Monday, July 27, 2009

Hey, you gonna eat the rest of that?

Again, I was very very busy today at the company. During my coffee break, I found a newspaper in the breakroom and started reading. I didn’t expect to find anything of interest, but I was bored. Imagine my surprise when I read that Squirrel season starts in Nebraska this Saturday! You need a license, though. You can’t just go around killing squirrels without a license. What if everyone just went around killing squirrels? I know, right? Well to make sure that doesn’t happen, there’s a hefty 14 dollar price tag on the license. What I thought was interesting is that you are allowed to “bag” up to 7 a day, but may not have more than 28 on you. Interesting, because to exceed the legal number of dead squirrels in your pocket, you’ve got to have some squirrels you (or someone you know) killed at least 4 days ago. Mmmm. I suppose that number (28) includes all the squirrels in your freezer. Next to the Ben and Jerry’s. And again, I say, mmm.

Ok, so I don’t hunt. Mostly because it doesn’t seem like any fun to me. That and they don’t generally let you hunt the stuff that tastes good. I know, I know, venison is so delicious when prepared just right… spare me. Please. Deer meat is nowhere near as good as just about any part of a cow. I love beef in its many tasty forms. Deer meat? Not so much. Chicken? Extremely versatile and yummy. But when does chicken or cow season open up in Nebraska?

Pork. Perhaps the best meat on the planet. Pig season, anyone? Nope. Not gonna happen.

Even if you could just drive out to some farm somewhere and start plugging away at cattle, it would still be simpler and probably cheaper to just go to the Bag-N-Save and grab you some steaks.

But Fred, deer jerky is awesome! No it’s not. It’s just tastier than straight deer meat because it’s got so much salt in it that some of the rancid deer flavor gets masked. By the way, beef Jerky sucks too. We have freezers now. There’s no need for “Jerky”.

To learn more about this wondrous hunting season stuff, I visited the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission website to see what other things I might be able to hunt. I mean, if they have a squirrel season, who knows. Maybe they have a Red-Breasted Robin season, too.

Sadly, no. However, I did see something that I found even more amazing than the fact that people pay 14 dollars to hunt squirrels.

They have this thing called "Fur bearer Running Season". It's for foxes, raccoons, etc. But you don't kill them. You just chase them. From the site:

During the running season, bobcat, raccoon, red fox and Virginia opossum may be pursued or chased with hounds, but not killed.

I've heard in the past that hunting seasons are structured to help wildlife as much as possible. Thin the herd to prevent disease and starvation and things. I'm guessing the idea behind running season is to help the foxes and Virginia opossums stay in good shape. Otherwise, they'd probably just lay around all day getting fat and lazy, taking insulin shots, blaming their metabolism or glands, etc.

But anyway, back to squirrels ...

So ok, let’s say I get squirrel terminator license. Hey listen, it’s better to have one and not need it than need one and not have it. I suppose if I find myself in a situation where I have to kill a squirrel (or 7), I could always claim self-defense. But it would just be easier to fork over the 14 bucks and be good for the season.

I think it might be fun to kill a squirrel just for the immediate and drastic emotional charge it would surely evoke. I don’t love or hate squirrels, but I do think they’re kind of cute (mostly because one has never gotten into my house, ruining all the furniture). I can imagine walking along with Mr. Bluebird on my shoulder, when I spot it. The enemy. The brown furry little guy, up in the tree, hunched over furiously chewing away at whatever, turning it over in it’s cute little enemy paws. Mr. Bluebird instinctively slows his chirping. I edge within range, slowly bringing my trusty .22 long rifle up to my shoulder while Mr Bluebird cautiously flies over to the other side. As I deftly take the instrument off “safe”, the squirrel suddenly stops chewing. Suspicious but frozen. It is too late for you my friend. Pop. Yes! Right though the heart! Woohoo! As I watch the critter fall lifeless to the ground in a series of impossible contortions, I think “what the hell?” I just killed this creature. I don’t want to eat any squirrel. Guilt briefly threatens to sour my day until I remember my sidearm. My 1911 .45 ACP. I’ve always wondered what it would do to a small furry cute little animal. I grab the handgun and approach my fallen foe. I see it still twitching a little and actually not completely dead, yet. With the blast of the .45 at roughly point blank range, no more sign of any squirrel. 1 down, 6 to go. Zippity do dah …

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Slow Day

I’ve been very busy at “The Company” lately. It’s a good thing. Doing really cool coding and things. But unfortunately my blog publishing has suffered. Well I thought I’d take a break and relive something. But I haven’t thought of what I want to reminisce about yet. (currently tapping fingers lightly on keyboard, staring at monitor, waiting for a thought about something to blog about from my past).

