rights, the ones written by our American forefathers.  The contrast between him and the college students fighting for (ironically) rules about Halloween costumes (seems anti-free speech), is immense.  IMMENSE!!!

I have heard or read that college extends adolescence.  I was certainly less mature during college than was my father at the same age.  Now I view this crop of college student protesters as ultra-demanding about things their college need not provide.  My own cause, those many years ago, was vastly more important — the right to bring girls to one’s dorm room!

Beau and Big Bird

BigBird and Beau

Typical Labrador Retrievers limit themselves to retrieving pheasants and ducks after they have been shot by hunters.  Our Beau is a bird dog who pursues live birds of all sizes.  Pictured above is his close encounter this morning.

OR, is the bird hunting Beau?


Woe Unto Ye Abusers

The knock on the door was a surprise.  We have a gate by the road and a long lane to the house.  I looked out and saw a young woman with a child on her hip.  I thought maybe she ran out of gas.  Her vehicle was parked outside the closed gate so she had to have climbed through the rail fence.

My wife, Sugar, came to the door.  She recognized the visitor and greeted the little girl by name.  Then I knew who was on our front porch.  I remembered when the baby was born two years ago.  She had grown.

“Can we talk?  Something has happened.”

What happened is that her husband is in jail.  It was a story of abuse.  Now she is going through a divorce.  She needs help.  Sugar helped.

It reminded me of a paralegal who worked for me for several years.  Her husband had been in prison for 16 years.  She waited for him to get out.  She was happy when he did.  Her loyalty was not rewarded.  He beat her.   One night blood was coming out of her ear. This time she finally went to call the police, but her husband grabbed the phone and told the 911 operator that his wife had stabbed him and to please hurry.  She had not stabbed him, but after reporting that he was in such peril (from a 5’2″ woman), he stabbed his own arm as she watched.  When the police came, they arrested her, even after asking about her bloody ear, because she lied to cover for him by saying she fell off her bike.  I represented her on the charges for assault with a deadly weapon.

I told the District Attorney what really happened, but my client did not want to testify against her no-good husband.  Still, she was afraid of him.  There was a restraining order to supposedly keep him away from the home.  (You know, so she would not harm him again.)  I urged her to go to the women’s shelter.

The very next day after we had gone to court, I drove past her home, which was on a busy street, as I was on an errand.  I noticed that her car was parked in front of the house and she was in it and her husband was sitting in the front seat.  I circled around the block.  I stopped by the parked car.  I got out of my truck.  I went to the passenger door and confronted her 6’4″ ex-con husband.

“What are you doing here?” I asked.  I reminded him of the restraining order.

The wife jumped out of the car, as if to restrain me.  It was backwards.  She was protecting him from me.  She explained that they had just gone out for breakfast.  I was now the enemy for interfering with a lovely morning date (the day after helping her in court).

Not long after, maybe a week, I got a call from her.  “He tried to kill me,” she reported.  She had to hide under the neighbor’s deck.  The police took him away.  Even then, she felt guilty that he would likely go back to prison.  It is a parole violation, as well as a new crime, to try to kill one’s wife.  She told me that he looked frightened laying on the ground with his arms cuffed behind his back.  Poor guy!  (I had difficulty empathizing).

I hope the young woman with the two year old daughter does not get back together with her abusive husband.  I hope she takes advantage of the community resources to which Sugar directed her.

And I hope her husband takes advantage of the hospitality of the detention center for a long time.  Back where I come from, boys are taught from an early age that it is wrong to hit girls.  Some guys learn that the hard way.

My Favorite Hat and Blankety Blank Dog

It happened while the lovely Miss Sugar and I were in the hot tub.  (This, by the way, is good writing technique, starting out with a sentence that captures the attention of the reading audience.)


The life of Beau, our male Yellow Lab, is of questionable value today. When I tell you why, you will likely agree that he should be disowned if not strung up.

Chris LeDoux wrote a song called This Cowboy’s Hat about the sacredness of one’s personal cowboy hat, including these words:

“You’ll ride a black tornado across the western skies
You’ll rope an ole blue northern and milk it till it’s dry
Bull dawg the Mississippi, pin it’s ears down flat
Long before you take this cowboy’s hat.”

Beau, living in the home of Chris LeDoux fans, has undoubtedly heard the song and, therefore, has been warned of the consequences of tampering with my favorite hat, pictured hereinafter.


I have treasured this hat for several years.  It defined my public image.  It made me who I am.  Now, thanks to Beau, I am a lesser man who has lost my identity.  See below:

Beau's old hat

After relaxing in the hot tub outside in the courtyard, I noticed that  Beau had something in his mouth.  It was unrecognizable at first.  When I got it from him, I determined that it was my favorite cowboy hat.  “Was” is indeed the operative word.  It is no longer a hat, at least not a usable one.  It has been utterly destroyed, along with my fragile self-esteem. A nearby photojournalist, Miss Sugar, got a picture of the usual suspect caught in the act of vandalism.

The culprit showed no remorse.  Repentance is important for me to forgive.  Beau wants to pretend nothing happened.  There is, as therapists say, “an elephant in the room.”  Beau does not want to talk about my hurt feelings.   I feel disregarded.  He feels just fine.

There is a lesson here.  Always wear your cowboy hat in the hot tub.

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