Thursday, June 17, 2010

Loads of Links

Tom McIntyre, the poet laureate of blood sport and one of our finest hunting writers ever, has a new blog [REMOVED LINK: POSSIBLE VIRUS THREAT THROUGH URL]. It's about time! Make sure you read the whole page to get a full taste of his wit and occasional surrealism in addition to his more practical side. He also has an interesting piece up at Field and Stream on the 25 best hunting handguns. One always has quibbles with such things-- are there really 25 great HUNTING handguns? Where is my beloved S&W Mountain Gun, the last handgun I would ever get rid of, to my mind the happy medium between the heavy long- barreled "Dirty Harry".44 mags and that featherweight alloy Taurus he recommends that will kick you into next week? But the whole thing is informed, entertaining,and argumentative--like Tom! I was also amused to see a gun I recognized, his venerable "State Trooper".357-- he brought it on his first visit to Magdalena, over 25 years ago.

And here is a good profile of another friend of Q, former "Alpha Environmentalist" and present editor of Overland Journal, Jonathan Hanson.(I recently described him as "the last Edwardian", which he rather liked).

Carel Brest van Kempen recently returned from a trip on the Virgin River in southwestern Utah, where he took this photo gallery. I love both Carel's art and his affection for "charismatic MINI- fauna". (I must get up a photo of the painting-- a favorite beetle!-- that I commissioned and Lib bought for my birthday last year).

David Zincavage and Karen Myers' Uhlan, nephew to our Ataika, has been up to tazi tricks, bringing home dead woodchuck snacks.Karen has the evidence. She writes: "You can see Alfredo Groundhog parts 2 and 3, as well as the victorious claimant (it was actually Dave who dispatched him several days ago, assuming it's the same groundhog) here."

Speaking of Asian sighthounds, Walter Hingley sends an art auction link to a portrait, "Niam", of a red tazi by Nikolai Fechin, the Taos- Russian impressionist. Despite the quality and the Russian, local and dog associations, at 10- 15,000$ I think I'll have to pass...

Are we doing any good "rescuing" the Gulf birds, or is it a waste; should we put them down? A tragic but maybe realistic view, HT Dr Hypercube.

Will South Africa follow Zimbabwe into chaos? Some ominous rumblings...

"Nanny" bans on hot dogs?? And yet, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the group that advocates the ban, also advocates female genital mutilation!

As John Derbyshire often says, we are DOOMED. He provides still more evidence in this pessimistic essay on education.

From Hecate, "eclectic witch", horse and sighthound person, gun nut: a harrowing tale of disarmament in England.

"An American who'd been a police officer in Texas before moving to the UK was appalled at what he was told by his instructors while training to be a British police officer: 'If you ever see somebody carrying a gun, turn and run away as quickly as possible.'

Read the whole thing for the ultimate result (and excuses).

"Terence this is stupid stuff.."; let's end on a cheerier note. As we can attest-- you can buy them in Socorro-- New Mexico makes some of the best sparkling wines in the country. Now, even the NYT has discovered them--in Truth Or Consequences (yes, a real NM town name-- "T er C")-- at that!

Update re killer Hot Dogs: Arthur Wilderson called in this link with more info. One of the comments, with a link to an octopus- shaped hot dog shredder, is priceless: "Shades of unholy Cthulhu! I may never eat a skinless, tube-shaped, emulsified meat product again...eegah!"

This post also links to a good piece by Lenore Skenazy. I have been meaning to write about her invaluable blog Free Range Kids for a while, and will-- a "must read" for all sane parents- amusing, wise, and horrifying (when it describes current idiocies) all at once. (Maybe we can get Peculiar to write about growing up AS one when he gets off the rivers?)


Josh said...

An interesting agglomeration here.

Regarding Mr. Derbyshire's review, he did succeed in one thing: I'd like to read the book. As a former teacher, myself, I'm still interested in the profession and climate. However, his insights are downright silly.