It’s my brother’s fault I’m not the master of whatever it is that I should be the master of. One time, when I was about 8 or 9, I had an inspiration. I figured out a way to draw realistic looking stain glass windows. I worked on my drawing for days. Non-stop. I poured my heart into it. The shading. The balance of light. I made the colors dance together with grace and beauty. Framing each window of my inner-church-scape was deep mahogany, rich with ornate detail as if routered by the smooth hand of God Herself, bitches!

Once finished and signed, completely ready for its inevitable showing upon the refrigerator, I collapsed in a heap amongst the crayon paper littering the floor. The Crayola brand sharpener dulled from hours of abuse. No matter. The work was complete. My finest work to date. Well, as far as drawing went. My proudest artistic achievement was not in the realm of drawing at all. It was writing. In the second or third grade we had to write a story about monsters for Halloween. Mine was excellent, to understate it a tad. The quality of this work, a story about a baby Frankenstein monster, has never been questioned by any sane person. A literary triumph, frequently inspiring its readers to abandon mediocrity and strive for a greatness seldom believed possible. It spent an unbelievable 6 weeks on the refrigerator. A feat I believed not to be matched in my lifetime. That is until I finished the Stained glass piece. As I drifted off to sleep, I imagined the possibility of coming in from the summer’s heat each day, several times a day for the next 2 months, to get a drink from the cold water bottle. As I was physically refreshed, I would also be spiritually energized by the sight of my opus. The Stained Glass Collection, Numbers 1-9. Oh yes. I envisioned a series. Sweet dreams, little prince. Life takes a tragic turn upon your revival.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but my brother is a fine person. A much better person than I will ever hope to be. He cares about people who are not him. A foreign concept to me. Not that I think of foreigners as exceptionally empathetic (except Mexicans), because that would be racist. What I mean is that I am unfamiliar with this whole compassion thing. I tend to see people skin deep. I have a difficult time understanding that there is a conscious being in there with feelings, dreams, and whatever other bullshit goes on in their pathetic little minds. This is probably why I saw my brother as this evil person that was always messing my stuff up. The truth is I was messy too. But I tended to blame my brother for everything. Until he came along, blah blah blah.

So anyway, about an hour after passing out, I awoke. Why am I on the floor? Why are there crayon wrappers everywhere? Oh yeah! The drawing! It’s finished and now I’ve gotten the required amount of rest to officially unveil it to my mother. Dad would not have appreciated the drawing. Most likely, he would have suggested that I was judging him, like he didn’t know what the inside of a church looked like. And also, he would have intimated that any heterosexual boy would be outside playing. Something like, “So the little faggot was drawing all day. Go figure.”

Ok, so where is the drawing? I know I left it right here. It looked like a big version of all these little pieces of crumpled up, stained glass window … Uh oh.

So yeah, my brother had torn up the drawing. He had no idea why. When asked, he told mother “I felt like destroying something beautiful.”

I was hurt. But honestly, somehow I knew I’d get more mileage out of the destruction of the work. Every time I felt like drawing, I’d blame my brother and not draw. He ruined me, was my excuse. Even years later, when my brother proved to be the true talent, faithfully reproducing most of the artwork of genius and Conan illustrator, Frank Frazetta, I hung on to the excuse.

“Isn’t Steve a gifted artist?” grandma would ask.
“You should have seen the stained glass window,” I’d whisper.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Oh it's on

Among the many perks I've received as part of my compensation from my current employer "The Company", I have just had the prestigious title of "Corporate Cycling Challenge Team Leader" bestowed upon me. It is indeed a great day.

P.S. Hey Shim, click on the picture to enlarge it. That's what she said.