When I was learning pedagogy, a professor handed us a list of letters, written by professors, to college deans and chairs at various universities. Each letter was an example of a professor's profession of despair at "today's" youth - they would not, could not learn; they were horribly disrespectful of the subject matter and the classroom; they had been too coddled by previous instructors for whatever reason; they were not academic material in the least.

Each letter (we had maybe one-half dozen) was an example from a decade, beginning, I believe, in 1880.

Taken as a whole, we should either be grunting and throwing rocks at each other, or else, just perhaps, we should consider that the biases and cantankerousness of age might have an impact on the perception of many of our young people by our elders.

He's right, not all of us are destined for college. But, he's sure mixing up a whole lot of correlations, and just willy-nilly applying them, without following causes and effects.

Now, on to more important things: Pistols. I agree that there really aren't 25 Best Hunting Handguns out there. I doubt there are 25 Best Hunting Rifles out there, even. That, or everybody is Above Average. This is basically F&S not wanting to offend anyone.

I am saddened by the AAP allowing FMG, though I support the hotdog issue - our family lost a 2 year old boy, a cousin's son, from a hot dog. It sounds silly, but is a tradition worth losing a life? If FMG is bad because it perpetuates a horrible tradition (it does), what reason do we have for putting social pressures on people who want to cut up hot dogs?

Steve Bodio said...

Josh, just discovered your (three) blogs re Chad Love, and whatever our disagreements enjoyed all immensely, and will be following. (Commented favorably re the .30-30).

Derb needs much context, more irony, and a deep natural pessimism (which I share) for maximum understanding of where he stands-- his "Doomed" book tends to offend both liberals and his so- called conservative colleagues. He is cheerful AND utterly pessimistic and nobody can stand it! He is also one of nature's own contrarians and provocateurs.

Tom admits a bit of editorial... suggestion for "25"-- I suspected that going in, but couldn't resist a bit of fun at his expense. (He had fun too-- put in that .357 just because it is his favorite old gun).

And I'm all for social pressure if one can convince-- and against multiplying laws.

Heidi Choquette said...

While Nicolai Fechin may well have seen tazis in Russia and/or Siberia, it seems even more likely that he saw black-masked red Afghan Hounds in California when he lived there. As a painter of dogs and owner of Salukis, the painting shown on the auction website looks a lot more like a red Afghan Hound than a tazi to me, but I'd like to know more if you know more about this painting.

Steve Bodio said...

Heidi-- I tend to agree. Of the "Taos Russians", Leon Gaspard was the one who traveled among the nomads, painted falconry, and probably saw tazis like mine. I was using tazi in the generic sense as it is still used from Turkey east for the whole group including both types.

On the other hand I do associate that bright red with Almaty hounds!

Heidi Choquette said...

I couldn't find a date of creation anywhere for the painting "Niam", but Fechin lived in southern California (and died there) during his later years when Afghan Hounds were all the rage and still a novelty. Most telltale, I think, is the apparent topknot, rather neatly parted. The difference in color of the long hair from the short hair of the face and saddle is typical of Afghan Hounds. BTW, I've been admiring your Lashyn since you first got her. I fell in love with the photo of her dam, Cheetah, and the black-masked red tazi.

Josh said...

Mr. Bodio, thank you for such a great and gentlemanly response. I hope to comment at your blog from time to time, and appreciate your insights over at mine. I'll try not to be so mean toward Mr. Derbyshire, though I promise nothing.

Heidi Choquette said...

A link to another painting of a black-masked red Afghan hound...or tazi if you like:

mdmnm said...

Those lists like McIntyre's are fun and invite quibbles- I like that he has several .22s listed and appreciate his fine old Woodsman, but the trigger on those Walther .22s is pretty bad and two Browning Buckmarks? How about a High Standard instead. Also, I have one of the S&W Model 317 kit guns and, after two years, had the sights changed. The combination of a shallow v rear and a big round light tube for the front sight rendered careful shooting, say a grouse head at fifteen yards, darn near impossible. Mine now sports a Partridge front sight and square notch rear.